Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What a Drag It is Getting Old

especially for those who may have enjoyed drag in their youth.
Sometime last week, or this weekend there was a story in the L.A. Times about an LGBT centered retirement home, Rainbow Vision in Santa Fe where there is some controversy about allowing the elderly straight to live there because of the fear that they would have to hide themselves and that they would be ostracized. I had planned on writing about it but I didn't know how or when and it was going to be basically "that sucks and I would really hope at that point in life people would not hold on to old prejudices and care more about waking up each morning and not slipping in the shower and that hopefully LGBT people of that age would no longer have to feel insecure and would have the strength to not give a fuck what others think" yada yada.
But then the NY Times wrote a similar article, not about the freedom that these elderly have found at places like Rainbow Vision but rather the prejudice that many felt in other retirement communities and the re-entry into the closet for fear of ostricazation. I guess I hoped that people would actually grow up and mature and be over all this b.s*.
I read someplace, I think it was in Australia, that is banning straight people from gay clubs because the guys feel like "breeders" go there and sort of view them as exotic and it is ruining the vibe of openness and making them feel uncomfortable so I can understand Rainbow Vision being a little worried about heteros living there but it's kind always kind of ironic to discriminate against those who may have discriminated against you. And as the L.A. Times article said they have to be pretty chill about it- they'd have to pass three rainbow flags on the way to the lobby.
And I was thinking about this earlier, while lying in bed not wanting to wake up, and I can just now imagine life in my 30s. In the 50s I still can't picture and being old enough to be in a retirement home is beyond my understanding. One of the main things that keeps people sane in those places, that I know of from volunteering, is having people to talk to, which the straight elderly take away by isolating their gay neighbors based on sexual orientation (at an age where no one should be having sex) or having kids visit, which many gay and lesbians never had. And so once again the words of the Who echo in my head, "I hope I die before I get old". That or, my kids better take care of me or else they're out of the will- I could see myself doing that when I'm old, surrounded by cats under a quilted blanket with a tea tray next to my wheel chair.

*(which doesn't make too much sense because I persoanlly allow old people their prejudice because they're old and will die soon. eh)

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