Should older LGBTs bother ?

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Whatever

New member
Dec 29, 2021
19
22
3
North America
Some thoughts on being an older LGBT (50s), in the hope that this forum evolves...

One of the most discouraging aspects of LGBT communities - especially online - is the near total absence of people middle-aged or older.

The LGBT world is already notoriously centered on young people (because it is centered on sexuality). Occasionally, it pays lip service to the experiences and needs of older people, but such topics quickly die out.

All this is understandable, to some extent: LGBT identities are foremost sexual in nature, and younger people are apparently the most sexually active generations (an oversimplification?). Furthermore, LGBTs are often cut off from their biological families, and most never have offspring of their own - so LGBTs live in a world devoid of generational depth.

As a result, older LGBTs are prevented from sharing their wisdom with the younger, even though this is one of the constants of human societies.

Meanwhile, younger people - trapped in their bubbles - have virtually no idea of what their lives might be like in coming decades, or how to prepare for those changes.

In short, the LGBT world lives in a constant state of amnesia - estranged from both past and future. Only the present seems to matter.

In my view, this estrangement is only getting worse, as wealthier societies become increasingly polarized and tribalized. (I could say much more about this, given the directions that younger LGBTs' priorities have taken, but this is not the place.)

Increasingly I wonder why I should care. It's too lonely a battle to fight - especially when most of life's struggles are already behind me.

Perhaps what the LGBT world needs is a dedicated site for inter-generational sharing - one with enough momentum to reach a wide audience and develop an authoritative voice. I hope such a place already exists, and that I simply haven't found it. The fact that one does not appear to exist on Reddit - which, for all its downsides, would be an obvious choice - is not encouraging.

But here we are. I hope others will have thoughts to add.
 

Gigi

Active member
Jul 2, 2021
187
137
43
Brighton
Some thoughts on being an older LGBT (50s), in the hope that this forum evolves...

One of the most discouraging aspects of LGBT communities - especially online - is the near total absence of people middle-aged or older.

The LGBT world is already notoriously centered on young people (because it is centered on sexuality). Occasionally, it pays lip service to the experiences and needs of older people, but such topics quickly die out.

All this is understandable, to some extent: LGBT identities are foremost sexual in nature, and younger people are apparently the most sexually active generations (an oversimplification?). Furthermore, LGBTs are often cut off from their biological families, and most never have offspring of their own - so LGBTs live in a world devoid of generational depth.

As a result, older LGBTs are prevented from sharing their wisdom with the younger, even though this is one of the constants of human societies.

Meanwhile, younger people - trapped in their bubbles - have virtually no idea of what their lives might be like in coming decades, or how to prepare for those changes.

In short, the LGBT world lives in a constant state of amnesia - estranged from both past and future. Only the present seems to matter.

In my view, this estrangement is only getting worse, as wealthier societies become increasingly polarized and tribalized. (I could say much more about this, given the directions that younger LGBTs' priorities have taken, but this is not the place.)

Increasingly I wonder why I should care. It's too lonely a battle to fight - especially when most of life's struggles are already behind me.

Perhaps what the LGBT world needs is a dedicated site for inter-generational sharing - one with enough momentum to reach a wide audience and develop an authoritative voice. I hope such a place already exists, and that I simply haven't found it. The fact that one does not appear to exist on Reddit - which, for all its downsides, would be an obvious choice - is not encouraging.

But here we are. I hope others will have thoughts to add.

Hi Whatever,

in my opinion there are several reasons why older lgbt take less part in a forum like this.

Oldies like me often prefer real life to virtual life. We’re socialised without computer and smartphone, doesn’t mean I don’t use it, but less.

Oldies normally don’t struggle anymore with their sexuality, they know where they stand. Reading about the problems of our younger members here sometimes makes me jealous. Knowledge about sexuality and acceptance of different forms is more widespread than 50 years ago. If you grew up with “don’t ask don’t tell” normally you’re not looking for a forum to exchange experiences.

Doesn’t mean that I would underestimate the struggle of younger ones, sometimes I’m very sorry about the problems we’re talking about.

Anyway, I like this forum where we can openly exchange opinions.

Gigi
 

AudryLeigh

Administrator
Staff member
Paid Membership
Jan 2, 2022
74
79
18
Eugene, Oregon, USA
Hi Whatever,

in my opinion there are several reasons why older lgbt take less part in a forum like this.

Oldies like me often prefer real life to virtual life. We’re socialised without computer and smartphone, doesn’t mean I don’t use it, but less.

Oldies normally don’t struggle anymore with their sexuality, they know where they stand. Reading about the problems of our younger members here sometimes makes me jealous. Knowledge about sexuality and acceptance of different forms is more widespread than 50 years ago. If you grew up with “don’t ask don’t tell” normally you’re not looking for a forum to exchange experiences.

Doesn’t mean that I would underestimate the struggle of younger ones, sometimes I’m very sorry about the problems we’re talking about.

Anyway, I like this forum where we can openly exchange opinions.

Gigi
Hey Whatever,

I'll be 75 in a few weeks and I'm really looking forward to watching and maybe helping this site grow. I used to be part of a similar but much larger site which unfortunately died -- maybe because the owner got COVID -- we don't know what happened. Anyway, I was very active on that site. It was my home away from home, as it was for lots of the members. I wasn't the only oldie there -- wasn't even the oldest. It was, of course, mostly young people, but most of them were very engaged with us oldies and anxious to benefit from our knowledge and experience. For a long time (until it died) that site was a big part of my life. I loved it and when it died the few of us who were in touch outside the site mourned it's passing like we had lost a family member. We had. In fact we had lost many family members. I was delighted to find this site, and really hope it grows and becomes the vibrant community the now deceased site had been. Hang around. Engage the people who are here, regardless of their age. In my experience, in [most of] the LGBT world, people are very accepting. I'm glad you are here.

Hugs,
Audry Leigh
 

TheGrayArea

Member
Jan 7, 2022
35
30
18
Connecticut
Some thoughts on being an older LGBT (50s), in the hope that this forum evolves...

One of the most discouraging aspects of LGBT communities - especially online - is the near total absence of people middle-aged or older.

The LGBT world is already notoriously centered on young people (because it is centered on sexuality). Occasionally, it pays lip service to the experiences and needs of older people, but such topics quickly die out.

All this is understandable, to some extent: LGBT identities are foremost sexual in nature, and younger people are apparently the most sexually active generations (an oversimplification?). Furthermore, LGBTs are often cut off from their biological families, and most never have offspring of their own - so LGBTs live in a world devoid of generational depth.

As a result, older LGBTs are prevented from sharing their wisdom with the younger, even though this is one of the constants of human societies.

Meanwhile, younger people - trapped in their bubbles - have virtually no idea of what their lives might be like in coming decades, or how to prepare for those changes.

In short, the LGBT world lives in a constant state of amnesia - estranged from both past and future. Only the present seems to matter.

In my view, this estrangement is only getting worse, as wealthier societies become increasingly polarized and tribalized. (I could say much more about this, given the directions that younger LGBTs' priorities have taken, but this is not the place.)

Increasingly I wonder why I should care. It's too lonely a battle to fight - especially when most of life's struggles are already behind me.

Perhaps what the LGBT world needs is a dedicated site for inter-generational sharing - one with enough momentum to reach a wide audience and develop an authoritative voice. I hope such a place already exists, and that I simply haven't found it. The fact that one does not appear to exist on Reddit - which, for all its downsides, would be an obvious choice - is not encouraging.

But here we are. I hope others will have thoughts to add.
Hey Whatever
I suppose I shouldn't even try to say anything about this, and I hope nobody's gonna hate me for this, being that I'm only sixteen. But I clicked on this thread because I was curious and now here I am.
I have finally come to terms with my identity and figured out who exactly I am. I am finally comfortable with myself. And that's great. But I got here all by myself. Which sucked. Sure, I had all my friends that are also LGBTQ+, but I can't even count how many times I've wished I had an adult to go to who actually understands what I'm going through, who got through it and has continued living through it for many years after. For example, the only other older trans person I've ever met is this guy that comes into the store where I work. He always waits in my line to check out to see how I'm doing.
So while I understand that most of life's struggles are behind you, as you said, most of those struggles, people my age haven't even fathomed. i can only speak for myself here, so I'm gonna do that and say that I personally think you should absolutely bother with things like this; if not for you, then for younger lgbtq's like myself.
I'm new here, and I'd love to hear more about your story, things you've gone through and whatnot.
 

Gigi

Active member
Jul 2, 2021
187
137
43
Brighton
Hey Whatever,

I'll be 75 in a few weeks and I'm really looking forward to watching and maybe helping this site grow. I used to be part of a similar but much larger site which unfortunately died -- maybe because the owner got COVID -- we don't know what happened. Anyway, I was very active on that site. It was my home away from home, as it was for lots of the members. I wasn't the only oldie there -- wasn't even the oldest. It was, of course, mostly young people, but most of them were very engaged with us oldies and anxious to benefit from our knowledge and experience. For a long time (until it died) that site was a big part of my life. I loved it and when it died the few of us who were in touch outside the site mourned it's passing like we had lost a family member. We had. In fact we had lost many family members. I was delighted to find this site, and really hope it grows and becomes the vibrant community the now deceased site had been. Hang around. Engage the people who are here, regardless of their age. In my experience, in [most of] the LGBT world, people are very accepting. I'm glad you are here.

Hugs,
Audry Leigh
Hi Audrey,

I’m sure you’re talking about the forum I also took part in. I was really sad, that I didn’t exchange email addresses with some of the members. That way I lost some precious contacts when it died down.

Gigi
 

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marko

New member
Oct 26, 2021
21
20
3
Mojave Desert
Haha. I'm also an oldie (late 60s) and definitely gay. You have voiced my concerns succinctly, Sr. Whatever. I have missed the former board's sub forums relevant to the various groups of LGBT+ peoples. And kudos to you, Sr. TheGrayArea, for your comments. I plan to stay here, but there has been a dearth of posts that I feel competent to comment on.
 

Thief King Bakura

King of THieves
Staff member
Paid Membership
Jul 22, 2021
71
41
18
Wonderland
While I'm only approaching thirty and may be considered a bit of a youngin (although I don't feel like it due to my life experiences of trauma and such), I remember being a part of a forum much similar to this one. Like Audrey said, it was also my home away from home. Wasn't sure what happened to that site.....it up and croaked one day much to my dismay. That site helped me learn more about who I was and it lead me to discovering I was trans. It also was my safety net during a turbulent time in my life.

I learned a lot from the older and wiser folks on that site. Their wisdom is part of what has lead me to where I am today. I never would have discovered myself if it weren't for this site. A lot of older and wiser folks shared their vast array of knowledge and life experience with us youngins and even younger. It truly was a great place. I enjoyed being apart of that place. I found my online family there...and while I may not be able to reconnect with everybody there, this website forum has lead me to finding a few of my old LGBTchat.net peeps.

I think a lot of today's youth (including myself too, even though I'm not a teenager anymore) could benefit from wisdom of our LGBTQ+ elders. I am willing to interact and learn from those much older than I and their history. That's partially why I'm here. I'm also hoping to share my own experiences and support today's up and coming youths who are still discovering themselves. I hope I can aid them in their quest for self discovery...I may not know everything but I can try to help with my own experiences.

I know I don't know everything about LGBTQ+ history and I don't pretend to. I am willing to learn from those much older and wiser than I. I feel like we could benefit from hearing their stories. For context, I didn't discover I was a trans guy until late into my twenties or even that I was bi if it weren't from direction or guidance from those wiser than I. I have them to thank for helping me get to where I am today.
 
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Gigi

Active member
Jul 2, 2021
187
137
43
Brighton
H
While I'm only approaching thirty and may be considered a bit of a youngin (although I don't feel like it due to my life experiences of trauma and such), I remember being a part of a forum much similar to this one. Like Audrey said, it was also my home away from home. Wasn't sure what happened to that site.....it up and croaked one day much to my dismay. That site helped me learn more about who I was and it lead me to discovering I was trans. It also was my safety net during a turbulent time in my life.

I learned a lot from the older and wiser folks on that site. Their wisdom is part of what has lead me to where I am today. I never would have discovered myself if it weren't for this site. A lot of older and wiser folks shared their vast array of knowledge and life experience with us youngins and even younger. It truly was a great place. I enjoyed being apart of that place. I found my online family there...and while I may not be able to reconnect with everybody there, this website forum has lead me to finding a few of my old LGBTchat.net peeps.

I think a lot of today's youth (including myself too, even though I'm not a teenager anymore) could benefit from wisdom of our LGBTQ+ elders. I am willing to interact and learn from those much older than I and their history. That's partially why I'm here. I'm also hoping to share my own experiences and support today's up and coming youths who are still discovering themselves. I hope I can aid them in their quest for self discovery...I may not know everything but I can try to help with my own experiences.

I know I don't know everything about LGBTQ+ history and I don't pretend to. I am willing to learn from those much older and wiser than I. I feel like we could benefit from hearing their stories. For context, I didn't discover I was a trans guy until late into my twenties or even that I was bi if it weren't from direction or guidance from those wiser than I. I have them to thank for helping me get to where I am today.
Hi Ushriomiya,

your comment had really struck a cord with me.
 
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Gigi

Active member
Jul 2, 2021
187
137
43
Brighton
H

Hi Ushriomiya,

your comment had really struck a cord with me.
seconda parte
my internet crashed after the first sentence...

It took me a long time to come to terms with myself. And it was with the help of an older guy by the way of a longtime dialogue via email. I heard about him on an Internet platform and took the courage to write him an email.

I had no living person around to speak to about my real feelings, that way the Internet was helpful.

And yes, the old forum was great; but I hope with a little bit of patience, this will close the gap.

Gigi
 
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Reactions: Thief King Bakura

Barefoot

Administrator
Staff member
Paid Membership
Jan 12, 2022
24
27
13
Maine USA
Some thoughts on being an older LGBT (50s), in the hope that this forum evolves...

One of the most discouraging aspects of LGBT communities - especially online - is the near total absence of people middle-aged or older.

The LGBT world is already notoriously centered on young people (because it is centered on sexuality). Occasionally, it pays lip service to the experiences and needs of older people, but such topics quickly die out.

All this is understandable, to some extent: LGBT identities are foremost sexual in nature, and younger people are apparently the most sexually active generations (an oversimplification?). Furthermore, LGBTs are often cut off from their biological families, and most never have offspring of their own - so LGBTs live in a world devoid of generational depth.

As a result, older LGBTs are prevented from sharing their wisdom with the younger, even though this is one of the constants of human societies.

Meanwhile, younger people - trapped in their bubbles - have virtually no idea of what their lives might be like in coming decades, or how to prepare for those changes.

In short, the LGBT world lives in a constant state of amnesia - estranged from both past and future. Only the present seems to matter.

In my view, this estrangement is only getting worse, as wealthier societies become increasingly polarized and tribalized. (I could say much more about this, given the directions that younger LGBTs' priorities have taken, but this is not the place.)

Increasingly I wonder why I should care. It's too lonely a battle to fight - especially when most of life's struggles are already behind me.

Perhaps what the LGBT world needs is a dedicated site for inter-generational sharing - one with enough momentum to reach a wide audience and develop an authoritative voice. I hope such a place already exists, and that I simply haven't found it. The fact that one does not appear to exist on Reddit - which, for all its downsides, would be an obvious choice - is not encouraging.

But here we are. I hope others will have thoughts to add.
Very accurate and well stated.
 
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Thief King Bakura

King of THieves
Staff member
Paid Membership
Jul 22, 2021
71
41
18
Wonderland
seconda parte
my internet crashed after the first sentence...

It took me a long time to come to terms with myself. And it was with the help of an older guy by the way of a longtime dialogue via email. I heard about him on an Internet platform and took the courage to write him an email.

I had no living person around to speak to about my real feelings, that way the Internet was helpful.

And yes, the old forum was great; but I hope with a little bit of patience, this will close the gap.

Gigi
Thanks, I'm glad you liked what I said. I too am also glad for the internet. I never would have learned what it meant to be transgender or even discovered myself without it. I was glad to have a place where I could freely express and experiment with my self expression without fear or judgment.

Please call me Ace or Bakura. ^^
 
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Gigi

Active member
Jul 2, 2021
187
137
43
Brighton
Thanks, I'm glad you liked what I said. I too am also glad for the internet. I never would have learned what it meant to be transgender or even discovered myself without it. I was glad to have a place where I could freely express and experiment with my self expression without fear or judgment.

Please call me Ace or Bakura. ^^

Hi Ace,

in my opinion a lot of us older guys would have had less problems to come to terms with themselves if the internet would have been existing. Being once a teenager myself the word gay with its meaning of today didn’t exist e.g.. At that time I couldn’t classify all the little signs which obviously where there, I had no clue and no one to talk to.

But “what ifs” don’t help anymore, it’s the way it is now.

I’m glad that sites like this exist.

Gigi
 
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