You all know that I’ve been sailing around on the Arion but what I haven’t told you yet is who I’ve been sailing with.
Well fellow Space Time Travellers, meet the Arions Skipper of seventeen years, Graham.
I came aboard the Arion to escape the negativity that was deepening my depression and my time here has revealed an experience that was totally unexpected.
You may recall earlier in the year I asked for older Gay men to contact me to talk about the experience of aging and what it meant in particular to Gay men. I was grateful that a few of you shared your experiences by email, but what I was really hoping for was somebody who I could speak to in person.
After some frustration at a lack of response from friends and the local Vintage men’s group I was beginning to doubt that I would ever be able to find a mature Gay man who would speak openly and frankly about aging, and who would be happy to share his experiences with others through the blog.
Then Graham came along.
Graham has been sailing for nearly all of his adult life and the time that I have spent with him has revealed an extraordinary and vibrant life, a life, which Graham says, has only now begun to really bloom.
Grahams life aboard the Arion has its challenges and it’s a lifestyle that is not always easy but on my first day I will always remember him saying to me, “I didn’t want to be one of the jailers, I wanted to be the guy digging the tunnel”.
For many young gay men aging within the Gay community is something we either don’t want to talk about or something we fear. We all fear the days when we will no longer be hot young twinks or buff gym boys, we cling to our boyhood, botox and tight tanks tops like life rafts, hoping that they will save us from loneliness, thinning hair, crows feet and declining desirability. We call it the Peter Pan syndrome; the middle-aged boys who never want to grow up because growing up is scary. But what I have discovered is that this is far from the truth and while aging does hold its challenges it also holds great wisdom, great beauty and great hope.
The dynamic of a younger and older gay man living in such a small space together and the sharing of experiences by both of us has been one of the most extraordinary and revealing times of my life. The incredible friendship I have discovered here on the Arion is something that I will treasure always. It is an experience that I hope to share with you in future articles, and one I hope you will find as revealing about the reality of aging as a Gay man as I have.