A note from Paul…
I believe that if we are fortunate to be growing older, we will quickly discover that the current and outdated paradigm facing older gay men is limiting and not as optimistic, hopeful or as exciting as it could be. Many of us are also discovering that there’s actually a huge disconnect between how we really are or could be and the outdated picture we and others have painted about how we should be.
And it’s not just us older guys that recognize that things need to change. It’s noteworthy that many relatively younger gay men – in their late twenties and thirties are already feeling that they are past their “prime.”
And it’s even more ironic that gay men who have struggled so long for full acceptance and full inclusion are now so quick to create and accept arbitrary cultural limitations that devalue rather than honor so many within our own community just because of age!
As the author of “Begin with Yes,” a book that speaks to creating realities that move us forward rather than ones that hold us back, I began to recognize that together using pictures and stories from our real lives we could begin to re-create a more hopeful, adventurous and loving reality for maturing and aging gay men.
This new vision must surely include an appreciation of youthful beauty while recognizing that beauty based simply on age is not a reflection of something that’s been earned or achieved, but rather a short term gift we were all temporally given. And although we should not stop honoring youth, it is time to reframe it as a celebration rather than an act of worship, and it’s time to expand the celebration to include and honor beautiful men of all ages.
Finally, and most importantly, we know we will never change the current reality by simply resisting it; we must each actively create the change. We do this by living passionate and adventurous lives that realistically and optimistically embrace each stage of the journey, and then through pictures and words we share our new reality. Not just with our LGBT family but with the entire world.
PS: I trust that what unfolds here will resonate and be helpful to all men regardless of their sexuality. And although my personal exploration is naturally focused on my own experience as a gay man, I hope the voices raised here will also resonate with many of our LGBTQS brothers and sisters, from all walks of life. I am confident that together we will create new realities that lift up all people and create hope, excitement and a sense of passion and purpose that helps our communities and our world grow even stronger and more beautiful.
The gifted San Diego-based artist RD Riccoboni has kindly offered some of his paintings for us to use on this site. Most of his works, including the one used as our banner, are available through his website. Please visit him at www.BeaconArtWorks.com and tell him Paul sent you!