Comment: Russell T and the fortysomethings
“You said I must eat so many lemons, ’cause I am so bitter.”
This lyric by singer Kate Nash certainly applies to the way some gay men react when discovering their friend, shag-buddy or drinking companion is dating.
The gay community is often referred as fickle, sexually motivated and afraid of commitment.
Civil partnerships are easing the problems faced by gay couples to be accepted in society at large, but there seems to be some underlying tension among gay people as to whether there is any actual point to it.
Russell T Davies announced this week he is in the process of writing another gay drama, this time focusing on older men – the over 40s.
Russell will explore why gentlemen in their prime are so jealous of gay teenagers.
I can’t help but bring a personal perspective to this; being 25 I find I am stuck in the middle; on the one hand I am much more mature than the newbies.
Long gone are the days when I flew out of the closet or had to suffer GCSEs, A-Levels, and uni life, yet farther ahead of me is the prospect of being one of them; a mature, well-rounded and secure gay man.
Unfortunately, as Russell points out, so many gay men are glad when a couple split up, there seems to be a “self-punishing streak in that gladness”
And, there’s been numerous times that I too have joined in the heckling when I discover a perfectly wonderful couple are no longer a matched item.
That being said, some couples are unbearably smug when in a new relationship, while the longer-lasting couplings are less likely to be paraded in people’s faces.
There is every reason to be jealous of youngsters today. They come out into the world with the opportunity of so much more; social equality, acceptance, a growing gay scene and many more role models.
Legislation has helped the next generation of gays, and made the mature generation green with envy.
One thing these ogres often forget; they made it happen.
If older gay men had not been so mature and self-confident then myself and the young gays coming out would not exist.
A further change that will have a profound effect on gay relationships is the equality to adopt and foster children like any other couple.
Gay men can now have a family. For men over the age of 40 years old this can seem a missed chance; something they will not be able to enjoy.
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However, with older gay men seeming much younger than their heterosexual counterparts they should have no need to worry.
Kelly Clipperton from Kelly and the Kelly Girls, one of the performers at Pride London this year, said in a recent interview that “the institution of marriage is a flawed one.”
For a man in a long-term gay relationship her comments could represent a real underlying opinion of the gay community.
More education and awareness needs to happen to make gay relationships as natural as any other; first it must start on the gay scene.
Perhaps we should all try a little sugar on our lemons first before we cut them out completely.
Ryan Haynes can be heard on ResonanceFM.com, on Sundays, 8.30-9pm or FYI Radio on smallpod.co.uk