Film maker PJ Raval talks about his documentary, “Before You Know It”, and ageism within the LGBT community:
“We live in a youth-obsessed culture and the gay community is equally, if not more, guilty of this. We’ve learned to equate “gay” with images of young, shirtless, ripped abs men. Gay identity has become synonymous with being sexually desired… So I do feel the LGBT seniors have an extra challenge ahead of them because they are essentially being repressed by societal expectations after having spent a large portion of their life trying to express themselves.
“…I think the younger LGBT generation needs to recognize they too will become part of an LGBT senior population. The aging process is inevitable and perhaps should be embraced rather than feared.”
PJ Raval, Documentary Filmmaker, Talks About ‘Before You Know It’
This photo of two men kissing taken in a photobooth would have gotten them in serious trouble. The photo was taken in 1953.
View photo comments in Reddit.
Two particular age groups that are routinely left out of LGBT discussions are the very young and the older people.
Robert Espinoza responds to Jon Bernstein’s “In Defense of Aging” and expands the discussion of ageism among the LGBTs and how we often discriminate against and ignore our elders.
Mainstream culture and various sub-cultures often conflate beauty with youth, and self-worth with appearance, which leaves many people — not just gay men — feeling unattractive, insecure and potentially depressed as they age.
AIDS severely impacted the mental health of many people who survived it, largely LGBT and people of color, while wiping out a generation of LGBT leaders.
Finally, LGBT communities haven’t properly made room for older people who feel “aged out” of social venues.
LGBT People: Let’s talk about ageism.