Saturday, June 16, 2012

One for the Ages

I am a gay middle-aged man who is constantly being asked by bar patrons how old I am. In my opinion, it's nobody's business. I am told by close friends that I look much younger than my years, and that's just fine with me. I would like to be upfront with people, but then there's all the age discrimination I would have to deal with. How do you feel about this?

I completely agree that a person's age is their business and it's kind of rude to ask. It's like asking someone what their income is or if they dye their hair or other personal questions. Some guys will ask you your age not for any obnoxious reason, but because they like you and are probably hoping you're not too young for them. It may be just part of being conversational. Then, unfortunately, we have the assholes who are hoping you are older so they can condescend to you. Fuck them.

In a more perfect world everyone could be totally honest about their age, but in a youth-obsessed society [both gay and straight] that isn't always an option. If you look younger than your years, that's great. Even if you didn't, there are always guys who don't care how old you are, not to mention younger men who like older guys. 

I would suggest shaving a few years off if you can get away with it, but not decades. I'm sure we've all encountered middle-aged or even senior guys who try to pretend they're part of the younger generation -- and talk to you as if you're "an older man" -- when everyone knows they've been around almost [or at least] as long as you have. We put up with it until they start making nasty age-discriminatory remarks, then it's time to put them in their place and remind them how long you've known them. Otherwise, I let people say whatever the hell they want to about their age.

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