I'm always thinking about getting old. It's one of the curses of getting old, particularly if you're a pessimistic northerner. There's little to look forward to. Ha.
I will already contradict myself as my attitude to ageing is very positive. What is the alternative? I've lost people, in some cases criminally young. As I turn 53 this month, I thank the gods for getting older and my time on this planet. I'm pretty healthy, have a few wins under my belt, and hopefully, I will have many more over the next 30 years.
It's only when I catch myself in a photo, or ok, try and get out of bed in a hurry, that I even take stock of my age. The rest of the time, I get on with it as best I can. I'm tall, relatively fit, and I look great in clothes. I can still turn a few heads and (some) stomachs,
I'm with Jody Foster. Gen Z can be incredibly annoying, but I'm surrounded by vibrant, younger gays; yes, they do get on my nerves occasionally, but who doesn't? Did I mention I'm northern?
I think on my most positive days, as ageing gay men, we have it pretty good. We have a free pass to carry on as we did in our twenties (albeit at a slower pace for some of us). I don't think we live by the same rules as our heterosexual counterparts. Have you not noticed how old so many straight men look? It's a source of fascination to me. I think, generally, the gays do pretty well. It's also true that ageing on the gay scene does come with some levels of invisibility, and I've definitely seen hints of that, working on the scene as I do. I dunno about you, but my forays to bars and clubs are much less frequent with every passing year. But I'm thankful I have my DJ gigs and meat parties to dip my toe back into that water whilst leaving lots of nights free to kick back in front of the TV or get out and do something better instead. It's also worth noting that Stuart, my other half, is much younger than me, and he can be more of a little old man than I can, and that's really saying something.
I've considered age for many other reasons over the past year. I'm well aware that the issues of meat ICONS were particularly young last year. I'm committed to finding a more diverse cohort to represent the zine this year. It's taking more effort, but it's proving so worthwhile. Our stories are endlessly fascinating; there's nothing like the experience or age.
You young un's need still apply though; I ain't entirely done with youth yet.