If you are lucky, you get old

January 15, 2010

Tomorrow our exhibition will come down. Time to share my book and thoughts about my project “If you are lucky, you get old”.

In August I mentioned that I made the decision to do a project about elderly gays, since I felt nobody really thought of old people as being homosexual. But also in general in my surroundings and every day life old people seemed to be invisible. I couldn’t feel their presence although I knew that they were somewhere there. Thinking of them or of myself becoming old made me worried and pitiful. Wrinkles, disease and decay came to mind. What actually happened to the times when the old were the wise and taught the young about life? Having so little knowledge about the elderly, I went out to retirement communities in the U.S. to find out more. First I went to a gay retirement home in Portland. After spending a week there I travelled to Palm Springs where I stayed for around 5 weeks meeting old people in senior centres.

To my surprise, the elderly I met were not just proud of their age and the fact that they made it that far in life, they were also still falling in love and breaking up. They were overcoming their lifetime partner’s death, living out their erotic fantasies or dealing with the loss of their sexual desire. Talking to them showed me that inner growths is ever lasting and that humans even above the age of seventy continue to love, suffer, long, dream and have sexual feelings.

In my project ‘If you are lucky, you get old’, I decided finally to capture encounters with the elderly and to tell stories of those I spent time with. To not create just another segregated and enclosed group I eventually decided to open the project up and to focus on both straight and queer seniors. Here you can have a look inside the book. I am pretty happy with it to be honest.


One Response to “If you are lucky, you get old”

  1. Not too sure how I found this blog but glad I did.

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