Monday, 7 July 2008

Where Do Old Elephant's Go?

There is a lot of mythology surrounding old elephant's who seem to vanish to an unknown place as they come to the end of their lives. This place is called the Elephant's Graveyard. As I watched US series Brothers & Sisters this week (yes my fondness for US soaps is once again influencing this blog - apologies) there was a moving scene when Saul (the uncle) finally comes out. I've embedded the clip below. It's a terribly moving scene in which Saul asks his gay nephew "tell me how I can be a gay man at my age?". As I look at gay culture whether it be magazines, bars and clubs or even the virtual community I'm prompted to ask "where do the old gay men and women go?'. Like the elephant's of mythology they vanish from our culture. The multi-generation inhabitants of gay commercial space in bars and clubs that was still present when I came out ten years ago seems much less present. Queer culture is more youth and image conscious than ever. The beautiful people syndrome that Whittle has written about is ever dominant. What then for Saul and older gay men? He can not, as he desires, have his time back and the years that stretch before him are full of uncertainty. After a a weekend of massive Pride events in London the gay community must collectively ponder, where do our old elephant's go?

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