Barry Artiste, Now Public Contributor
Hey, welcome to the Club, none of us want to get old, but you know, if appearances are all that matters, Gays certainly don't have a monopoly on shallowness. They say from Pain comes Humour, and certainly Gays, and in particular Gay Entertainers have their share as they are out in the Public Eye fearing being outed. Freddie Mercury for one feared growing old. One the other hand Monty Python's Graham Chapman, gave obvious clues and really didn't give a Diddlers Fart who knew he was Gay. Actor, Comedienne and Talk Show Host Ellen Generes hid her Gayness, till outed and then said What the Hell, with Studio execs panicking over rating, which slowed at first and now are at the highest because she went out and said it like it is. Ellen was pretty much the first openly gay entertainer, leaving the closet open for others who did the same.... eventually.. As Ellen and other Gays and straights get older, so will everyone else, so it is not like Being Gay is an eternal fountain of youth, it is all in the mind, as you are as old as you feel, and as Graham Chapman (Never at a Loss for Swearing) would say F**K Em.
One can never be too old or too gay
The mainstreaming of gay culture makes for a better future
Kelvin Browne, Weekend Post
Gays have long enjoyed good branding: cute, buff and young. But, shocking as this may seem, the reality is that even gays get old. Who'd have thought it would happen to those beautiful, almost-naked boys frolicking on floats during the Pride Parade? Ageing is a terrible word in the gay community, raising as it does the spectre of turning into an old queen. Imagine Quentin Crisp, not as entertainment but as the reflection in your mirror.
That said, old age today presents many advantages for gays and lesbians (and related gay brands) that didn't exist a generation ago. Evolving positive attitudes toward homosexuality, for instance, make life more comfortable, especially with the advent of retirement benefits and other entitlements that were previously withheld. Plus, the sheer number of gay Boomers within the gay population means that they will continue to shape attitudes, and do so more broadly than was possible in the past. These days, there's exercise and readily available cosmetic surgery, all of which can prevent the slide from macho to matronly.