The bad side of 25

To shave or not to shave? That was the question I batted back and forth for literally 45 minutes this morning. A mundane task that most men do half-asleep every morning, but for me this could be the gravest crisis since Jade Goody slagged off Shilpa Shetty on Big Brother. Why the massive hoo-ha over the removal of some stumble? I’ll tell you why: 1) After shaving I resemble a freakishly tall foetus. 2) My ability to attracted a ‘daddy’ increases exponentially and finally 3) It triggered this thought pattern of how judgemental gay guys are in regards to age. Particularly if you’re like me, on the bad side of 25.

Eventually I opted to shave and immediately regretted the decision as it’s resulted in me resembling some sort of baby-faced toad who’s just been told his puppy died. Another episode of my life is broadcast, with more desperate, unfunny camping and temper tantrums than a six-year-old. I might start a new makeover show called Get a Grip.

Anyway. I feel that this obsession most gay men have with age ties in with their need to look younger, which in most people’s eyes means attractive. It has a direct correlation to the amount of body dysmorphia I see regularly amongst gay men. I’ve seen gents in the 30’s with the bodies of 19-year-old boys. Fair enough, that’s their purgative; that body maybe attracts the type of guys they are interested in. But this obsession with looking younger, one I sometimes find myself partaking in, cannot be healthy surely? And is it to the detriment of others? I’ve fallen victim to it before, being written off purely because of my looks, and how old you appear is a part of that – on both sides of the coin; I’ve looked too old, and another time I appeared too young.

A few weeks ago in Polo I wound up chatting to this guy in his 40s. He was in Glasgow on a business trip and bless his Narnia-residing heart he stood out like a sore thumb. After speaking to him for a while he told me he has a wife and kids and that his sexuality was always something he struggled with. I found this endearing; he was a lovely guy, bought me a drink, wasn’t after anything else other than conversation but then this happened: One of the guys I was out with came over and said ‘why are you talking to this old guy?’ or something similar, I was rather drunk so my memories are a tad fragmented. But the point is he needless dished a horribly overcooked serving of judgement. If I hadn’t been so inebriated, I’d have slapped him.

I feel a great swell of pity for any man that’s never been to a gay club and sounders into one: It is like stepping into a judgemental hive of clueless self-indulgence. You’re there to have a good time, which is hard to do with a flock of killjoy Harpies continually circling around you, throwing scoffs and shitting out dirty looks. Careful not to frown too hard, boys. You’ll get wrinkles. Indeed, not all the clubs are like this, nor are all of its occupants, but from personal experience I can say hand on heart it does happen a lot more than it should.

I have a good time now when I go out, because I’ve become desensitised to the jarred farts of mockery that are unleashed (it’s called alcohol, works like a charm.) But there are still sometimes when I’m made to feel so ugly, old or deformed that I don’t have a good time. Fair enough I’ll probably end up resembling a bloated manatee, perpetually beached on my sofa, shovelling cake and crisps into my mouth in a desperate bid to make life fun again. But I’ll get there in my own time; I may wind up a disgusting cake-wolfing glutton, but I don’t need any assistance from someone whose face is uncannily like a snarky orange. The place is often full of Gremlins. Do not fucking feed after midnight.

I always thought when I was younger that the gay community was sustained by its ability to empower everyone that stepped into it. I thought when I appeared everyone would be welcoming, give me a hug, not try and trick me into drinking poppers or tell me to get a hair cut. I used to be desperate to get people to like me; to try and make my life soundless boring I use to tell people I was a test-tube baby – just to try and give me some edge. I’m aware I sound like an idealistic twat, but I’m so angered by the injustice and treatment of certain people, and yes in particular myself. Just because I have goblin like qualities and was Gollum’s stunt double, doesn’t afford anyone the right to be nothing short of downright rude to me. Looks fade, but that rotten core of yours will fester and stick with you throughout your entire life.

Be kind to everyone; it doesn’t mean you have to sleep with them or buy them a drink or spend the entire night chatting. It just means you’re a decent human. That’s the most important part. That and cheap doubles, am I right? Seriously though, don’t be a c*nt.






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