The Age Old Question

The Age Old Question

The Age-Old Question
Thirty Isn’t Dirty

Within the LGBT+ community, cis-male gays have a fascination with age. With daddy tribal labels assigned to anyone with a grey fleck in their hair. The hobbyists of us who have started painting or making pottery (I, given I’m 27 with a bad back, have started both to accelerate the ageing process) are labelling ourselves grandmas. And for those who hit thirty - the big 30 - our community labels those as “old”. They’re past-it; has-been; no-hopers. And it’s a shitting shame.

Biologically, bodies change from 21 and above; naturally, this includes those who transition or change gender identity. But for men who remain their birth gender for their lifetime, the thirties bring inevitable change. Whether its hair falling out and replaced by a thickening (not “sickening” with a lisp, I should add), beer bellies and wrinkles appear at the stroke of midnight to celebrate 30 years of enjoying living. It’s plausible these changes in physicality are tied to the shifting of identity; Twink Death is a social media meme-able phenomenon, whilst men who get grey and ripped are seen as evolving – up the scale of desirability – into the daddies that younger men desire.

There’s the social-cultural aspect of being a gay man in the Western world. Whilst gay men are anecdotally more likely to pursue careers in lieu of raising a family, go on holidays more than straight couples, or even be more averse to the idea of monogamous relationships, it seems the 30s is the benchmark of success. If you’re not a high-flyer at work with a penthouse overlooking the city centre walking your miniature dog and having “brunches” (despite living in London for 2 years, that to me is still twatty behaviour), you haven’t done well. And God helps you if you’re boyfriend-less; after all, 30 is the limit for dating. I’m wondering how long it’ll be before dating apps, when letting you filter by age, begin in yearly increments from 18 to 29, then leave it at 30+.

I’m 27 and cannot wait to hit 30; I might have no money, circles under my eyes, and very weird jobs to pay the rent, but I see the other side of the hill. When you’re 21 and pretty, gays really do peg 30 as “old”; I never did, because that felt ludicrous. I, now 27, was asked in a gay bar last week by a 21-year-old what it’s like to have a boyfriend at my age. I told him it’s exhausting as he’s always around me due to retirement confining me to the house.

I think a shift in mindsets is a good thing that’s needed, and I’d urge anyone in their twenties to stop seeing 30 as the top rung of the big staircase leading up into the sky. It limits your chance to enjoy yourself in your twenties because once you hit those digits, the fun doesn’t stop. You won’t be rejected from the bar. You’ll still want to go out, dress up, have a laugh, and ultimately have fun in all senses.