Age discrimination exists inside and outside of the gay community, and sometimes it seems taken to both ridiculous and offensive levels.
Different people have different things that make others attractive to them on different levels. That's natural. It stands to reason that the more "screens" you employ, the fewer people you'll interact with. Some people choose to live this way, which is their right.
The idea that if you're over 30 years old, you're also over the hill is beyond absurd. The preconceived notion here seems to be that if you're over 30, you're going to drag your date to dinner no later than 4 PM, driving your pastel blue or mauve Buick LeSaber so that you can get home in time to watch the CBS evening news, and a BIG Saturday evening is back to back reruns of the Lawrence Welk show. And guys over 40? Forget about it. Banging their walker into the furniture while heading to the refrigerator for another Diet Rite soda, wearing polyester pants, hiked up to their midriff (held up by a clashing belt) and their tits fighting for space with their white socks in their black shoes...surely big entertainment is comparing CVS vs. Walgreens ads and the hit of the week is 20 percent more Polygrip free!
And the reverse goes on too. Young guys looked at as either too immature, incapable, inexperienced or just plainly "still a kid" with little more to offer than a fresh face and a cute ass is just as prevalent and just as sad. I often wonder how many younger guys feel discrimination because of their age.
We lose sight of the humanity of others so easily. In fact, because it's both safer and more acceptable to be gay than even a generation ago, we've seemingly empowered a culture of throwing humanity away in the name of stupid labels, division and discriminatory tribalism.
As a teenager, I was a lifeguard at a YMCA. We had membership to the Men's Health Center which was the private locker room. I spent a lot of time in the TV area, hanging out and talking with guys 40 years older than me or more. 2 of them were gay and over 60. Never once did they hit on me. They'd see me in the showers or steam room and we'd talk about all kinds of things. Never one inappropriate comment. I was fully out to them and it was awesome because of the genuine care and friendship we shared. My point in sharing this is that not all older guys have sex on the brain.
A couple of years later, I came to know and had a short affair with a 53 year old when I was 18. It began as a friendship and we dated for about 5 weeks. He and his partner of 27 years had a split 2 months prior. Unlike other guys my age, he made me feel beautiful, and made me laugh and think in different ways. He encouraged me and was such a beautiful man inside and out. The time spent together was fantastic and the sex was incredible. One night he got a call that his former partner was in the hospital. As it turned out, his partner was on blood pressure medication that clashed with anti seizure medication and it mentally messed him up, resulting in his leaving. The doctors got him stabilized and they decided to restart things. I bowed out gracefully.
I know it doesn't work for everyone, but I'm grateful that I opened my mind and heart to these experiences. As I become a "guy of a certain age" I realize I'm not new anymore. I'm not that 20 something with a 27 inch waist and I'm more than good with that.
What I've come to realize is that as the years have passed, I've grown. My capacity to love, to care, to encourage, to understand and listen has deepened. I had those things when I was younger, but time has done wonderful things.
Age is irrelevant. Who you are, not what you are is key. Missing out on life and people, rejecting the greatest adventure ever is a choice. It seems sad that many choose preconceived notions about age as a justification for missing out.