Gay Midlife and Maturity: Crises, Opportunities, and Fulfillment

1st Edition

John Alan Lee

Routledge
Published February 25, 1991
Reference - 254 Pages
ISBN 9780918393807 - CAT# HW10692

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Summary

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.

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