COMMENT: I’m Coming Out6th September 2012
Ok, I’ve decided to come out.” How much further out can you get” I hear you ask.
Well, we’re not talking sexuality here. We’re talking about something much more contentious and something that carries a whole lot more prejudice. Age.
My age is something I’ve purposely shrouded in a certain amount of mystery for quite a few years now. Look around the internet and you’ll see it documented as anything between 38 (on one or two rather old websites) and 55. The truth is something of a surprise even to me. If someone had told me when I was 20 that I’d still be gogo dancing, or making a living out of sex at the age I am now, I’d have told them they were mad. People of my age were old. They didn’t have sex anymore and they sure as hell never took their clothes off in public, except maybe at the beach, and then only to swim.
For months before my recent birthday, I’d been subconsciously dreading the event. I decided against a big party or any big fuss. I hid my birth date on facebook to avoid the inevitable deluge of birthday wishes from people I’ve never met. My intention was to let the day slip by much like any other day. That way, I figured, I didn’t have to think of any big change occurring; and actually it worked. I don’t feel any different now from how I did before this momentous event. The day arrived and nothing changed. I was able to lift the same weight as I always did in the gym. I was able to keep up the same intensity in my cardio workouts. The mere fact that I am embarking on another decade of my life does not make me a different person. Anyway most, no all of those I reveal my true age to, are open mouthed with disbelief. And indeed what have I got to moan about? I’m fit. I’m healthy. I’ve finally got most of my insecurities out of the way. I actually like who I am. What’s more, I may once have thought that older guys didn’t have much luck in the sex department, but actually I find it easier to pull now than I ever did, and most of the guys who run after me are young enough to be my son, some could even be my grandson. They all think I’m younger than I am, but when I tell them my true age, really that seems to turn them on even more. I’m trying to think of the downsides, but honestly I can’t . There surely hasn’t been a better time to be able to call oneself a “daddy”.
Society has its version of what I should be like now, but I have no interest in it. Society likes to pigeonhole people, put them in boxes, but I’ve resisted all efforts to define myself by strict parameters all my life. Why should I stop now? Those multiple choice questions with little boxes you tick never seem to apply to me. I always need an extra one for the option “none of the above”.
The young guys at Soho gym, where I work out, think I should tell the world how old I am, more than one of them exclaiming, “I want to be like you when I get to your age!” “You’re an inspiration!” said another, “you should be proud”.
So that’s it. I’m coming out. At least to those of you who read this blog. A while back I turned 60. As I said, I let this momentous event slip by without any real fuss, but I did do something to celebrate. I was asked to gogo dance at a club and I did. I did this for one reason only – because I can. Well maybe there was one other reason. When I’m 70, or 80, or 90, I want to be able to say I was still gogo dancing when I was 60. For, you see, it is just a number. It does not define who I am or what I can do. I am me and I will adapt to the passing years in my own way, not the way society would thrust upon me.
Greg Mitchell is a contributor to The Gay UK. You can read more of Greg’s writing atwww.thegregmitchell.blogspot.com
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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.