Over time, the age of desirability for gay men seems to get younger and younger. The age discrimination and lack of attention older or mature gay men receive is synonymous with the pressure some women feel to get married and have children by a certain age.
Today, gay men are coming out at younger ages. It’s no longer a shock to hear of an openly gay 14-year-old or a 16-year-old in a gay relationship. Even gay bars see floods of 18 to 21-year-old gay boys seeking love and sex from their peers, leaving older gay men on the side lines. The recent attention and broader acceptance of gay marriage has also contributed to increased pressure for gay men to find love before it’s too late, or while they are still desirable.
Of course, this doesn’t make mature gay men charity cases; it only increases the pressure as ageing gay men begin to think about their futures. Some gay men also argue that other gays continue to search for the Fountain of Youth with plastic surgery, eating disorders, excessive gym hours and an obsession with body image.
Nearly 20 percent of gay seniors have no one to care for them should they become ill, versus 2 percent of heterosexual seniors.
Two thirds of gay seniors live alone versus one third of heterosexual seniors. To combat these growing statistics many Gay Community Centres are launching programmes and social groups for older gay men. In Sydney there is MAG, Mature Aged Gays, founded in 1990 and now the largest active group for mature Aged Gays and Bisexual men.