Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Obviously an underserved market that needs attention.

elderly and gay and in search of a non-hostile Home.

This is , of course, why they invented Wilton Manors, but I sometimes wonder how many of the elderly men in that town live in dread of their final days. Of helplessness. The fear of living out one's life alone and among neighbors and care-givers who are not sympathetic is something even our younger single friends think about. The solution is obvious but sad: rest homes that cater specifically to the elderly gay.

Elderly gay ghettos/oases where the dignity of a final passage from a life of struggle and disguise might be assured. Let's hope that the need for such a facility will evaporate within the next few generations.


Cooper said...

Yes, heartbreaking. I think about this, too. To be elderly and infirm and unloved and lonely is so difficult in itself, but add to that caregiver ignorance and fear of being rejected for your sexual orientation, then it becomes epic. Everyone needs and desires belonging, and how heartbreaking to end your days surrounded by that particular kind of lack of empathy.

I think, too, that often we as gay men also contribute to this lack of respect and caring that elderly gay men feel by worshipping the young and labelling many older gay men as trolls, simply because of their age.

Mark said...

Considering that I am a mere 17 years younger than one of the men interviewed in this article, I felt more than a bit depressed and terrified.

And yes, Cooper is absolutely right. We, as a people, have demonized rather than deified our aging and aged members, and it's a damned shame.

evilganome said...

I'm lucky in that I have an adult child, who actually likes me. If I ever wind up in care I will have at least one person advocating for me. However my daughter has a family of her own and I do worry about being a burden.

I think it behooves us all to consider what the later portion of our lives will be like and what steps we need to take now to help those who are in these unfortunate situations so that safeguards are in place now and will be there in the future. It is called enlightened self interest.

BigAssBelle said...

it is a sad thing that our entire culture worships youth and beauty, while devaluing those traits that are acquired with age: patience, wisdom, compassion, experience, living history and so much more.

i'm not denigrating young folks. i used to be one. but as i get older, i see clearly how foolish i was in thinking that i knew all there was to know at 20, at 25, 30. i was convinced that my wholly unique, never repeated, entirely astonishing life experience imbued me with the correct view of things and anyone not sharing those views was simply a lesser creature.

what an ass i was. how grateful i am to have grown up.*

i wish we lived in a society that venerated the old folks. maybe it will come, with the advance of the boomers into elderhood.

i hope so. i can't wait until all of the snitty little 20-somethings get old. it's a nice little deflating punch to the ego to come to terms with the fact that EVERYONE gets there, barring tragedy, and it's nothing like what it seems at 20.

meanwhile, i'm planning a boarding house just for gay men. it will be fabulous, a multi-story foursquare with a huge wrap around porch, a garden, room for dogs and a few cats. we'll belt out showtunes around the piano at night, cook magnificent food for each other, play poker on the porch until all hours, and revel in our postdated wonderfulness until the end of time.

R J Keefe said...

A very sad story, to be sure, but no worse than the plight of the infirm elderly who have retained all their intellectual vigor and curiosity - a factor just as militantly isolating as sexual preference, especially in the good old US of A.