Old Man

In the last year I’ve had several interactions either in person or online with younger guys behaving poorly when I didn’t return their affections/advances. Many of their not so nice replies often revolved around my age or lack of hair when they didn’t get the answer they were hoping for. As it either of those things would injure me in any way. 

One particular guy online started adding  “old man” to the end of all his comments, as if I was somehow hurt or injured by it. Of course, the less I got upset the more intense he became. I finally took pity on him and asked if he thought he was accomplishing anything. He ignored my question and kept at it until I started sending him random old man shots from the web.1  Every time he said it, I sent him another picture. He got upset and told me to stop, yet he kept adding “old man” each time. And he continued to get another pic. Realizing he wasn’t going to bait me into an argument, he gave up.

Weeks go by and I get another reply from him. This time he is polite and asked, “what’s wrong with me?”  Since he appeared to be trying to make amends I took the time to reply:

Let me first say, there is nothing wrong with you. Nada, zero, zip. You are a nice looking young man. The fact I am not personally attracted to you for nookie doesn’t negate any of your positive qualities. We are just not a match. I am literally old enough to be your father. That doesn’t work for me. But honestly, the reason(s) shouldn’t matter. You should never assume something is ‘wrong with you” over a lack of interest. Not everyone can be your type and as such, you can’t be everyone’s type. Rejection is a part of life and learning how to handle it will make you stronger as a person. 

He went on to apologize more earnestly and thanked me for offering wisdom. Normally, I would have just blocked him but I get in a mood at times where I am not to be tested. Since I’m not actually angry at the other person, I routinely ‘win’ these little battles as I can have the patience of a saint when I don’t really mind no “winning.” 

I kinda figured fewer young guys would go thru it now that we have more visibility. I guess I was wrong. I must admit I don’t understand it. Ok, well maybe I do. I mean I understand it stems from insecurity over being rejected. I get that part, but when has lashing out at said interest every worked to lure them back?  I won’t say with 100% certainity I never did that, but I honestly don’t ever remember having behaved that way. And we all know what a f**ked up mess I was back then. I do remember getting my feelings hurt quite often for many of the same reasons. I internalized  it and made it about me self-worth vs just attraction. Over the years as learned to value my self-worth differently, the anger, hurt, and pain went away. 

As for guys my age I think a lot of them struggle at this point. They aren’t the youngest or prettiest anymore and it’s intimidating. Interactions they took for granted no longer present themselves so readily. It can sting for sure. I’ve seen it play out for years. I’m grateful I’ve come far enough to avoid such trappings. It only services to make you sad and/or bitter. I’m grateful my self-worth and confidence are no longer based on how much attention I get. And if you find yourself in that category, learn from your mistakes. If you value your self-worth based on attraction, you’re doing it all wrong. Or, as the saying goes, “that’s not how this works…that’s not how any of this works!.” 




  1. They were of the biblical sense. I figured I’d return his generosity. []

Pride & Prejudice

So as usual, there is in-fighting amongst all the letters in our glorious alphabet of communities. This year seems to have taken a new twist as people are losing their sh*t over changes to the rainbow flag in PA. Apparently, some folks have decided to add extra stripes to denote the inclusion of race.

For my part, I don’t really care either way. If you want to add some stripes to represent the inclusion of race on the flag be my guest. The rainbow flag is just a symbol. It doesn’t define me or my life so modifying it doesn’t really affect me one way or the other. Symbols are meant to represent us, not define us.

On the one side, racism is just as prevalent in the gay community as it is in the straight world. What harm is there in adding reflections of race to show inclusion? Even though the flag wasn’t meant to reflect race, so what if some people want to include a variation that includes it. I’ve seen so many personal variations of the rainbow flag for years. Where is the outrage on all those variations? No one owns a symbol anymore than they own an idea. Let us all stop acting like changing a recognized symbol will end all our hard earned rights.  

On the other side, I also don’t really think it helps anything. Many of our racial tensions are tied to various socioeconomic issues. Until we work thru these, changing a symbol does absolutely nothing IMO. Actions are stronger than words. How about we stop using disrespectful terms to refer to other races? How about we stop acting like every unflattering joke or mention of race/gender is an attack? Even better, how about we stop marginalizing everyone because of the actions of a few? Instead, let us accept that others suffer differently than you. Be willing to look outside your sphere of existence to see thru another’s eyes.These actions and attitudes are much more effective at stopping hate, mistrust, and fear.

This whole pissing match is a reflection of the deeper issues within our umbrella. These ever growing trends of attacking and/or shaming anyone who disagrees, even in the slightest, are doing the work of our enemies for them. We are destroying our communities from within. Our umbrella of people rarely agree on any given topic. Why must we make enemies of each other over different view points like this? The level of vitriol and disgusting behavior I’ve seen on both sides has been deeply disturbing. This is not how we should be treating each other.We can disagree with our allies w/o labeling them as enemies. We can be patient and show understanding as we try to educate those around us who thru privilege or ignorance don’t understand a given viewpoint. Shock value and strong-arm tactics might sometimes work against our enemies but when we use them on our allies we only further the divide between us.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have all the answers, but I still support equality and freedom for all. That makes me an ally even though I’m a person who won’t be shouted down just because I don’t always see eye to eye with everyone else. When we silence the voices of our allies over internal squabbles, what is their motivation to speak for us when we need them? And don’t even get me started on the growing tide of small groups who decide they can’t compromise even a little. They demand to have their way or else. If you refuse, they do everything possible to obstruct or shut down the process. How is that productive? You don’t win hearts and minds that way.

While the LGBTI movement has taken some significant large steps recently, it took decades to get this far. We gained many of our rights slowly one at time. We still have more to accomplish. Many of these new found rights are under renewed attack. We need to be unified now more than ever.