Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Middle Aged Queer Partners on Network Television

On Gay TV Blog, there is an interesting article on the possibility of a middle aged gay love story being part of the "Brothers and Sisters" evening dramedy on ABC. It's a great article. Check it out. After all, isn't it popular media that validates most of us these days?

Gay TV Blog

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Reign of the Alpha Queen

I admit it. I'm a unabashed people watcher. We come in so many varieties that there is always a show to be had anywhere there are people. You can't help but to like humanity a little more after the show.

One of my favorites is the Alpha Queen. I have breakfast on either Saturday or Sunday at a little neighborhood restaurant that seems to cater to the gay and the elderly. They are not necessarily elderly gays as the gays come in all ages. The breakfast is pretty standard diner fare but if you order the right breakfast they throw in a glass of champagne which is always a great way to start a weekend day.

Anyway, almost every time there is an Alpha Queen or two holding court. You can tell the Alpha Queen by the torrent of loud opinions that comes rolling out and the group of silent minions looking sheepishly at their plates. You know that the minions fear for their very gay existence if they utter a word that might cause the Alpha Queen to pause from the roll that he is on.

Today's Alpha Queen was around my age or maybe a bit younger. He had a wary audience of two who laughed weakly at the right applause lines. This Alpha Queen's subject was religious freedom in America and in Muslim countries.

"I don't care if they think the Bible or the Koran is the literal word of God. They have no right to subject us to it," he preached.

The silent minions studied their plates.

Now the interesting thing about the Alpha Queen is that I did not have eavesdrop to share the "conversation". From 20-25 feet away in a busy restaurant, I could distinctly hear every proclamation. This made my job of people watching much easier.

I like the Alpha Queens. Their boldness is reassuring in a world that is daily looking more like a flock rather than a group of individuals. It doesn't matter what the Alphas say, just that they are saying it.

Long live the Alpha Queen!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Liberal Radio and Ageism

You know - anytime there is ageism in the general media, it is compounded many times for the middle aged queer caught in this uber youth-oriented gay culture. I am a big listener to liberal talk radio. My politics are a little left of center but not so left that I think I know more than everybody else.

So I'm a little shocked listening the last few weeks to Los Angeles KTLK (1150am). Suddenly, I'm my grandparents and younger progressive people are me during the 60's and 70's. Ageism is rampant on progressive talk radio. While doing my time as a commuter, I counted seven examples in a week of what I would consider ageism.

Enough abstraction: let me give you an example. This is not verbatim, I don't have a transcript. But I also have no reason to color this.

One of my favorite talkers is Randi Rhodes. After the Obama win in Iowa, she went on this revelry about how it was a new generation and a new age...a reason for hope. It was "those under 50" who were saying it was time for a change.

(If this were audio, I would put in a big, screeching brakes sound here.)

Whoa! First of all, I hate when people talk about the 60's social revolution with nostalgia. Too many sell-outs. Too much looking back - not enough looking forward. But let's face it - even with the sell-outs and the country's tendency to swing all over the ideological spectrum -a strong remnant of what came out of the 60's positively changed the way freedom loving people of 00's live. Gay Liberation would be one of them. The "troll" one laughs at in the bar may be the Thomas Jefferson of queerdom - but that's getting off on a sentimental sidetrack.

What is it about people that they need to set up something as an opposition? Left wing vs. right wing. One race vs. another race. Poor vs. middle-class vs. rich. Gay vs. straight. Instead of going for the stereotype that anyone over 50 is opposed to change, why not just say something like: the need for change has reached critical mass and change is about to happen. I'm over 50 and starving for a change in this country. Many people I know over 50 share that with me.

But, no. We have to set up an opposition, even if it means creating one. And they are being very creative over on liberal talk radio.

I remember The Who singing, "I hope I die before I get old." Back then I liked the idea of avoiding becoming older because old sounded stagnant and without growth and wonder. Have you seen Roger Daltry lately? Most of us made it past the feared 30's and are well on our way to twice that in spite of ourselves. And it's natural for the young to assume age is less rich than it actually is. It's an unknown territory to them. And that is exactly why we can't let the youth tell us who we, as the "over 50", are or should be. They have no idea. (However, the joke here is that most of them will get it in about 30 or fewer years.)

So whenever you hear a Randi Rhodes (who, by-the-way, is no spring chicken herself) on the radio pigeon-holing us as the non-progressive old, in your head, fill in the word or phrase to describe the older folk with "black" or "woman" or "Jew" or "gay", and if it sounds offensive, it is. (I can hear them saying, "It's the non-blacks who are are bringing about this needed change." - Not if they want to stay on radio.)

Then do something about it.

Come Fly with Me

French Proverb for the Middle Aged Queer

"C'est dans les vieilles marmites que l'on fait les meilleures soupes."

"It's in old kettles that one makes the best soup."


Monday, January 7, 2008

HIV Knows No Age

Here's the good news: people with HIV are living longer. Here's the bad news: aging + HIV = a whole new set a problems. The Body has a great article on this phenomenon at The Body. If you have HIV or you know somebody who does, this is an article worth reading.

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