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From the Editor

Older, but still won’t sleep with you

Ageism continues to be a big LGBTQIA issue. Proof: When was the last time you – knowingly or not – discriminated against someone older in dating apps, and then just said that it’s your “preference”?

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“He must have been good looking when he was young(er),” this guy in his early 20s said, referring to a guy in his 50s. Then, in a tsk-tsk tone, he added: “Still partying at his age, ha.”

We were in a bar in Quezon City, looking at this topless older guy sexily swaying in the middle of the dance floor, his eyes closed as he seemed to be getting lost in the tubthumping sound of the music.

Then offhandedly, he added: “I’d pity fuck him though.”

I looked at the younger guy; I was… flabbergasted. His statements were wrong, for me, on so many levels.

To state the obvious, the statements were ageist. It is so loaded with… meanings – e.g.:

  • this seeming contempt of people who aren’t like us (whether because they don’t look like us, aren’t in the same age group as us, don’t belong to the same social circle as us, and so on).
  • the seeming normalization of (openly) ridiculing people who do not fit our concepts of “acceptable”.
  • this belief that older people can’t be good-looking (or cease to be desirable) when they age, when – in fact – that older guy we were eyeing is (not “was”) good looking (what others may refer to as a DILF), which was why the younger guy (and myself) noticed him in the first place.
  • blatant objectification of bodies particularly (in this case) in the gay and bi communities.
  • that older people ought not have fun anymore – e.g. this insinuation that older people ought not be in spaces believed to be for younger people.
  • this assumption that “choosing” is a “right” only of the young, so that older people are presupposed NOT to have choices anymore because, hey, they grew older.

As it is, older LGTQIA people already face more challenges as they deal not just with their LGBTQIA identities, but how aging (may) adversely affect these.

Yeah, various studies (scientific, yeah) already looked at the disadvantage-ing of older LGBTQIA people solely because they… grew old – e.g. institutional heterosexism (or this assumption that elder society is either heterosexual or asexual); disregard of the sex life of seniors; “segregation” of older LGBTQIA people from the rest of the LGBTQIA community (on this, just think of our treatment of the Home for the Golden Gays, seeing its residents not as partners but as “pet projects”); and yes, the latent discrimination of older people within the LGBTQIA community.

We need to do better to be more inclusive of those who came before us.

This is a message for everyone, with someone bound to be older than all of us – i.e. that we need to be aware of how we treat them, and make sure we’re actually inclusive of them in our efforts (e.g. like… actually invite them to speak about their issues whenever there are talks about SOGIE Equality Bill or anti-discrimination ordinances, or include them in HIV-related efforts because, yes, they are just-as-at-risk for infection).

Also – and on a bitchy note – we need to remember that getting old does not remove the power of those who got older.

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One time, I was checking profiles in Grindr.

Grindr and Romeo, it has been said, made gay and bi dating “easier”. You check profiles to see what others are looking for (e.g. sexual preferences, age bracket, “clans”, and so on); if you think you have “it”, you tap or chat; if the initial introductions went smoothly, you send pic/s; and if that, too, worked out, then… you can VC, or just proceed to actually meeting (to date, watch Netflix, lift each other up in ML, to play around/fuck, or whatever).

But these apps actually also highlight how discriminatory members of the LGBTQIA people can be with the “othered” LGBTQIA people.

Case in point: Ageism in the gay and sexual community, as exemplified in dating apps.

One time, this 20ish guy chatted with me in Grindr. I told him three things:

  1. I am over the age limit his profile stated that he’s looking for (18 to 25);
  2. we won’t click as he’s not the type I generally look for (i.e. he’s ageist); and yet,
  3. “Happy hunting!” anyway.

He seemed not to have comprehended what I told him. Instead, he still sent his pics (he was decent enough to do this, I suppose), coupled with the ask for my pics.

I sent mine. As courtesy.

“(Yeah, you) breached the age limit (I’m looking for),” he messaged nonchalantly. Then: “But I don’t mind; I’d fuck you.”

Flattered, yes. But also appalled not at the directness (that one, I admire) but at the blind assumption that the choice was his, and his alone, to make. And this choice I supposedly surrender because… what, I’m older than him?

Back at that bar in Cubao, I didn’t hold my tongue: “Hey, that topless guy may be older, much older than you, but… will he even like to fuck with you?”

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Because yes, just because we’re getting older doesn’t automatically mean we’re going to sleep with you.


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