A Letter to the Future Me
Written by Gregg
I’m closing in on being forty soon, which is always a time of reflection in any man’s life. Perhaps more so for a gay man, perhaps not; it depends on who you ask. But that whole idea of being a “forty year old gay man” has made me remember something: something that I haven’t thought about in a long time.
It was back in 1993, when I was 21 years old, and I was talking online with an “older gentleman” who lived in New York City. He had seen some modeling photos of mine and struck up conversation with me. He alternately complimented me on my looks and my body and impressed me with his intelligence and worldliness. In other words, he was “working me”, and of course I knew it. But I didn’t mind. I was 21, and a sophisticated and (from what he implied) wealthy man in New York was chatting me up. What could I possibly mind about that?
After we had been talking for some time, he made me a proposition for me. He said that his 40th birthday was coming up, and he wanted to treat himself to something special. He had been very successful in his life and felt like he wanted to spend a little money to indulge himself. And so, he said that he wanted to pay for me to visit him for a weekend: for his birthday weekend. It would absolutely not involve any sex, or anything that I didn’t want to do. He would pay for the plane tickets, the meals, the going out to the dance clubs and the “night on the town”. All I had to do was keep him company. I would have my own room to sleep in. No obligations, no “strings attached,” as they say.
Of course I agonized over this, and gossiped about it with my friends at school. I’d never done anything like this before. Should I do it? In the end, I decided that I would. Naturally, with all of the precautions taken: friends who knew where I was and knew my flight information in both directions, a credit card with enough to buy my own return flight (early) if I had to, and so on. But in the end, my friends and I agreed: if this offer was what it seemed, it could be an amazing opportunity.
So I packed up and flew down for a weekend in Manhattan. The man was… charming. He was amazing, and was completely the man whom I had gotten to know over the internet: no surprises. We went out and had dinner with some of his friends, at a restaurant that was probably much more expensive than I even realized at the time. We went out dancing at Roxy, and then to Sound Factory to hear Junior Vasquez spin. We danced until noon Sunday morning, and it was my very first experience with New York City nightlife and club scene.
At the end of the evening (or rather, the next day) we returned to his place, had a brunch set out on luxurious place-settings, and I retired to my room, alone, to sleep. He was, up through the very end, a complete gentleman. He even thanked me for making his 40th birthday something to remember.
He gave me one of the most ultimately positive experiences of my life as a gay college student. More than that: he showed me how fun, interesting, sophisticated, cool, charming, and respectful an “older” gay gentleman can be. He was the very first “older” gay man that I had ever been friends with, at that point in my life. And it absolutely kills me inside that I can no longer remember his name.
So even though I have no way of contacting you directly, and you will probably never read this, I wanted to write this letter for you. A couple of decades have gone by… and I am the “older gay gentleman” now. I like to think that I’m as successful and worldly and charming as you were. And I hope you know what a huge positive impact you had on my life, not only for the experiences that you gave me that weekend, but as a role-model for everything that I realized that I could be, moving forward, as well.
So where ever you are now, thanks: from one “older gentleman” to another.
I read this letter this letter and with much trepardation and by the end I was rolling my eyes. Here’s why Gregg.
I’m 41 and yes when I turned 40 it was hard but I’ve never looked at my 40s as being a time of reflection. I’m too busy having fun and doing what I want to do to reflect. I’ll reflect when I’m being lowered into ground.
When I was in my 20s I was Bree Van DeKamp long before there was the term “Desperate Housewives”. I had the perfect relationship and was content to be the perfect husband (though we couldn’t legally marry in Canada at the time) for the rest of my life. Then I found out my partner had told a big lie and the relationship was a joke. So at the age of 22 I was single.
About that time, I had a dear friend of mine who was in to “circuit” and got me into it. One problem, I was obsese at the time. Yes there I was at hanging out with some of the top names in circuit hoping that a size 46 Dolce & Gabanna top would make my huge gut look cool. It didn’t. In fact I was told by several muscular circuit queens that I had “no right to attend” events being that fat. But I digress.
When I had to loose the weight in my mid 30s due to a health issue, I faced with an ugly choice. At age of 38 I was looking good, feeling great about myself, had travelled, gone to school, and etc. However there was one thing I couldn’t fix…turning 40.
The year I turned 39 I spent an entire year getting ready to turn 40. I planned a birthday celebration in Montreal, I exercised, ate right and was determined to face 40 looking hotter than I ever had. See I had an example of the best and worse of gay men in their 40s.
As a gay teen I was a club kid in Toronto, New York, Montreal and Chicago. The one thing that always shocked me about “The Stonewall Generation” was about how badly some had let themselves go when they go older. It was like they gave up on looking even remotely attractive. On the flip side one of my mentors on growing old is Tom Bianchi who taught me that just because you are 40 is no excuse to look like a sack of shit. So I had a choice, I could be the daddy 19 year olds ran away from, or the daddy 19 year olds jumped on. No I don’t want a 19 year old I’m just proving a point.
So at the age of 39 1/2 I made the choice that if I was going to be a 40 year old gay man, I was going to freakin’ HOT! Remember I was obese as a kid so I never saw myself as hot so the whole concept of being in my 40s and hot is new so I can define it by my own rules and how I want to look.
Today I can proudly say I’m not the Piano Bar Daddy that I grew up watching and never will be. I travel, I’m better educated, I’m book and street smart, I work out, eat very well, I’m training for a fitness competitions plus I dance on a speakers at hot parties in incredibly slutty swim suits and have 19 year olds chasing after me with their phone numbers. That’s the 40 year old I chose to be, not the one I was told I had to be.
When I was 20 I was told that 40s to gay man was death and you become invisble. Bullshit! You choose what you want in this life and people react accordingly. I chose to NEVER grow old gracefully and be the uber-hot older guy. So yeah I would tip-toe on the line and say I’m invisible. However you can’t see me because I’m usually the hot top underneath a 19 year old who is riding my dick, screaming, “OH FUCK ME DADDY! FUCK ME!!” While other 19 year olds watch us and jerk off. So the cliche of gay men becoming invisble at the age of 40 is a total myth. You choose every day how you present yourself to the world, whether they see a hot Daddy/Dude or a just a nice 40-something guy is up to each gay man.
By Max M. on 11-07-2011
Well you WERE in college but it wasn’t a NYC visit, and of course I DID have sex with you (sorry you were too hot), and you stayed much longer than a weekend and I NEVER expected anyone to think we were boyfriends and I DID take you out the first time and watched you up on the box dancing and I know you know it but I am so proud of who you have become (and the part I played in it) and will always Love you as if you were my child.
By Me to You on 05-02-2012