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What We Need

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Only when you are an elderly homosexual between 77 and 97 do you realize that all around you has become cold, lonely, and empty. You may still be able to manage financially, but you need help to do almost everything, including driving. Your closer friends are dead or live far away and it is not easy to make new ones. People usually treat us with respect and consideration, but even the best consider us from a distance, no involvement, no connection. We try to live in our own house, in our own terms and ways, but also start to admit that we may have to move to an Assisted Living facility.


I have visited a number of those facilities in nine different states and requested, mailed, or emailed information from several others. I can say that I have got a clear picture of what any homosexual elderly man could expect if he lived in any of those Assisted Livings in the market. Meanwhile, I am still in my house, alone, older, and weaker every day. I have not found any adequate place for us, the "polar bears" of the homosexual world. We have our own special needs. We have the same needs of any elderly man and woman, married or not, the need of friendship and company, of social intercourse and exchange, the need to touch and to be touched, embrace and being embraced, perhaps to kiss and to be kissed, to love and to be loved, and to have some form of consensual and mutual sexual contact. But we, homosexual elderly men, have our own special needs, derived from our own homosexual preferences; we need other men with the same sexual preferences.


A very important fact is that the current facilities for elderly persons, gay or straight, men and women, negates our common and uncommon needs, making any expression of human contact, and emphatically sexual expressions or acts, no matter how private and discretely done by anybody in their institutions. Doctors, psychologists, and all kinds of people in Human Behavior Sciences Research are trying to change this, with some kind of success in isolated cases, and the future looks promising. Perhaps it is time that Prime Timers stops thinking of itself as a modest local club of gays, most of them old enough to be called "seniors," who get together once or more days a month to eat together, take a short excursion, play bridge, or celebrate a birthday, or take a cruise to the Caribean, or the Panama Canal, or to some European locations, or rivers or islands...not that any of those activities should be otherwise avoided or questioned. I have done all those things and perhaps more, and still do and enjoy them. The point is that something more than that is needed now.


Prime Timers has come of age. I became a member in 1987. Times have changed; we are much bigger that what we were, we have to face new realities, new approaches, new objectives, new reasons to be. We have a significant number of members of the what I call "Polar Bear Age" as to make it part of our interest to think of, care for, and actively get involved as an organization in a problem of our times that affects each and every older man, but most inadequately to those who are homosexually oriented.


We need to start working on some form of retirement homes for us. It is a big task, requires a big collective effort, but it is perfectly possible and realizable. We can do it. Let's start talking about it, thinking about it, putting together information and ideas, examine some experiences already tried in Minnesota, California, and other states, looking around for possible investors and knowledgeable people. Let's start an open conversation for all our members. If you want to contact me, please send an email to Manuel Avezuela at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Last modified on Friday, 15 April 2016 10:45

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