Our expert says:
Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
Hi to you Worried, welcome to the forum and thanks for posting.
Your post contains a few truisms, such as queer culture's general emphasis on youth and bodiliness, but you do seem to be focused on negative dynamics.
I agree that we all focus on the coming out process and very little is said or written about another equally important process, often referred to as "getting out" - the process of many gay men realising that, due to their age, they no longer feel comfortable or part of some aspects of the gay 'scene'. They may feel uncomfortable in gay social spaces where youth is over-valued, for example. The process often over-laps what some call the proverbial mid-life crisis and can exacerbate feelings of depression, worthlessness and for many, a profound sense of loss. Many single men lose hope of meeting their ideal partner, for example. It is possible that men who have over-valued their belonging to the gay cultural collective and have bought into notions of youth and bodiliness, at the expense of nurturing themselves and forming a positive sense of self, could be most affected.
Perhaps the answer lies in doing an objective audit of where you're at in your life at present, and where you'd like to be. Age brings experience and valuable insights, for example, and how do we use these to make our lives more meaningful? We can't control or determine the future but we can control the present, and we can bring about changes in our current lives that will contribute positively to our future. Live in the now by finding as much meaning in your life as you possibly can and invest in your own nurturance and growth as much as you can. If your friends are stuck in a space that doesn't work for you, make it a mission to find a few new friends you have more in common with. If there are hassles in your current relationship, address these. If you haven't looked at financial planning for the future, make a point of doing so.
But most importantly, celebrate who you are right now. Form a good, healthy and nurturing relationship with yourself. It is possible that your sense of discontent is not about the future but is about how you feel about yourself right now. So take some action to remedy this. You're quite right - the sky is not likely to open up to bring about major change in your life, only you can make the necessary changes.
Please keep posting, Worried, and let us know how you're doing.
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