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Getting older

Age and the gay scene

There is no doubt that the gay scene and gay media play a role in making older gay men feel unwelcome. In fact, while younger gay men can be spectacularly cruel, both younger and older gay men can also be predatory.

Many younger gay men (particularly in their teens, 20s and 30s) have a distorted view of what it means to be older, often equating it with becoming less attractive, an inability to get or have sex, and leading a sad and sorry life. Younger gay men also assume that because older gay men are not like them – or don’t look like them – they cannot be happy. Some men resent older gay men on the scene and scorn their efforts when they try to make conversation.

There will always be a few older gay men who just want one thing, and there will always be younger gold-diggers! But, as a rule, younger gay men make arrogant and simplistic assumptions about what older gay men want and are rarely able to see beyond their own prejudice and vanity. Not surprisingly we don’t see so many older gay men on the scene. This is because – in many ways – it’s served its purpose and is no longer of any use to them. They have simply grown up, moved on and have got themselves a different and more varied life.

Since first impressions and appearance are often the factors which determine whether we approach men, what older men have to offer is sometimes not immediately apparent. The deeper qualities are more likely to emerge over a drink, a meal or a one-to-one encounter. But if this is not what you want, it costs nothing to be polite and courteous when declining.

Of course, you will see men in their late 50s, 60s and 70s who still use the scene, and while it may be difficult for some men to understand their motivation, it’s perfectly possible that they’re happy, well-adjusted and getting on with their lives. You’ll probably also find that they won’t be making the kind of crass and juvenile assumptions younger gay men make about them.

Young, gay and illegal: then and now | Trent and Luke | 5 Jul 2017 | 11m 12s

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