Thursday, October 25, 2012

Aging and the Gay Male

Bette Davis - 1929

Bette Davis has always been one of my favorite actresses.  She has also been one of my favorite personalities.  When Bette said something, you know she meant it.

As a young actress Bette wasn't the most beautiful actress but she wasn't bad looking either.  In fact, she was quite attractive in a Bambi-eyed type of way.

As she got older, she didn't let her aging face and body stop her from getting the maximum out of life.  She wasn't one of those actresses who hid behind a locked door (think Marlene Dietrich) when she became an old lady.

Bette Davis - many years later

There is a myth in some quarters that most gay males hate to get old.  Personally I don't know of any gay men who are hiding behind locked doors, hiding their wrinkled visage from the peering eyes of the public.  That includes me.

Like Bette, I wasn't the most handsome man in my youth but I wasn't bad either.  In fact, I didn't know that until I got older.  That was a result of being brought up in a household by a father who constantly belittled me but that's another story for another blog posting.

During my walk tonight I was thinking that I will soon turn 71 years old.  I'm thinking "I should feel bad about getting old."  Guess what?  I don't.  I really don't.  Would I like to be young again?  Only with the caveat that I know what I know now and have all the earthly goods that I posses today.  However, that is not possible so I face the reality that I am that dreaded OLD GAY MAN.  Notice, I didn't say "AN OLD QUEEN."  I'm not a "queen" thank you.  Maybe that's one of the reasons I don't have that many gay friends.  I don't "nellie it up" with other gay men.  Or as Bill and I call  it "fag it up."  I know "fag" is a grossly politically incorrect term these days but it is the only way I can accurately describe gay men who have that bad habit of acting like imitation women.  It's not a practice neither Bill or I engage in.  We were both born men and we will remain men until we die.

So I'm thinking "Why don't I feel bad about being an OLD MAN"?  My real feeling?  I feel pretty proud to have made it this far.  What I don't feel good about are my increased doctor's visits.  Yes, I'm visiting my dermatologist again tomorrow.  These visits are getting to be a regular occurrence for me.  It is what it is.  I feel like my body is just like an old car that has been well taken care of over the years.  Eventually "little things" start to "go."  As well as I take care of that car, parts will eventually have to be replaced.  And, eventually the car will stop.

When I was a young, smart assed kid of 21 I had all the answers.  Fifty years later, I realize that I DON'T have all the answers but you know what?  I feel pretty good that I've made it this far.  I feel good about myself too.  Probably just the way Bette felt about herself.


David Jeffreys said...

The only trouble is that the replacement parts (e.g. hip replacements) are being recalled! You go to all the trouble to get it fixed, and then they tell you that part is defective!!!

I think I will keep my original parts, painful as they are. I could use a new penis -- I want that big macho model.

Ur-spo said...

I think there will be a paradigm switch. The combination of so many older gay men, and the self-centredness of the baby boomers will make for an 'old is sexy' attitude.

anne marie in philly said...

"Only with the caveat that I know what I know now and have all the earthly goods that I possess today." - THIS!

I think we get more fabulous as we get older. and we don't give a fuck about what others think. we ain't getting outta this world alive, so we might as well swing gleefully from the rafters! :)

Bob said...

Bette is fabulous. i could, and do, watch her in anything.
And, as for aging, well, I've said it before, the alternative isn't too appealing.

Ron said...


I just had a chunk of my left forearm taken out this afternoon (actinite keratosis). Little by little, I'm disappearing.


Ron said...

Dr. Spo,

I find many oldsters sexy, much to my surprise. A subject for a future blog posting for sure.


Ron said...

" we might as well swing gleefully from the rafters!"

I second that emotion!


Ron said...

Same here Bob, Bette is fabulous and I too would watch (and rematch) her in ANYTHING. There has been no one like her since.