An old gay man?
Gay and straight media have both decided they don’t exist. Well, almost all media has made that determination. This month’s Instinct proved that wrong. It profiled 72-year-old Jim Young. Young unintentionally prompted the story. He’d written a letter, which noted older gay men had become invisible. Young reminded Instinct that while he and many other gay men may be old and queer – they’re still here. That wasn’t news to me.
Though I’m a 30-year-old African-American gay man, I’m no stranger to older gay men. My partner, Jim, is 65. Sugardaddy. I know that’s the first word that popped into some of your heads (the ones you use to think with, LOL). But, no, love brought us together. It’s a love that’s been tested many times. It’s a love and relationship that I don’t believe needs justifying. So, to those harboring their “sugar daddy” stereotypes, have at it.
His value as a human being is what I love and have loved the most about him. I learned to appreciate him as a person because he wasn’t the stereotypical queen obsessing over his looks and making sure he only associated with Brad Pitt wannabes. That’s not to say he doesn’t keep himself up. I think he’s hot. Unfortunately, thanks to the media and a large section of the gay community, he’s come to believe he’s not a valuable part of the gay community. He’s been getting this message: if you’re not young, hot and hot-to-trot, you’re just NOT.
I beg to differ. Being older doesn’t make you useless. It’s about time the pretty boys grasped that concept. Why? In only a matter of time, they could chasing after Chad, the hot, new nurse, in their wheelchair after taking the umpteenth pill. Those caught in a “Queer As Folk”-esque cocoon assume they’ll maintain that pace forever. Thinking doesn’t make it so. My Jim can’t and doesn’t want to maintain that pace. I don’t blame him. The chance to be written off as worthless because you don’t pass for Peter North is less than appealing. I don’t savor the opportunity either.
Believe me, he’s not useless. I’ve a found use for him – again and again and again – on some occasions. But, mind you, I don’t measure his value with sex. My feelings have lasted long after the first orgasm has subsided. That’s because he offers more than just a dick and ass. Though my white great-grandmother (who raised me) initially had a hard time accepting I was gay, Jim helped her embrace the new me (and eventually us).
She realized gay men weren’t monsters. Grandma probably came to that conclusion, while enjoying the Mother’s Day meal Jim prepared for her. After that, I believe, she came to love him as much as she loves me.
Her fears and those shared by others stem from the concept of the stereotypical young, gay male. She believed that all gay men were flaming queens who go from flower to flower. I don’t deny having done that at one time. But, I learned from it. Bedhopping just isn’t fulfilling in the long run. The “old” men of today learned that lesson too. So, many may be in unfulfilling relationships or situations and be regarded as invisible.
Older gay men have so much to offer. They shouldn’t be shunned because some other gay men may not think they look good in tight pants and muscle shirt. (Thankfully, my Jim doesn’t have that problem.) Young gay men shouldn’t be faced with that prospect either. The gay community has been demanding (rightly so) respect from the straight community. With that said, we should be more respectful of each other.
It’s time we stop disowning our brothers in the gay community because we deem them unpretty. They, like straight men, have plenty of other pitfalls for which they be can judged. Their looks – in the name of friendship or love – shouldn’t be one of them. If a man doesn’t turn you on, that doesn’t mean he can’t be friend. Some young, gay men don’t grasp the reality that they’ll need friends or a committed lover someday. Six packs and tight asses don’t last forever. No matter how many renovations one has.
Here’s a startling revelation: not all gay men are 20-year-old hung studs. Some are silver-haired studs.