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December 6, 2008 / JV

Old People Queering Love

a belated tidbit from the break…

i’ve been hanging around older people more than usual the last few days. it’s made me realize the ways in which old people are so… queer.


i know quite a few old folks who are divorced, or whose spouses have passed on. they are now 65 and dating again, getting engaged, falling in love…? it’s been interesting to see old people actively participating in this discourse on love, in these processes of getting butterflies, learning each other, being newlywed. activities that old people are not supposed to feel nor need anymore, because they are no longer sexual beings.
we are used to seeing old folks who are married, and have been for years and years and years. if not that, then they are alone, with the company of family or those people we hire to keep them company. we tend to view their sexuality as static, whether they are in an admirably functional marriage or by themselves.
by engaging in sex and love in their postfunk years, old folks are queering love. they are reinserting themselves into a dominant discourse that has placed them with children, ‘the gays’, and disabled folks as people who don’t participate in the everyday goings on of sex and love. we have rendered old folks void of all desire.
by hitting the club, having a lady friend, making allusions to an existing libido, old people are queering the normative model of love as being necessarily young.
they are getting married (which is an easily accessible mode of reentry into the normative), sometimes for the 3rd or 4th time, but they’re old so it’s queer. furthermore, their families thereafter generally do not reflect the projected ‘norm’ of the nuclear family, so that is queer. old folks are expanding the parameters of discourse in ways that aren’t so recognizable. some of us might acknowledge that two men having sex is queer but what about two 60 year olds fucking for a night in a motel somewhere? i mean, how queer is that…



Leave a Comment
  1. J e s s i e / Dec 13 2008 10:06 pm

    I love this. Not only queer …but love thats been totally eradicated from mass consciousness. A de sexualized and totally unrecognized queer love

  2. ding / Jan 7 2009 11:43 am

    you’ve just described my widower dad.

  3. John / Mar 4 2009 5:14 pm

    I can understand how you feel, BUT just wait until you are single again, my age (63), and THEN let me know if you are still horny. It’s no illusion, buster. Sex at this age is still pretty damn good. If seniors having sex bugs you, then just look away. My goodness, I really love being this old, because now I can really laugh at stuff like you wrote. It’s so cool not giving a crap about what anyone thinks about anything anymore. You’ll see. Trust me. Love the photo, by the way!

  4. the black scientist / Mar 5 2009 1:59 pm

    what, John? lol

    i’ll be honest, I have no idea where you’re coming from right now. I’m totally down with old folks doing the do though.

    with love,


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