Gay Midlife and Maturity: Crises, Opportunities, and Fulfillment, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Gay Midlife and Maturity

Crises, Opportunities, and Fulfillment, 1st Edition

By John Alan Lee


254 pages

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Paperback: 9780918393807
pub: 1991-02-25
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pub: 1991-03-05
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Aging is stressful for anyone in youth-oriented Western societies. Elderly people encounter difficulties and discrimination, sometimes because of reduced income, transportation and housing problems, and failing health, but often due to the persistent negative stereotypes that color others’attitudes and behavior toward old people. Gay men and lesbians experience these stresses, as well as the numerous additional problems associated with their sexual orientation.

Gay Midlife and Maturity is a dynamic and positive volume that challenges the long-held stereotype of the sad and lonely old homosexual. A growing body of international literature, much of which is featured in this book, rejects this myth and illustrates that older gay men and lesbians cope well with the aging process and are comparable to younger homosexuals in social and psychological adjustment.

A much-needed and major contribution, Gay Midlife and Maturity contains an enormous amount of information for readers interested in gerontology and homosexuality. Experts, for the first time, examine the relationship between the adjustment of gay people to later life and the age and sequence of the resolution of these typically early developmental processes, raising many questions about traditional theories of gay development. The existing contradictions and debates about gay men and accelerated aging are addressed. Other valuable chapters focus on a theory of successful aging, a comparison of the traditional gay community (pre-Stonewall) versus the organized gay community, the vital role of communication in gay relationships, the sexual attitudes and behaviors of older gay men, and much more.

Additional interesting and worthwhile chapters of this thought-provoking new book include an in-depth interview with Don Bachardy about his 33-year relationship Christopher Isherwood, a renowned English writer who was 30 years his senior, and a review of the growing literature on gay aging.

Table of Contents

Contents Foreword

  • Introduction
  • Stigma, Gay Lifestyles, and Adjustment to Aging: A Study of Later Life Gay Men and Lesbians
  • Through the Looking Glass: Life After Isherwood: A Conversation With Don Bachardy (Interview by John Alan Lee)
  • Accelerated Aging and Male Homosexuality: Australian Evidence in a Continuing Debate
  • Lavender and Gray: A Brief Survey of Lesbian and Gay Aging Studies
  • Being There: A Support Network of Lesbian Women
  • Older Lesbian and Gay People: A Theory of Successful Aging
  • Natives and Settlers: An Ethnographic Note on Early Interaction of Older Homosexual Men With Younger Gay Liberationists
  • Loneliness and the Aging Homosexual: Is Pet Therapy an Answer?
  • Can We Talk? Can We Really Talk? Communication as a Key Factor in the Maturing Homosexual Couple
  • Sexual Attitudes and Behavior in Midlife and Aging Homosexual Males
  • Social Exchanges Between Older and Younger Gay Male Partners
  • The Impact of Age on Paid Sexual Encounters
  • Sappho and the Crack of Dawn (Fragment 58–L–P)
  • Reference Notes Included

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gerontology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies