Tuesday, July 20, 2010

LIFE AFTER THE SCENE

So today i posed a question to you all out there. It something that has been on my mind for some time now and i think at one point or another we ALL end up thinking about it.

What happens to the elderly gay community once they 'fall off the gaydar' and they have reached their proverbial expiery date?

This is obviously not just pertaining to men, but also to women and the rest of the LGBTI community. In what a friend of mine would like to call the 'GAY STOCK EXCHANGE' it seems that at some point we all face our individual 'retirement-plan' and unless you are loaded with cash or have the good body or wear the right clothes etc, you are pretty much going to end up being one of those guys (or girls) who either sits alone at home, or a room, without any real friends (maybe) or on the corner of a bar looking at all the young ones passing by and thinking to yourself, 'wow....those were the days....' only to go home again, alone.

What if there was a place that granted you the peace of mind to know that you were surrounded by your peers, not necesarily a partner, but just good riends around you. What if you were in a place where you knew you were being looked after in you old age, by professional people. What if you knew you were still important to the community, the village that you helped build.

So this weeks poll is pretty simple;

DO YOU THINK THERE IS A NEED FOR A RETIREMENT VILAGE/CENTRE OR EVEN JUST A SPACE WHERE THE OLDER FOLK CAN STILL FEEL LIKE A PART OF THE 'GAY VILLAGE'?

Go check out the poll and feel free to vote and have your friends vote too. After all, who knows, YOU might be the one that ends up feling left out and forgotten.

ciao
Charl

7 comments:

Tristan said...

The gay experience is a continuum. Yes, we do define ourselves by what we do sexually, and over the years, that changes. I have had several older gay friends into their 80s, and I loved learning from them, about their lives, their loves and how gay life has changed over the decades. I hope to be able to do the same and enrich other men's lives as I reach elderhood. I would support a more integrated community, than just an old-age home for aged queers. It seems Palm Springs is becoming the well that older gay migrate to today. Maybe we could all buy into a large section of Hawaii? Interested to hear other's perspectives and thanks for posing the question.

TRUE! said...

Think you've got quite a good point here...
What does happen to old gay people?!

Great idea on post-scene programmes, though!
Glad somebody's thinking about the (maybe-not-so-far-away) future!

Rain said...

Elderly LGBT folk die sad, lonely, often preventalbe deaths.

I'm telling you this because I am seeing it every day in my line of work.

Peter Odendaal said...

Hi Charl!
Thank you for your thoughts. The idea is laudable and definately should be followed up.
I am sure you will get a lot of support and you will be doing the gay community a great service if you can get this idea off the ground!
You have the youth and inspiration to do this.
As an architect with years of experience on of my interests have been retirement villages. It is quiet an eye-opener when you start doing research and finding out what the asperations of people are when they reach retirement age.
Most people have the fear of "lost purpose" and feel they still want to be active in a caring community!
A gay retirement village? YES!
regards and good luck.
Peter

Charl-Van-Den-Berg said...

Thanks for your comments so far guys! reall give me some insight.

Sarel said...

Very good point indeed!


Like the idea of an "Hawaiin Island retreat" from Tristan, but must of these elderly people won't be able to afford it, but a great idea!

Yes, if you don't have the body, looks and/or clothes, you are "rejected" by the younger crowd, a very sad fact! Straight people normally have children they can fall back on for love and sometimes company, but in the gay community this is lacking!

I have a friend who have turned 60 recently, and have become a victim of circumstances financially, and was basically forgotten by most people. I have posted a Fanpage on Facebook in order to make people aware of his situation and to see if somebody could not maybe help with a small job in order for him to get an income again and also to reintegrate him into the community at large again from nearly total seclusion. I have invited a large number of high profile "friends" on facebook, as a matter of fact all my "friends" on facebook, with a sad response of only 32 people responding! Why I'm telling this is to highlight the fact that most gay people tend to "stay" away from sad situations and therefor older gay people tends to get secluded. That is the bad news!

The good news is that 4 or 5 people responded by contacting him and showed that they care, and THAT has made a world of difference, he is now "up and running" again, with the knowledge that althought there is a lot of quiet days, there is people out there that cares, and that is why a "retirement community" or "care program" would be a brilliant idea!

If I had the money, I would certainly start something like a "village", and should I be blessed in future, I will certainly do so!

I am turning 48 shortly, and I have realised that I need to keep good relations with my family, as they will be the people in my life that's going to be my "backup" once I have retired, the younger friends tends to stay away or go quiet, unless you splash around some money.

Charl, I really hope that this blog "Life after the Scene" of yours will end up in something good!

Anonymous said...

The concept is a good one, but are we not moving into a society where people are more accepting, why do we always have to seperate ourselves from the rest of the world instead of becoming part of it. A dear friend of ours is in a retirement village and very happy there, regardless of it being gay/straight/bi or whatever. I think at the age of 80 sex is low on the list of 'things to do in the village' and things in life are more important. I get along great with my friends - gay or straight, and one day either myself or my spouse will die and one of us will be left behind and end up in a retirement village. I would prefer to live in a simple nice retirement village with all walks of life as it currently is, and not just gay.

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