An Open Letter To Ageist Gay Men

g53This piece was originally published on


Dear Ageist Gays,

George Bernard Shaw famously wrote “Youth is wasted on the young.” If you don’t understand what this means, then you likely fall into the category of either ignorant or “young,” which, for the sake of argument, is under the age of 25… OK, OK, 30, for those of you still clinging. But that’s the cutoff, even if you are 50 and describe yourself as a “boi” on your Adam4Adam profile. (More power to you, dude!)

A stubborn minority of gay men maintain ageist attitudes. In the eyes of many gay men, including, evidently, 40 is the new geriatric and 50 is the new dead.

Yes, we’re generalizing. There are plenty of guys out there who understand that age truly is just a number, and that we all just happen to be at different places along our journey. But for those of you who take offense any time a man a few years your senior or sporting a few more wrinkles (wisdom marks, we like to call them) dares to look your way at a bar or say “what’s up?” on SCRUFF, here are three reasons why you need to get over it:

  1. It’s shallow and disrespectful

You don’t like it when people discriminate against you for being gay, right? Because, as Lady Gaga so eloquently put it, you were #BornThisWay. Discriminating against someone based on characteristics that are completely arbitrary, such as age, is, in a word, bigotry. Not to mention, it’s rude.

  1. It’s a waste of time

Gay people have enough crap to deal with already. Truly, there is no need to waste time tearing down others for sport. We’re in the middle of a heated battle for marriage equality, gay men still earn less than heterosexual men in the workplace, and there are still states where it’s legal to fire someone or deny them housing for being gay.

If you’re genuinely bothered by a 40 or 50 or 60-year-old gay man merely existing in the same world as you, you seriously need to check your priorities. Nearly an entire generation of gay men was wiped out during the ’80s and ’90s. Try to appreciate those who are still around. They put up with a lot of shit and created a lot of change so you don’t have to. You should be flirting with them out of gratitude alone.

  1. It’s futile

Brace yourself because this one’s gonna hurt… One day that “old gay man” you loathe and fear is gonna be you. If you are even fortunate enough to grow old, that is.

That’s right, my friend. In the not so distant future, you’re going to find yourself on the receiving end of a younger person’s snarky sideways glances and dramatic eye rolls. Ageism is unique in that you are hating yourself, not just others. Or rather, your future self.

And it doesn’t matter how often you work out, how big your tacky collection of Abercrombie shirts is, or how much Botox you inject into your face, the day will come when you can no longer rely on your youth to get by or excuse your behavior. You will actually have to be good, not simply young.

It’s amazing how time flies. Especially as you get older.


Your friends at Queerty

63 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Ageist Gay Men

  1. ‘one day that old gay man … gonna be you’ .The whole write up is quite philosophical and deep.
    Words of wisdom for those that can understand and are insightful.
    Pp , how you doing, slept well?

    • In as much as old men are a huge turn off for me, but i wouldnt turn u down in a disrespectful manner…….unless ofcourse, u wldnt take a cool No for an answer.

  2. Age is just a number! It shouldn’t b a determinant of how you feel. Its not as if we r not all gonna age anyways. Discriminating against someone based on their age is just sheer stupidity!
    Just try to eat/live healthy, age gracefully nd wisely! Yes! Wisely!
    Moreover, the older the wine, the better!
    Hi Gad!

  3. I swear this is so my mind…..I like my older men, I’ll still like older men 20 years from now. Its actually a lot more fun when I’m courted by an older guy, I think its flattering.

    • Very true! For some unexplainable reason, there is this absence of power/control tussle with grown men, like what u experience with guys ur age or around ur age.
      The seasoned guys just know their place and u know urs and things just flow. Good friends with an older guy and i ve seen how he treats his boys with care and respect. it can be quite refreshing to watch when they bring themselves down to ur level yet some how ve a way of being grown and commanding respect

      • @ Peak, whose side are you on, i ve just finished rounding up your matter downstairs to know found you up here again! kilode, dont let me sue you for speaking from both sides of your mouth. just jejely continue using that sexy mouth to sip green tea or mint tea in peace.
        @Mercury, you looking for an oldie to rub your ego abi:)? okay.

      • Chris if u go down stairs you will see where I said that that I dont discriminate. So long as the below stated demands are met, then I read to jump in. My argument below is just how I feel about the article in general.

  4. Well sometimes I have no apologies for the snubbing given to the so-called older men.
    You would think that older men would have grown wiser and more decent over time, but you would be wrong. Many old guys are stuck in their youth…still shallow and desperate for sex. its like time passed but their brain stood still! There are few older guys that actually act their age. Besides almost all of them are married and living double lives..mtschew

    • yes, there are truly disgusting old men out there; who act like sex is a newly discovered form of crack cocaine. They are as thirsty and immature as 14yr old adolescents … those types who have no interest in knowing you as a person, but just want to jump your bones and go back to play – acting the perfect Daddy/Husband

  5. Gad and Chris will be grinning from ear to ear while watching us trip and fall over all kinds of excuse to justify our choice.

    Either way this is a failed sloppy attempt to make ppl feel bad for their choices. I don’t discriminate. Ve good conversational skills, let me see proof that u take good care of urself, stimulate me intellectually, let me see evidence that u are not just old, but wiser then we are good to go (thats me oooooo). What’s to say these oldies weren’t acting like we are now, when they were younger?

    U are getting old doesn’t mean u should let ur self go! U got married didn’t mean u were licensed to grow a belly. My eyes is set on bisi alimi.pharrel, David Beckham, Jared leto and them other ageless bitches. I plan on snatching them bald by the time I hit 40…………….. or just settling for 2nd place if the waka 2 hard.

    The point is as a gay man, ur life span shortens and dies. U gaz get retirement plan e.g take care of ur body so that u go still set and fit de game, come take style style play extra time. Or just invest in urself so that u can use raba and close any smallie eye. No be here me and una de where ppl de tuple over each other how dem ready to trek from alaba to Alaska for bill gate?
    The write should cool it. Its a personal journey. No need giving silly analysis so ppl can feel guilty and sorry for their choices. I should want to rock and kick with a seasoned guy not cos I feel sorry for him or cos I’m gonna be him one day, I should be with him because I genuinely like and adore him. Shout to JArch! Them de torchlight ur ministry today.

    • Lmaoooooooooo!

      Peakoooooooooooooooo! U r crazy! Alaba to Alaska ehkwa? Welldone!
      On a more serious note, ur points r very valid! Its saddening to see old men behaving nd thinking like kids.
      As for the body, this African mentality of being fat = living the life is stupid/sign of good living! What is wrong with being old nd having a flat stomach? Some ppl would go with d talk that they r busy. Once something matters to u, u create time for it(no matter how small).

    • Not sure why you you think the writer is tryna guilt trip. He afterall didn’t say you should sleep with every old guy that bothers to say hello. Maybe you missed the point of the article. Respect your elders whether or not you want to get down with them. Don’t think you are better than them cause you are younger… Shikena.
      The points you made about not letting yourself go as you age are valid but remember that everyone’s physiology is quite different and as you age your body will betray you. I guess the least people can do is eat healthy. *goes deep in thought*

      • Dear james I think MAYBE you missed the point cos you argument for the article is making it sound like its a “Respect thy elders so that thy that days might be long”. If it is as “shikena” as just respecting ur elders, I wouldn’t be seeing things like discrimination, gaga, born this way, futile, shallow. Im sorry james but its a sloppy attempt to garner sympathy. If not the writer could ve just gone ” if an older guy makes a pass at you and you are not feeling his age, there are ways u can turn him down politely and respectfully.” Then he can go ahead and list those ways. So forgive me if I don’t see what you saw in the article.

        I don’t discriminate, but the writer is definitely trippin.

    • “so that u go still set and fit de game, come take style style play extra time.”

      You know you’re gonna get burned for this right?

  6. Boy! you surely put me on a roll today, cant stop laughing @Peak. Nice piece, no shade though, you kept it real, just the way i would. Let me speak for myself, when i was in my twenties, i would never kick it with a dude
    in his twenties hell no, am older, if you not in your mid thirties, hmmm, i dont think so. It is just my style, aint discriminating, each mallam to his own kettle abi?

    When i was younger i never looked down on anyone, my mates or the oldies, if am not interested on that level, simple , polite and respectful yes would do. I dont find twenties or twinks sexy, (DM forgive me). tiny exceptions though. To rock my world, you must fit in the mainstream society, intellectual, cool, good dress sense(not over the top) and God fearing, i guess then we can roll.

    OAN, i have seen dudes in twenties and thirties letting go of themselves, loads , in this our 9ja, no shading.

  7. Not a fan of older guys but I have nothing against them.

    I just remembered what happened in a gay room on 2go. One guy said that he is just doing ‘gay’ for the main time and he will stop very soon, I tried to explain to him that you cannot just wake up and do ‘gay’ and decide to stop when you feel like. Then he said something that surprised me, he said ‘na people like you whey go dey do gay till old age’, another person said ‘na gay go kill you’…

      • cant stop laughing here, ‘ gay go kill you’ and ‘doing gay for the main time’
        I swear i cant stop laughing
        Sweet mother of God, kai, gobe dey o!

    • I told you that 2go is a place where you go and instantly start to experience rapid death of your valuable brain cells. The kind of cringe – worthy gays on there will instantly show you why the Nigerian gay community is in such a pitiable state – a lot of the problem comes from the mentality of the gays themselves!

  8. Hopefully when I’m old I won’t find myself on hookup sites having to endure snarky young men. I’d have built a life that is rich and full of friends and hopefully my other half will be there too. I’ll be a gay man young gay men will want to be like. I don’t know the kind of belly or face I’ll have but hopefully by then the people around me would have matured enough to know that obsessing on things like that is vanity and just stressful.

    And this article is not about our refusal to do old men.. We seem to be missing the point.

  9. Do I even need to say anything again biko?

    I am just going to stand on the sidelines on this one

    Meanwhile Pinky I believe you know what to do don’t ya?

  10. I have friends who are disgusted by the thought of even being friends with older men. I find it weird, i know we are all entitled to our sexual preferences, but there’s no justification for refusing to be friends with someone simply because he has had more years on earth and a few more wrinkles. When choosing friends, i think the major consideration should be content of character and not physical looks, when choosing sexual partners, of course you’re free to set whatever standards and parameters as you deem fit …

    • Yeah we can be friends(me and old dudes)
      But that’s where it ends
      No fucking because I don’t find them attractive. It doesn’t mean I’m rude to them or hate them. I just don’t find them attractive and no one can guilt me into sleeping with one. MBA.

  11. I am very much into older guys but a lot of them can be condescending. Talking to you like you ate a child and saying silly stuff like ‘is Hi a greeting? Can’t you greet properly?’ i had a lot of ridiculous experiences that i am almost giving up on older guys, expecially married ones. They mostly just wanna get into your pants or get fucked and that’s it. What kind of relationship can one expect from them really?

    • Hey Brian, dont be put of by the standofffish and randy attitude of some older dudes. There are some
      cool ones out there to flex with but bear in mind the yoruba saying, wash your hands
      very well to be able to dine with the elders.

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