My Gay/December Romance
From the times of hunky Spartan men (known as Daddies today) taking young lovers to “teach” them how to be warriors, homosexuality has closely been linked with May/December romances.
Age gaps are quite common (or were, but we’ll get there) in the LGBT community, especially among gay males, and having been in a few brief May/December flings myself, I thought I’d write about why I think that is, why it’s different to heterosexual May/December relationships, and why I think it’s changing. However, before we can move forward with this article, we first need to take a step (or ten years) back in time…
Imagine this: A Craig at his emo-prime, dressed head-to-toe in black with fluorescent red hair and jeans so tight that he’d probably never be able to have kids even if he wanted them. This young sproutling of a gay craved a “man.” Not a fellow gay discovering their sexuality at the same rate. Not someone with a bit of experience who was doing similar things with their life. But a man.
A man with a career. A man with a place. A man with a social circle. A man who knew all the gay hotspots. A man who had plenty of experience. A man who would take him under his wing until he could strut around on his own.
When I was younger and first coming into my sexuality, all I wanted was someone who’d already figured it all out. I wanted someone who would give me space to breathe from my restricted life (living at home, attending school, etc) and help me get a foot in the door of the life I wanted (and back then, that meant gay bars, night life, lgbt events, gay friends, etc).
As a teen, I turned to older men (30-40) to fulfil sexual desires, superficial desires and to learn from. I loved listening to their stories, I loved the respect I was shown when it came to talking about what I was going through, and I loved how accepted I felt. Looking back at it now, I think it was more about wanting to get to where they were than me wanting to be with them (which is probably why those relationships didn’t last), but I’ll never forget what they did for me.
And you see this a lot in the gay community. In fact, it’s a full-blown fetish. It’s Twinks/Daddies. It’s boys/men. It’s me/your grandad. It’s everywhere. And while a lot of it is just harmless roleplay and an age gap, it stems from a very real history of young gay men turning to those that came before them to learn from, and to discover themselves in a safe space. If anything, the romantic aspects of those relationships are just a bonus.
This might be why it’s viewed in a different light to heterosexual age gaps too – because they’re built on different foundations. It’s why there’s so much controversy surrounding films/books like Call Me By Your Name, where some people say “imagine if it was your 17 year old daughter and an older man,” to which I would reply, “your 17 year old heterosexual daughter doesn’t require the understanding and experience of an older man to fully come to terms with who she is as a woman, whereas a Bi/Gay 17 year old would benefit from exploring the feelings he’s having.”
Regardless of your stance on them, these age gaps in gay relationships have been a vital part of a lot of lives (mine included) and provided countless LGBT members the bubble they needed to form an identity… However, that bubble is no longer needed -
If the primary reason that people like myself sought out older gay men was to teach us, or to accept us, or to support us, then that role isn’t required in today’s world. Now we have Grindr. We have people sure of their sexuality at 14 years old because they’ve been exposed to enough LGBT media to understand how they feel. We have rights. We have voices across thousands of videos and forums and FB pages. Now, if you’re a young gay man seeking life lessons, you no longer need to turn to an older gay man for them (but by all means, continue to ride daddies if that’s your thing).
The Gay/December romances of today aren’t formed the same way they were just 10 years ago, (if anything, they’re probably healthier as they’re not formed out of desperation) and they’re becoming less common the more accepted LGBT people are.
In a weird way, it’s the end of a tradition.
And thus, we come to our climax of the article. Let me know what you think of LGBT specific May/December romances down in the comments below (in life and/or in media) and make sure to check out the giveaway!
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