I should start by saying I am in my early 30s so not exactly elderly. However, being in the gay community for over 15 years, you tend to rack up more life experiences than you can imagine. I’ve done the clubbing every weekend, recreational drug bonanza, shirt off in the club twink behavior, bed hopping because I was young and the chosen one, and so much else. At this point in my life, I’m on the husband trail. I go out and the buffoonery and shenanigans really get to me. So having been through it, I try to impart wisdom on my younger friends still in the cycle and the results aren’t in any way thrilling.
I’ve said in previous post that gay men aren’t taught how to date men. Fathers teach a hetero lifestyle and being gay we are pretty much on trial and error mode. It really is up to older gay men to show the younger crowd the way so our community can be strong and cohesive. The problem is early gay lifestyle was about being free and wild. It was about being open and anti convention. As the time went on, the unity in the community switched to a mirror of the same hetero grouping we were trying to avoid. We have the younger gays, the muscle pretty boys, the bears, the daddies, etc and all an island unto themselves. The masculine can’t stand the effeminate men, the twinks want nothing to do with the bears, and the older pity the younger crowd(or envy depending on how you look at things).
What is needed is a stop do the disjointed gay community and real leaders not on a public stage but local to guide younger gay men. I’m naturally a giver and I’ve tried with a few of my friends. I noticed I was being what I hated as a young gay man. I was telling my friends not to do things I did based on my experiences but not letting them gain experience for themselves. And while it pains me to see my friends make the same mistakes I did, what I’ve found is I need to inform and support. So now I say, ” Friend, I did that and it was horrible, I hope the same thing doesn’t happen to you but I’m here if you need me”. Maybe they will see over time the wisdom I deliver isn’t to hinder their fun but to help make the fun less problematic.
I want to encourage older gay men to instill values and teach the way we would have wanted to be taught. And I know there are younger guys looking for older men as more sexual teachers than life teachers. Nothing wrong with that but I’m sending a call to arms for real teaching and guidance. We all made a lot of mistakes and yes mistakes help us to grow but not all. We have to do our part for a strong gay community.
Pay it forward.