Law and Sexuality

A commentary and resource on Law and Sexuality by Professor Chris Ashford and guests

Queer as Old Folk

I’ve just been catching up with the rest of the Ch4 gay season. Queer as Old Folk was an interesting documentary that followed the lives of a number of “old” gay men. Proably the most likable character we met was Seventy-three-year-old Alan who came out in his teens, and has never hidden his sexuality. We also meet his partner of 40 years, Jimmy. We see them finally tie the knot in a civil partnership.

In contrast, 58-year-old Clive always suspected he might be gay, but got married to subdue his homosexual urges. Eighteen months ago, however, he decided things had to change. Clive lost weight, got fit and came out. He’s still married, and living with his wife and teenage son, but this doesn’t stop him from lining up dates, surfing Gaydar and cruising saunas to have sex with dozens of men each week. The details of which he shares with his son. In one worrying scene we see him informing his son he’s off for a threesome later. Clive is also diagnosed with an STD in one scene but despite clear advice from his doctor continues to meet for a sexual encounter.

Unlike Clive, 64-year-old Roger always knew he was gay, but nevertheless he married and had two children, continuing his gay life on the side. He says his wife knew he was gay, but they continued their marriage, had two children and stayed together for 30 years. Then at 58 Roger met Ian, who was just 18: they’ve now been a couple for six years, and Roger manages Ian’s career as a male stripper (yes, I’m a bit mystified too though I did learn something about how rubber bands are used by strppers).

The programme was good in showing a diverse range of men of an older generation and it was nice to to see some personal stories from a generation that have a fascinating story to say but are all too often neglected by the gay media.

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This entry was posted on July 31, 2007 by in Age, Coming Out, History.

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