The Generation Gap -or- How Young Gay Men mistreat Older Gay Men

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    Jul 11, 2009 3:58 PM GMT
    Recently, a friend of mine (older) has been dealing with some legal issues because of some things that a younger gay man has said, all of which are not true and only meant to hurt him. I've been thinking about this general subject for a while so I'm developing an open letter to younger gay men and I would like some of your help.

    I've noticed far too often the way that younger gay men mistreat, talk down to, and misinterpret the intentions of older gay men. A number of my friends, most of whom are younger than me, seem to think that when an older gay man is talking to him, he solely seeks sex or views the younger man as a physical object. This is really funny to me, because it seems the uglier the younger gay man is, the more convinced he is that all older men see him only sexually. (And if so--hey--what's the problem with viewing someone sexually?)

    Does anyone else have similar feelings, or have experienced maligned treatment towards not just older men, but because anyone older than the person saying hurtful things? I'd really like to address this issue, because I feel it is something that divides the gay community and cannibalizes our movement, and there are at least a few people in particular I'd like to be better equiped in order to fix this.
  • TallGWMvballe...

    Posts: 1925

    Jul 11, 2009 4:54 PM GMT
    Sadly,the story you related is all too common.
    It seems there is a pervasive attitude among younger gay men, that unless you are "hot" in their view which includes being younger or at least very near their age, you are not a real person so there is no need to be polite, respectful or even acknowledge them in many cases. Yes, again just saying hello to someone younger can get the most vitriolic responses if any at all. I agree that it also seems the less attractive the person, the more insecure he is and the more likely he is to strike out at anyone who shows the slightest interest if that person is not hot.
    What to do about this?
    It has to be up to smart, younger guys to see the self destruction and cutting off their own noses to spite their face meaning setting themselves up for the same treatment as they get older by being so hateful and mistrusting of older than themselves now. Of course if when you are young you go on and on about how older men are horrible, ugly, unattractive and should be ignored or hated, how will you view yourself? This is why there are bitter old self hating queens.


    Thank you for posting this.
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    Jul 11, 2009 5:01 PM GMT
    I think in general, not just among the gay community, respect for anyone older is declining. You can see this in news stories of nursing home abuse, how students deal with their teachers...ect.
    And of course there are older people who prey on the young, child abuse...ect. So, it's a 2-way street, and both sides keep getting into accidents!
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    Jul 11, 2009 5:30 PM GMT
    Skotlake saidRecently, a friend of mine (older) has been dealing with some legal issues because of some things that a younger gay man has said, all of which are not treat and only meant to hurt him. I've been thinking about this general subject for a while so I'm developing an open letter to younger gay men and I would like some of your help.

    I've noticed far too often the way that younger gay men mistreat, talk down to, and misinterpret the intentions of older gay men. A number of my friends, most of whom are younger than me, seem to think that when an older gay man is talking to him, he solely seeks sex or views the younger man as a physical object. This is really funny to me, because it seems the uglier the younger gay man is, the more convinced he is that all older men see him only sexually. (And if so--hey--what's the problem with viewing someone sexually?)

    Does anyone else have similar feelings, or have experienced maligned treatment towards not just older men, but because anyone older than the person saying hurtful things? I'd really like to address this issue, because I feel it is something that divides the gay community and cannibalizes our movement, and there are at least a few people in particular I'd like to be better equiped in order to fix this.


    I'm 18 and been told that I'm pretty mature for my age. I understand what you mean how younger people (around my age) treat older people.Sometimes you just want to tell people "get over yourself.The man only wants a conversation and not your number". I Personally love it when anyone talks to me as long as you don't get touchy freely.Viewing Someone sexually is soo normal lol. I always do it, who doesn'ticon_lol.gif. If some guy came up to me that was in his 50's or whatever age and asked me for sex I would politely decline the offer,but If you keep on bugging me thats the only time I would go off on him.The uglier younger gay men are usually the ones that got a high horse for Christmas. I just got a bikeicon_smile.gif
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jul 11, 2009 5:41 PM GMT
    It has nothing to do with gay men. There are stupid people across the board. How do you think most 20-something girls would feel if a 50-something man came up to talk to them? People have boundaries with age, and that's not an excuse to be rude to someone older or younger, but you need to understand people will all act differently around different ages. Personally, I love older guys. Just ask Tony icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 11, 2009 5:44 PM GMT
    calibro saidIt has nothing to do with gay men. There are stupid people across the board. How do you think most 20-something girls would feel if a 50-something man came up to talk to them? People have boundaries with age, and that's not an excuse to be rude to someone older or younger, but you need to understand people will all act differently around different ages. Personally, I love older guys. Just ask Tony icon_biggrin.gif


    Yeah true true! 90% of my Girlfriends are like that gay or straight.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Jul 11, 2009 5:54 PM GMT
    I guess I haven't noticed the age gap rude thing so much. Young guys have always been pretty nice and respectful to me and I in return to them. I do think it can work both ways though. I have seen older guys be rude and disrespectful to younger guys as well. Bottom-line: There are jerks at every age.
  • qalbi30

    Posts: 116

    Jul 11, 2009 5:59 PM GMT
    The comments that your post has raised are interesting,I have always been attracted to more mature people but now that I am old can understand the quote"that youth is wasted on the young"

    Have a few young friends whose freshness and bright outlook on life is a joy to see,am fortunate that they confide in me and feel free to discuss any subject.

    There has to be mutual respect in any friendship and also boundaries
    that one does not cross,sex being one of them.

    Most older gays have lived through difficult times and sometimes can suggest ways of living that will be of help to somebody who is coming to terms with their sexuality.

    Sadly there are folk in the gay world who will manipulate the young or the old for their own ends,distance is the best defense.
  • Fiveldsp

    Posts: 99

    Jul 11, 2009 6:05 PM GMT
    The only gay friends I have are 15+ years older than me because of the maturity. I get really offended everytime I see people put in a profile that they have no interest in talking to anyone over a certain age or refer to older gentlemen as trolls or anything else like that. I wouldn't be the person I am today if I brushed off or ignored my older friends. I've learned more from them than I ever could have from someone my age or younger.
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    Jul 11, 2009 6:08 PM GMT
    I think in many parts of the gay culture, youth and youthful appearance and appearance in general is overemphasized. But so is "sex". And perhaps that is a part of the problem. Perhaps those who are so focused on sex or romance interpret any attempt at socialization as "he is hitting on me!" When you combine that with the fear and loathing of aging, then you have the perfect storm for this kind of rejection.

    This problem also stems from this deep seated need for Homosexuals to make up for the inadequacies that society projects on gays. We try to overcompensate in appearance, masculinity etc among other things like we can never be good enough! Always clawing to the top like its a "survival of the fittest."

    Focusing again of the relationship between younger and older gay men, there is much to be gained and learned. Older people in general need to feel relevant and not left behind. Everyone gets old but there is no need to expect that the young and old cannot connect. Many older gay people won't have the family support that heterosexuals will have due to lack of children. Some older gay people for lack of children might kind of adopt younger gay people in a mentoring kind of way. There are several in the last 15 years that I talk with a lot when they just need someone to talk to when they are going through things that young people go through.

    There is much knowledge and experience to be passed down as well as encouragement and other forms of mutual support. So just be friendly and have an open mind to prevent the gay generation gap.

    Acceptance is something that can be applied in general to appearance, race, culture, age, etc. It costs nothing to be nice and spread kindness and it will do EVERYONE a world of good!


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    Jul 11, 2009 6:17 PM GMT
    Ahh more stereotypes and assumptions.

    I'm 24. I'm much more comfortable around older people (both gay and stricon_cool.gif in general that younger people. For some reason I feel safer--I suppose I too have my own stereotypes.

    As for the younger generation disrespecting the older generation... I'm not sure what that's about. Could someone give examples?

    I know my generation like s to be treated as equals. And many do not tolerate the older generation's standard answer to complicated questions, "becasue I said so." If I am restricted from doing something... I want to know exactly why that is. I am not afraid to question authority... in a respectful way of course. I know other older generations possibly did not do this as much.
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    Jul 11, 2009 6:31 PM GMT
    What do I say about this.

    Regardless of your age, you will be hit on by older guys. Think about that for a minute. For me, older might be 60, 70, or...? A 20 something does not hold the cornerstone on this subject. There will ALWAYS be someone older hitting on you... regardless of your current age. Its life.

    A friend told me just yesterday, I should visit him in Palm Springs. Id be hot chicken there! LOL!! I like younger men. I liked younger men when I was 20,30, 40 and now 50. Its my reality.

    Its NOT just about sex. Its a physical and mental connection. For me its that I seem to have more in common, oddly enough, provided he is mature. Im a younger 51yo. Would I, and do I date guys my age? Absolutley! But, Im attracted to very few of them. There are a few on here my age group Id date!

    If I approach a younger guy because Im interested, and he gives me attitude, he's done me a huge favor. It speaks volumes about who he is. He's helped me cut to the chase and show me who he is. He's shown me his true colors which might take me months to find out if we did dated.

    I have a date this afternoon actually. He's 31. He approached me. He is very handsome and athletic, but more importantly appears to be intelligent and mature. Its a first date.. wish me luck!
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    Jul 11, 2009 6:40 PM GMT
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    Jul 11, 2009 6:51 PM GMT
    I haven't witnessed the kind of rudeness you talk about (at least not here in Mexico) but there certainly seems to be a big divide between younger and older gay men in the generals.

    In my own experience, all the older gay men that have approached me have been wonderfully polite. Some were indeed trying to see if I was interested in them and as you said, there is nothing wrong with that; some were trying to mentor me as the seemingly new guy in Rainbow Town and I certainly appreciated that.

    But, as someone who loves conversation with older people in all kinds of settings I couldn't help but to notice a few things...

    There seems to be this heightened generational gap. The few last decades in the gay community had been so full of changes, things that we younger guys take for granted today were but dreams just a couples decades ago. The struggle of past decades were a very different place to grow that the struggles of today and it shows. Is not that it is bad or not as good, it is different, but the differences in values among people sharing such a important experience shock many otherwise open minded people. Add to that the general generation gap among the whole population and I think I have strong theory going on here.

    How to overcome the big divide in our culture will take more work. One idea: using the marriage equality effort. I so appreciate when married folks (whether recognized or not by a state) set a good example with their relationships and I believe there is great common territory there. Younger guys are growing into a culture where the possibilities of marriage and LTRs are bigger and more tangible. I find that many young guys admire older guys in LTRs and respect and look up to that. What do you think?
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    Jul 11, 2009 7:02 PM GMT
    I had the wonderful opportunity to do a documentary on LGBT elders for an organization called openhouse in San Francisco. One of the issues that came up--across the board--was the issue of ageism... or, at least, the lack of visibility for older LGBT seniors. It was an issue I wanted to explore more, but was not able to within the scope of this particular piece.

    If anyone is so inclined and you have 14 minutes, feel free to watch the film. I have included the link. My next project is on the LGBT Blind community, so if anyone knows of any LGBT blind people, please drop me a line as well.

    http://vimeo.com/4876805
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jul 11, 2009 7:24 PM GMT
    Let's be fair here. The behavior you're describing here is rude and problematic--especially with it getting into legal issues. It's also the case that many individuals view young/younger gay men as meat. We've even had threads here on RealJock about how all 20-somethings are too immature to date. Friendships are relatively rare when people are more than 20 years apart in age. At some point, it's perfectly reasonable to wonder why the other person decided to initiate a conversation.

    I'm not one of the beautiful people, and I make it pretty explicit on any dating site I fill out a profile that I don't do casual sex...and I still routinely get propositioned for anonymous sex. It also happens by men substantially older than me more often than would be expected from the age distribution of people on the sites in question. It may not be nice of me, but I now tend to assume that when a man 30-40 years older than me starts a conversation online without making it clear he's read my profile or that he's responding to a forum post or the like, he's probably not just interested in a conversation--because more than 90% of the time that's happened to me, that's been the case. I've yet to say something rude to guy before he was totally out of line--and most of the time, when a guy is totally out of line I just block him--but I'm also not an adonis. If I looked like some of the men here, I imagine such propositions would be far more frequent than they are in my life, and I could well run out of patience.

    And, yes, I recognize that from the original post that puts me at risk for being labeled ugly, given that apparently it's the uglier guys who are more convinced that the older ones are only interested in sex. So be it. Few of the guys here who are of my parents generation seem to fit that bill, but the forums here are an unusual place in the online gay community. Other sites, even ones that aren't marketed as being primarily for hookups, have a tendency to skew in that direction.
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    Jul 11, 2009 7:27 PM GMT
    As somone going on middle aged - I am 38. I can say the disrespct can really goes both ways. When I was in my 20s I had some really cool older friends, but there were also those older guys who would act like your friend, only to later turn on you when you didn't want anything sexual with them. It is easy to understand how younger guys get jaded towards older guys. Even recently, a few years ago, I befriended an older guy in his 60s and after a while when it became clear I wasn't interested in anything sexaul he turned on me. He even caused some issues for me at work.
    I am willing to have friends across all age groups. I am, though, totally understanding when a younger guy finds me too old. I don't mind youger guys but my preference is really guys around my age (or little younger). It does get annoying though if you just say "hi" to a younger guy and he responds like you are a troll trying to pick him up. One the other side it is also annoying when an older guy uses "friendship" as an attempt to make unwelcomed sexual advances.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jul 11, 2009 7:38 PM GMT
    I guess I'm kind of in between and have never had issues with younger or with older gay guys.... I've generally found, what you hand out... is what you receive.
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    Jul 11, 2009 7:41 PM GMT
    I have lots of friends that are younger than me...in fact, just about all of my friends are, but I've also been told that I have a natural way about me that makes people feel safe and comfortable when I'm around. *shrug* Regardless, younger people are generally pretty nice to me.

    Skotlake saidA number of my friends...seem to think that when an older gay man is talking to him, he solely seeks sex or views the younger man as a physical object.


    This is funny to me since my experience has been the complete opposite.

    I have this one friend who's 21. We'd met in person a couple times, but were mostly just online buddies. Nothing sexual at all...so I thought. I invited him over to play video games one afternoon...next thing I know, he's straddling me on the couch, unzipping my pants, and ripping off my shirt. WTF???

    I'd consider this random if it wasn't the first time this has happened to me. I feel so used... ;)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 11, 2009 7:46 PM GMT
    Young guys treat me well and i like the sweet, happy energy. But just to avoid miscommunication i never hit on younger. Somtimes what they do to get my attention is funny though.
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    Jul 11, 2009 11:07 PM GMT
    I can't recall experiencing ageism with straight people. And I've rarely seen it perpetrated. Maybe there is a problem between older straight men and younger straight women, though again, I haven't seen it in my circles.

    But with gay guys, all the time. When I was 28, a 24-year-old told me I was so old I was as good as dead. I've heard similar statements over the last decade; it has only gotten worse.

    I've approached a number of younger guys with platonic intentions, but repeatedly been told they do not associate with people beyond an arbitrary cut-off age, usually about five years past their own (though one guy who was 37 told me he didn't associate with people older than 35).

    My younger straight friends make me feel younger, healthier, happier, and more hopeful. They inspire me to take chances, explore my limits, and seek out adventure.

    The young gay guys I meet seem intent on convincing me my life is over and has been for some time. Sure, there may be young gay guys out there who are open and accepting of people of all ages. Not where I live, but perhaps elsewhere. I wish there were more.

  • dannyboy1101

    Posts: 977

    Jul 11, 2009 11:16 PM GMT
    Don't these "young gay men" in question mistreat everyone?
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    Jul 11, 2009 11:16 PM GMT
    Maestoso saidI can't recall experiencing ageism with straight people. And I've rarely seen it perpetrated. Maybe there is a problem between older straight men and younger straight women, though again, I haven't seen it in my circles.

    But with gay guys, all the time. When I was 28, a 24-year-old told me I was so old I was as good as dead. I've heard similar statements over the last decade; it has only gotten worse.

    I've approached a number of younger guys with platonic intentions, but repeatedly been told they do not associate with people beyond an arbitrary cut-off age, usually about five years past their own (though one guy who was 37 told me he didn't associate with people older than 35).

    My younger straight friends make me feel younger, healthier, happier, and more hopeful. They inspire me to take chances, explore my limits, and seek out adventure.

    The young gay guys I meet seem intent on convincing me my life is over and has been for some time. Sure, there may be young gay guys out there who are open and accepting of people of all ages. Not where I live, but perhaps elsewhere. I wish there were more.



    cry me a river!!!!!!!!!!!

    what are you trying to say - that you cannot find it within yourself to feel, young and healthy and happy, that you need to have a youngling to do that for you?

    how long are you planning to be in need of this?

    grow a pair - and stop this leeching nonsense!!!!
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    Jul 11, 2009 11:22 PM GMT
    some young guys need to get some respect beaten into them..

    some old guys need to get some creepy beaten outta them..

    there are some guys young ones, who are incredibly rude, however I've never noticed a generational thing happening because.. well.. I'm kinda ignorant about stuff like that.. I don't care about age and shit and if the guy is funny and talkative and what have you, I'll happily talk to them..

    although I've been told a lot that it happens so I wont dispute that..

    some old guys those.. and only some, can be incredibly creepy, I don't mind being hit on, don't mind being perved at, I don't like being leered at, I don't like creepy comments or little remarks, I don't like immediate flattery and all that crap (and this all stands for younger guys too) which unfortunately the older generation have a habit of doing..

    I usually set things straight if a guy comes talk to me and am usually pretty despondent to outright flattery unless its over the top flirtation and what not..

    but as it stands, I think everyone just needs to relax and maybe stop being blinkered by "gay society" there is so much more out in the world and so many gay men all seem to focus there attention of "gay society"
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    Jul 11, 2009 11:40 PM GMT

    MadeNUSA saidQwhat are you trying to say - that you cannot find it within yourself to feel, young and healthy and happy, that you need to have a youngling to do that for you?

    how long are you planning to be in need of this?

    grow a pair - and stop this leeching nonsense!!!!


    No, that's not what what I was trying to say. I find it within myself to feel good about my life all the time.

    Perhaps I should have said that when I spend time with my younger straight friends it reinforces those feelings. When a younger gay puts me down because of my age, it's a lot harder to feel positive or optimistic. I think that's a natural reaction.

    I expect to enjoy receiving respect, the occasional kind word, and even a compliment from time to time for the rest of my life. Who doesn't want to hear that they have potential to do great things? Who doesn't want to be treated well by others? And what does any of that have to do with my balls?