Sunday, June 12, 2005

My Pink Sunset

Yesterday Peter & I saw a great documentary as part of this year's Newfest - New York Gay Lesbian Etc Film Festival - Yes, it's Pride Month again! "Pink Sunset Villa" is a Dutch film focusing on a gay senior assisted care facility founded a few years back in Amsterdam's lovely Jordaan district (picture Greenwich Village with canals). A brief American short film showed Colorado seniors facing the same issues. Aging, challenging for anyone, is particularly difficult for gay people who've struggled hard to build a life in an environment accepting - even affirming - of who they are. Nursing homes, for us, throw us back into mainstream society where people may be less accepting - even hostile. And yet there are an estimated 3 million gay Americans over 65 - many of them were not able to live openly in their era. Since I, like many in my generation, have lived openly, and am closing in on 50, these concerns have a special resonance.

It drove home for me, too, that being gay is a lot more than just sex - it's culture, socialization, and a way of experience and living the world - with our personal reality at odds with what society expected of us. That's why I roll my eyes whenever someone says 'it's just one part of me - I'm not defined by it.' Not exclusively defined, but certainly deeply affected, I think...


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