Why is there such an age divide in the gay community? I went to a pool party this afternoon. The group was mostly in their 20’s and early 30’s with a few of us in our 50’s. There were virtually no men in their late 30’s or 40’s. For the most part the two groups did not speak to each other.
I am uneasy approaching a group of younger gay men, even just to say hello, because I do not want to be seen as the creepy older guy. I do not want to be seen as the older guy going after the younger men. And in reality, I am not really interested in younger men, but it would be nice just to get to know them. It is a strange divide that exists in the gay world.
To myself I feel like a young man but I know the world sees me as an older man. I may fool myself that I look much younger than my 56 years, but even that won’t hide the fact that I am not 21 anymore.
So at the pool party I spoke primarily to the men who were around my own age. I did not try to talk to the younger guys. But it is painful that there is this wall that I can not cross. I asked myself if it is a wall of my own making but I do not think it is.
Earlier this year I was volunteering to setup at a gay Passover Seder. I went over to make small talk with some of the younger guys working on the sound system and was ignored. I thought to myself that they see me as making some kind of pass at them when all I am trying to do is talk to them. But that is the way the world is.
So at the pool party I hung out with the older men and it was enjoyable. But it would have been nice to interact with some of the younger men as well.