My 37th birthday came and went like so many lovers whose names I quickly forgot. Many of these lovers (or more accurately, one night stands) I met while out clubbing. Many friends (or more accurately, club companions) over the years have come and gone and I find myself constantly surrounded by younger people. But out I go. I love the nightlife and all that it entails, but according to a recent survey commissioned by Curry's PC World in England, I should have hung up my cha-cha heels years ago, at the age the 37.
I say to everyone, ignore this fluff piece. Why believe an article that is paid for by an electronic store promoting their cocooning products in a piece called, "The Great Indoors." To the gay community I say, this article was never meant for us in the first place. One of the biggest types of gay club isn't even a club. Circuit parties happen in most major cities all over the world and most of the men who attend them are in their mid 30s. Which begs the question: is gay 47 the straight 37? Are gay men younger in mind, body and spirit than our straight counterparts? One of these reasons that would have previously pointed to yes, is the lifestyle we gay men once led, and some of us still choose to lead. Before the rise of gay rights, many gay men were free agents with little to tie them down and little responsibilities to prepare for. No partner to wed and no baby to adopt, surrogate, or produce in a turkey baster. In real life we were like mythical unicorns.
As Edwina Monsoon once said in the hit TV show Absolutely Fabulous, "Sweetheart, being gay is the best excuse you'll ever have for not being boring." And for the most part, we were not. We lived for ourselves and for many, this kept us young in spirit, if not body. The term Peter Pan Syndrome was synonymous with what it was to be gay. We refused to grow up. The clubs were our Never Never Land, filled with other hot lost boys. But with the trappings of this new normalcy strapped to our waist like lazy love handles, some gay men began to change. We began to assimilate into straight culture instead of creating unique and different variations of marriage and family. We began normalize and with this came our aging. Some of us traded in our cha-cha heels for boring loafers. We stopped going out.
But is the act of clubbing to be a part of something? Do we do it to engage with others in an environment heightened by music, dancing, alcohol and sexual tension? If we did it in our 20s why should we not do it in our 40s? If the desire to experience these feelings existed then, should we really expect them to dissipate with age? Or do we replace them with something else? A successful career and a stable home life are important, but so too are activities of our youth. But moderation and balance are the keys. If you enjoyed clubbing when your ID said 27, why care if it now says 37, or even 47? Let the music take you where you need to go. I'll be dancing, and picking up, until I die.