Archive for the ‘seniors’ tag
“While some people find change threatening,” Diamond says, “others find it exciting and liberating, and I definitely think that for women in middle adulthood and late life, they might be the most likely to find sexual shifts empowering. We’re an anti-ageing society. We like people to be young, nubile and attractive. And I think the notion that your sexuality can undergo these really exciting, expansive possibilities at a stage when most people assume that women are no longer sexually interesting and are just shutting down, is potentially a really liberating notion for women. Your sexual future might actually be pretty dynamic and exciting – and whatever went on in your past might not be the best predictor at all of what your future has in store.”
Howard Selekman knew he had been attracted to men since he was 8, but in his 20s he still planned to marry a woman and have children with her. When he brought his fiancee to see his psychiatrist, the young woman was optimistic, even though she knew Selekman was gay.
“My wife-to-be said, ‘I think love will overcome the obstacles,’ ” he said. “And I will never forget my psychiatrist saying, ‘No, it will not overcome all of the obstacles.’ ”
The next 36 years would prove his psychiatrist right — Selekman never overcame his feelings that indicated he was gay. This year, at age 61, he finally divulged his sexual identity to his brothers, and “went public” through sharing his story on CNN’s iReport.
At 81 years old, James Randi, well-known Canadian magician and skeptic, has come out:
Well, here goes. I really resent the term, but I use it because it’s recognized and accepted.
From some seventy years of personal experience, I can tell you that there’s not much “gay” about being homosexual. For the first twenty years of my life, I had to live in the shadows, in a culture that was — at least outwardly — totally hostile to any hint of that variation of life-style. At no time did I choose to adopt any protective coloration, though; my cultivation of an abundant beard was not at all a deception, but part of my costume as a conjuror.
Gradually, the general attitude that I’d perceived around me began to change, and presently I find that there has emerged a distinctly healthy acceptance of different social styles of living — except, of course, in cultures that live in constant and abject fear of divine retribution for infractions found in the various Holy Books… In another two decades, I’m confident that young people will find themselves in a vastly improved atmosphere of acceptance.
Carl Martin, 83, of Falls Church, Va., came out as gay not long after his wife died in 1997. He says he was happy in his marriage but had known of his feelings for men since he was in high school and revealed an unrequited crush to a friend. Coming out, he says, has changed him from a withdrawn, tense, reticent bystander to a vibrant social butterfly who even talks to strangers in the supermarket.
“I would describe these as the happiest years of my life,” he said. “I’m free to be who I am. I was not free to be who I was before.”