TFG Thoughts: Ageism

I was reading an article in a local gay mag about ageism in the gay community.  It was particularly with respect to Pride, where many gay men over 50/40/even 30 feel like they’re considered too old for the crowd, or left feeling ignored and neglected.  Fascinatingly enough, the article had a picture at the top.  Was it of older gay men?  Nope, more hot, young shirtless guys.  Even in an article about older gay men being overlooked, we see only young gay men.

I think there’s a certain truth to this.  I myself don’t really go to Pride anymore for similar reasons (although it’s also is because it’s such a party circuit, and that’s never really been my scene either).  And I must confess, to a certain degree, I myself am enabling this as well, as evidenced by the pics on my blog.  I find I gravitate towards twinks for my eye candy of choice, and I make no bones about it.

But gay culture in general gravitates towards youth.  Heck, basically every culture looks to youth… witness the proliferation of boy bands.  When a group ages out, a new young group takes their place (anyone remember 98 degrees or N’Sync?)  When I was in my late teens, anyone over the age of 25 sounded so old.  Then it was 30s.  Guy in their forties were generally out of the question, and if there had been Grindr back then, I can imagine I would have been pretty heartless about my wants.  So who am I to judge if younger guys feel the same?  Most people want to be with others of their own age, and I think that’s fair enough.

I suppose I’m quite fortunate, because I look very young for my age.  I often pass for mid to late 30s.  I’m actually 45 as I write this.  (The header pic at the top of this article is me about 6 moths ago, if you need some evidence, lol.)  I could pretty easily lie about my real age, and most people would likely believe me.  But I do believe in truth and honesty, and setting an example.  Plus, I hope I may be breaking some stereotypes about what “older” gay men look like.

I will say, though, that as I’ve aged, my own tastes have aged a bit as well.  Not too long ago, I was only about twinks.  Twinks, twinks, twinks.  The younger the better (though over 18, of course).  Nowadays, while there are still many that appeal to me, I’m just as attracted to guys in their 20s, 30s, and up.  There can be a point where they seem too young, and sometimes that is in fact 18 or 19.  At this point in my life, twinks can be fun to look at, but there’s often a maturity gap that can take away much of their appeal.  I think for me, it’s more about being in shape and smooth.  A guy in their 40s, but fit and in shape, is pretty sexy.  And when I say fit and in shape, I don’t mean you have to be a Chippendales dancer.  A bit of “dadbod” can still be sexy too.

One thing that I do attractive about twinks and young guys in their 20s is their general sense of enthusiasm and adventure.  Willingness to try new things.  Younger guys are now wanting to try out kink, because they can now see and learn about it online.  When years ago, that information wasn’t as easily available.  And some are mature enough to realize that sometimes older guys have life experience that is worth sharing and knowing.  At the same time, us older guys have to acknowledge that the youth are often the ones driving the culture and energy of the community (not to say that older guys can’t, of course).  It can be a good give and take, if we let it.

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