How to Embrace Aging as a Gay Man


Gay culture is being a teenager when you're 30 because your teenage years were not yours to live

On Twitter, @introvertgay tweeted, “Gay culture is being a teenager when you’re 30 because your teenage years were not yours to live.”

GQ magazine writer Nick Levine explains, “It’s a heartbreakingly relatable sentiment, and a wryly funny one, because it’s rooted in truth. When you’ve spent a portion of your formative years in the closet, it’s difficult to escape the feeling that you need to make up for lost time.”

Levine talks to guys in their 20s, 30s and 40s to find out how they are dealing with anxiety of aging, both imposed through heteronormative society and within the gay community.

For Bu, an early 30s gay man from Manchester, “heteronormative expectations combined with youth-centric attitudes within the LGBTQ community combined to create a toxic double whammy of panic.”

“As a person of color, I’m already marginalized for something I can’t control—my race and ethnicity,” Bu says. “Now my age was going to be another factor reducing the pool of guys interested in me. People were calling me ‘daddy’ and rejecting me based on my age right after telling me I looked 23.”

“Martin, a gay man from Lausanne, jokes that at 46 he’s ‘probably ancient in gay years.'”

The BB Team agrees that ‘aging gayfully’ is hard. That’s why we added this category to Bottom Basics.

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Featured image by Just dance | Shutterstock

Wednesday October 6, 2021


He/Him | Music, pop culture and LGBTQ writer for Time Out London, NME, Refinery29UK, Anglophenia, Gay Times, Vice UK and i newspaper

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