What are the odds of ending up here, you and me? Seriously, in your wildest imaginings, as you were growing up, would you have ever thought connecting with other gay folks could be this simple?
Not that we haven’t always recognized each other. As gay baby boomers, I know more about you, without ever meeting, than I do about people I’ve interacted with for years. And you know the same about me. We may not have always marched together, but we share the same travel memories….
The crippling isolation and shame of our childhoods. The courage to overcome the fear of walking into our first gay bar. The indescribable joy of that first connection and discovering that there were others just like us. That star-burst moment we stopped hiding and, wonder of wonders, someone saw us for who we really are and loved us even more. That tiny spark, hiding, unbeknownst to us, deep within, suddenly igniting as hope! Getting back up, again and again, as “they” try to push us back into invisibility. Becoming a family.
Not everyone made it. We’ve suffered more than our share of casualties along the way. I doubt that anyone will ever know just how many. Gentle souls, simply unable or unwilling to go on. Whether by AIDS, suicide or choosing to live a life not truly their own — the result was a form of death.
We can grieve for them even as we celebrate that we are survivors! And recognize that we are ready to step off into a future where truly no one has gone before. GLBT baby boomers moving toward retirement years with no intention of fading back into the closet — with very little thought about retiring at all. We’re just now coming into our own and the party is just getting started! It won’t be winding down anytime soon.
So, what does the future hold for us? What is on the gay horizon? Stick around. Let’s find out together.