PlanetOut Hot Topics: Is Aging Harder When You’re Gay?

Last week my partner and a friend both told me, almost simultaneously, that I had a few gray hairs coming in on the side of my head. Instead of realizing I often think that men with some salt-and-pepper are sexy and maybe I, too, could be sexy, my first thought was to panic and think I had to color my hair and maybe go blond … again. Then I came to my senses and remembered getting older isn’t a bad thing. It happens to everyone. But can everyone age gracefully? Is there such a thing as “gayging” gracefully?

As gay men, we worry about getting older more than our straight brethren. We go to the gym, eat healthier, use moisturizer and then fret we don’t look good enough. We complain we’re too fat or too frumpy and then go eat a big piece of chocolate cake and wash it down with a beer.

Of course this doesn’t happen to everyone; but it’s a pervasive attitude in the gay community. Especially among a sect of gays who primp until the cows come home. There are some gay men who put everything into their looks and attempt to use that to get ahead in life. Then one day, people don’t pay as much attention.

What happens when our looks start to fade and the magic slips away, when those once-sexy “smile lines” turn to serious wrinkles and our once-flat stomachs start to move south and protrude? Is there still hope for love and acceptance beyond our outer layers? There comes a time in every gay man’s life when he has to ask himself: Am I too old for Abercrombie? Generally speaking, yes. And if you don’t think to ask, then you are. And yes, you look ridiculous.

There’s nothing wrong with aging. As gay men, hell as men, we have an advantage. Men tend to age better