Stop Excluding Older Gay Men. Our Gay Community Deserves Better.
Discrimination Within the Gay Community
If you’re a gay man, you’ve probably already witnessed discrimination within our community. For everyone else, I wouldn’t doubt you’ve heard stories.
Even amongst ourselves as gay men, we deal with racism, body shaming, and other forms of judgement. It’s a huge issue, notably highlighted by the Grindr application’s removal of ethnicity filters.
Older gay men in particular though, face the sad reality that ageism is not uncommon.
I’m not discounting that ageism exists among other subsets of the LGBT+ community. But I would like to highlight how severely this discrimination can affect the mental health and well-being of gay men belonging to generations before us.
It breaks my heart to see younger, or even middle-aged gay men overtly diminish the value that older gay men bring to the LGBT community through immature, ageist behaviors.
Whether it’s completely ignoring the presence of older gay couple at a social gathering, or poking fun at these vital members of our society, it’s damaging and not okay.
The reality is that because gay men tend to place such high importance on physical attractiveness, the older generations or often snubbed. Younger gay men fail to realize that these older gay guys were once just as youthful and physically superior, and that it’s only a matter of time until the tables turn.
A Generation Who Fought
Younger members of the LGBT community have largely grown up in a society that afforded them many more freedoms than existed half a century ago. While there’s clearly more LGBT rights work to be done, the American gay, lesbian and queer communities can live life much more comfortably today than they could in the 1960’s.
Most of us are quite familiar with the timeline of events, especially regarding the Stonewall Riots in New York City. However, those who discriminate against the older gay men and women of our community are neglecting to remember that these fearless people are credited with fighting for and achieving basic rights for our community.
“I Hope There’s Still Room for Me…”
As a gay travel blogger and the creator of the wolfyy gay travel site, I’ve surveyed many LGBT travelers seeking to understand trends related to their travel preferences. While doing so, the subject of ageism against older gay men, specifically with respect to social situations and travel, continually popped up.
While asking a couple of older gay travelers if there was anything else they would like me to know as a gay travel blogger, one man replied “I’m in my 60’s. I hope there is still room for me in the gay community.”
This comment made me start reflecting on the way older gay men must feel when they’re discriminated against. No matter who you are, you can surely relate to this feeling in some way. And this empathy was the inspiration for writing this post.
Support, Love & Cherish Older LGBT People
Ostracizing the older gay men of our community does more harm than you think. Negative social interactions can severely impact these individual’s mental health.
It’s important today that we foster more meaningful inter-generational interaction as well as avoid ageist behaviors. Whether it’s simply being friendly to the older gay traveler who’s alone at a party, or devoting time to volunteer with advocacy services for LGBT seniors, like Sage, we can all do something.
The LGBT Ageing Center is a great organization to contact if you’re interested in supporting our gay and lesbian senior community in any way.
Resources for Older Gay Men
Fortunately, there are tons of resources available to older gay men, from various resource centers for older LGBT people, to tailored senior gay dating apps, to gay travel groups and tours for older gay members of the LGBT community.
Senior Gay Travel Groups & Vacations
Senior Gay Sailing Vacations
If you’re interested in joining a gay sailing trip in Greece, Croatia or the Caribbean, wolfyy can help you find other gay seniors interested in traveling with you. To start, get basic information on wolfyy’s gay sailing page and be sure to add your information to the gay sailing interest form on. That page.