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CHECK #3 Bayern


Community ENGLISH QUEER SENIORS "The youth craze is over!" What does old age do to a man? And what challenges do gay or trans* men face? Sebastian Menzel and Peter Priller (picture) have the answers, employees of the Munich counseling center rosaAlter, which has been looking after the issues of queer senior citizens for 12 years. Foto: DisobeyArt / When does a man become a senior? This is not a defined, but a felt state, because it also depends on the individual living conditions. A school class teacher, for example, will feel old at 40; in a retirement home you will still feel young at 65. We believe that the feeling of getting older begins between the ages of 50 and 65 years when you feel that at work you belong to the elderly, as well as in clubs or in the neighborhood. Diagnostic statements on the subjective experience of old age can be found in Silke van Dyk's study book “Sociology of Age”. As an older person, do you still have a place in society? Of course. Life expectancy has increased and due to demographic change, older people are almost in the majority. Therefore, the perception of society is different than it was in the 1970s, when there were few retirees. 60 is the new 40! As a big city, is Munich a good place for seniors? In comparison with other large cities, life here is probably the best nationwide. Of course, Munich offers all the urban advantages such as culture, medicine, infrastructure, leisure and also an attractive surrounding area, but it is not as hectic as other big cities. But can you even afford this city in old age? That depends on the living conditions. Anyone who has money can live well here. Others reduce costs in order to be able to pay for housing. They accept the associated restrictions if, for example, accessibility plays a role. Because then moving becomes difficult and you want to keep the apartment at almost any price. What topics do gay seniors come to you with for advice? On the one hand, it is about social issues such as pensions, financial changes, provision, 30 CHECK BAYERN #3

Community advance directives and more – so for us it is really social work. On the other hand, we provide psychosocial advice, for example when it comes to loneliness, bereavement support or the problems of coming out late. What challenges does age pose for trans* men? Anyone who has long been through the transition and has been living un-outed as a man for decades is stable and is more likely to come because of financial or health issues. However, for those who transition late, old age is a twofold challenge. On the one hand medically: while mastectomy or hormone treatment generally still works well, a penoid build-up from old skin is often no longer feasible. On the other hand, socially: friends, work colleagues and family have to accept the new life. If that goes wrong, the queer community offers a good chance of finding a new social network. But let's not kid ourselves: in this scene, too, a trans* man can experience difficulties. The gay community in particular is considered heaven for young men – does that make it hell for older people? Youth is a cliché of the 80s. The much-cited "youth craze" has always existed, in the whole of society. But it is over. There are no majorities for this thinking anymore. Today, as an older person, you are in good hands and have arrived in the community. Demographic change is changing society – and the community. consulting services were in great demand, which has decreased again in the last few months. But the crisis also brought something positive: many people accepted the virtual challenges and explored new contact options. For example, our digital trans* inter* regulars' table for those 50+ became a recipe for success in Corona times! What do you wish for your clients? Even if we believe that age discrimination is decreasing, acceptance for older people must continue to grow. For example, nobody should be afraid of living in an old people's or nursing home, nor of being marginalized or discriminated against because of their sexuality. But we would also like more initiative from the elderly themselves. The concept of a gay shared apartment for the elderly, for example, is demanded by many, but hardly implemented by any, let alone financed. There are plenty of well-off gays who could make a lot possible here. Our appeal: do not withdraw – especially not to your own ego! Interview & Foto: Bernd Müller "Even if we believe that age discrimination is decreasing, acceptance for older people must continue to grow." What has Corona done to seniors? The loneliness has generally increased. Even those who were very active experienced Corona as a major turning point. During the lockdown, the closing of the scene was a big problem. That was also the time when our CHECK BAYERN #3 31

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blu, hinnerk, gab, rik, Leo – die Magazine der blu Mediengruppe erscheinen monatlich in den Metropolen Deutschlands. Die nationale Reichweite der Magazine ermöglicht den reisefreudigen Lesern Zugriff auf alle Informationen immer und überall. Themenschwerpunkte sind neben der regionalen queeren Szene, Kultur, Wellness, Design, Mode und Reise. Unsere Titel sind mit der lokalen Community jahrzehntelang gewachsen und eng verbunden, was durch Medienpartnerschaften mit den CSD-Paraden in Hamburg, Berlin, München und Frankfurt sowie zahlreiche Kooperationen, wie der Christmas Avenue in Köln, seinen Ausdruck findet.