Golden Gays (Movie Thoughts: Before You Know It/Gerontophilia)

before_you_know_it_ver2When you’re gay after a certain age you become invisible to the community. Can you imagine being really older? That’s what P J Raval’s  documentary “Before You Know It” tries to show us. Raval focuses on three gay men: Ty Martin, who lives in Harlem and is an administrator of SAGE, an organization that helps LGBT elders, Robert Mainor, who owns the oldest gay bar in Texas, and Dennis Creamer, aka “Dee,” a cross dresser moving from rural Florida to a gay retirement home in Florida. Each have different life paths, but have gotten to a common point in their lives. Martin is partnered and his story focuses on how his outreach affects the black community. His segment is filmed just as New York State approves marriage equality – though his partner isn’t really enthusiastic about getting married. Mainor deals with having to hand over his bar to a nephew as he experiences health problems. But I was most touched by Creamer, who seems to struggle with being alone, even if he is amongst a group of people. There is a, for me, haunting scene where he is alone while in a gay group on a cruise as he says “there is a stigma with single people.” It’s weird how their stories affected me here and now three days after seeing this movie. I could and am any or all of these men.

ger112101708176009Maybe I should find someone with a fetish as Lark, the main character in Bruce La Bruce’s “Gerontophilia.”  It’s a creepy fetish – the desire for older men – but LaBruce treats it in the most normal way possible. I will admit being uncomfortable with the idea at first, especially since the guy playing Lark, Pier-Gabriel Lajoie, looks like he is underaged, and it highlights the age difference exponentially. But yes, love is love, and you can only be happy for these people. I wish the film had dealt more with how the people around them reacted to this, instead of it being a road movie, but I have to credit LaBruce for filming something almost romantic when it could have gone way way weird. I thought it was weird that I watched both movies back to back, but aging is a reality we all face, and these movies are the stories of our lives, for better or worse. In a pivotal week for me, they gave me insight in moving on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s