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Martin Manley suicides at age 60 just because getting older, generally speaking, sucks.

I've been thinking of this for some time after reading it. A sports-statistician planned and carried out his own suicide at age 60 because he ran the odds and calculated that 60 was the right time to end his life. His guiding philosophy on this seemed to be that since old age contains decline and suffering, followed by death, it is better to kill yourself before its onset.

He'd spent a year building a website that goes into more detail. Apparently he was kind of solo/lonely but did not seem particularly depressed.

Meanwhile as I read his story in a medical-area waiting room, a loved one in my life is fighting cancer with everything she's got left - and she is mid 70s. I am posting this while waiting for her chemo drip to end.

Interesting the choices people make.

by Anonymousreply 8211/04/2013

Getting older is actually BETTER for many people. Some of us have had shitty times when younger, only to feel more comfortable in our skin after fifty. It happens. And, our health actually is much better because instead of drinking/drugging to hide the pain, we choose to take care of our bodies and live a healthy life.

Since life gets better as we age for many, and is only a hellish conflict while young, I reject the stereotype of a declining quality of life.

That's just his story, it's not true for the rest of us.

by Anonymousreply 108/26/2013

There's nothing "Manley" about committing suicide.

Was this man gay? If not, I can see where he was used to a privileged status as a young straight man.

If he was gay, then he should have appreciated society's developing acceptance and continued on.

by Anonymousreply 208/26/2013

Well, I'm 60 years old and I'm probably the happiest I've ever been in my life.

Very sorry for this guy.

by Anonymousreply 308/26/2013

I'm 48. And I'm already thinking in the same direction as this guy.

My 30s were great. Since turning 40, though, things changed. Not all due to my age (though age isn't helping)... also due to economy and other factors.

But each year so far has been a bit worse than the last.

I can't imagine wanting to live past 60 at this point. I seriously can't even imagine why I'd even consider it.

And I sure as hell don't want to live past 70.

It's been all downhill since 40 and nothing is looking up at all, there is no light on the horizon at all, and honestly I just feel even now that I'm just marking-time, waiting to die.

I totally get where this guy was coming from. I cannot fathom how it's possible to be a happy gay man in his 50s, let alone 60s.

by Anonymousreply 408/26/2013

I think he had some health issues, maybe early onset Altzheimer's?

by Anonymousreply 508/26/2013

A recent study indicates that the ages at which people are most satisfied are 23 and 69. After our early twenties, happiness declines on the way to our mid-fifties; then, after cycling back up through our late sixties, it falls again once we reach 75.

Manley should have waited another 15 years.

by Anonymousreply 608/26/2013

Here's what the rabbi told my depressed granny: It is possible the person you are supposed to help, has not yet been born."

Whatever. The fact is, that this guy, Martin Manley, will be held up as one of the patron saints of euthanizing the elderly. That's where our government is heading.

The elderly are superfluous. They are a drag on the economy, on healthcare costs, and they make nothing, contribute nothing worthwhile, and their purchasing power is diminished. They are useless, ergo, get rid of them.

Cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps and pension benefits. Increase the cost of their housing and property taxes, warehouse them in nursing homes, expose them to filth and abuse, then give them a nice funeral.

by Anonymousreply 708/26/2013

R6, I hated life at 23.

My 30s were by far my best years. Far and away.

I wouldn't go back to my 20s if you paid me.

And the 40s have totally sucked as well.

by Anonymousreply 808/26/2013

R8, forties generally suck for most people for two reasons: hormonal fluctuations and anxiety.

Don't worry so much: You're not going to turn in to a werewolf at fifty.

by Anonymousreply 908/26/2013

No, I'll just be even MORE unattractive, even MORE lonely, and live even LONGER single, unloved, and friendless.

Seriously, fuck that noise.

I can take maybe ten years more of this shit.

That's more than enough, and more than all of you have had to deal with. The kidney stones and other health issues are just sauce for the goose.

by Anonymousreply 1008/26/2013

Things didn't really start going bad for my folks health wise until they were about 75. I would like to stick around until then.

by Anonymousreply 1108/26/2013

R10, please, look for some kind of help. You're obviously depressed, and you need support to overcome it. I am sure that you are seeing things a million times worse than they are in reality because of your condition. For your own sake, please, do seek assistance of some sort.

Have you thought about engaging in some sort of physical activity and drastically changing your eating habits? My mother had severe depression until two years ago, and it worked wonders for her.

Please, do take care.

by Anonymousreply 1208/26/2013

R10, I'd like to know why you consider yourself so unattractive. Almost no one describes themselves that way.

by Anonymousreply 1308/26/2013

Reality IS depressing.

Growing old as a single gay man is nothing BUT depressing.

You'd have to be a fool to not be depressed by the concept, let alone the reality.

by Anonymousreply 1408/26/2013

For many people in my family and extended family, 78 seems to be the number. It all went downhill for them after that.

The exception seems to be my partner's mother. While her husband of 54 years died when she was 78, she has less care-taking to do. He was kind of grumpy. She keeps busy volunteering at her church and goes on senior center trips and classes.

by Anonymousreply 1508/26/2013

If he was hot before 25 and then hit a wall hard, he'd describe himself that way, R13.

Have you ever hooked up with an ok looking older guy who keeps a shrine to images of his younger, hotter self? They are depressed as all shit.

by Anonymousreply 1608/26/2013

I intend, if possible, to choose the means of my death. I would like to minimize any pain and suffering.

Aside from disease and natural physical and mental decline, I worry about just plain survival. As a gay guy, I have no family to look after me, and I don't expect to find any of my own at this point in my life.

I don't see any scenario short of winning the lottery where I will ever get to retire. I look at the road ahead of me and it's hard to muster up any hope.

I firmly believe that people should be able to have control over how they die. I think it is wrong for people to impose their own morals and religion onto other regarding this issue. It causes so much suffering.

by Anonymousreply 1708/26/2013

Is this thread's title written in English?

by Anonymousreply 1808/26/2013

Lots of older gay guys show up in Thailand depressed and then find themselves a nice younger boyfriend to snap them out of it. My uncle did this.

by Anonymousreply 1908/26/2013

Okay, R17, but please know that your issues are transitory and could change.

You could find/create a career that you'll love. You could find someone to befriend who has it worse than you and be a trusted confidant to them. That scenario could create a 'family' for you.

Sweetie, I hate to hear that you are planning a way out but please, try to help someone else out by being a friend or sympathizer.

You can still be a hero to someone.

by Anonymousreply 2008/26/2013

[R7]As a 75 y/o fighting prostate cancer I can only hope you are right. But sadly you could not be wronger. We oldsters think society owes us a living and all we really do is suckle at the public teat. For every $6.00 spent on our age group only $1.00 is spent on those under five. it is said that 1/3 the expenditures of medicare are made in the last six months of people's lives. What we (old farts) should do is end it so we can save you guys billions of dollars. I have news we ain't gonna get out of here alive. Washington and Oregon at least have assisted suicide. At least they allow their old people to be treated almost as well as Fido.

by Anonymousreply 2108/26/2013

I never understood the need of someone believing the State should help them commit suicide. Aren't there at least 50 ways to do it yourself?

by Anonymousreply 2208/26/2013

[quote]Getting older is actually BETTER for many people. Some of us have had shitty times when younger, only to feel more comfortable in our skin after fifty. It happens. And, our health actually is much better because instead of drinking/drugging to hide the pain, we choose to take care of our bodies and live a healthy life.

That's nice.

I have arthritis. Getting older most certainly is not better, I live with daily pain that only increases and spreads with age. And despite the viewpoint from your little black-and-white world, I did not become this way because of "drinking/drugging".

Be grateful for your health, don't be smug about it, and stop imagining that people not as well as you are that way by their own fault.

by Anonymousreply 2308/26/2013

[quote]A recent study indicates that the ages at which people are most satisfied are 23 and 69.

Interesting that those ages are typically at the start and end of a career.

by Anonymousreply 2408/26/2013

Well, with that hair... are you really surprised??

by Anonymousreply 2508/26/2013

R23, I'm not being smug about my health--that's a big no-no with me, and I don't like it in other people.

I'm sorry to hear of your suffering. I hate to hear of anyone in pain.

However, some of us had really shit luck while young, as in not getting to act like a young, happy go lucky person.

Some of us had the weight of the world on our shoulders and lived with a heavy heart.

All I'm trying to say, is that the world CAN seem like a more loving place and it CAN be more enjoyable for some of us.

Growing older is not the hell it's made out to be.

by Anonymousreply 2608/26/2013

[R26] you neglected to tell us your are. R21 here.

by Anonymousreply 2708/26/2013

I'm not planning on doing anything this year or even in the next couple decades, but if I was told right now that I had six months to live and that the last two I would be bedridden and in agony then you bet your ass I'd get myself to one of the Euro countries that allows death with dignity before it got to that point.

Why would you want your loved ones to go through this? We don't make our pets suffer this way, why make humans do it? And don't tell me that 'You never know what might happen' crap. If someone has stomach cancer with only a couple weeks to live there isn't going to be a magic cure at the last minute.

It's selfish of the people who will be left behind to want to drag out their loved ones' pain for as long as possible.

And most people who reach a state where their body is that decimated have blown through their savings, so they are getting the minimum care provided by Medicare and Medicaid.

There won't even be that because the conservatives want so badly to get rid of it. Their point of view is so twisted I can't stand it. You have to force every birth to happen, even if the baby will only live a week outside the womb in terrible pain. You have to force the extension of life to the very last second possible, again even if the person is in terrible pain. And other than those two mandates, you are on your own, because we don't believe in any assistance for those who need it. If you are a 'good enough christian' maybe your church will help you out.

It's infuriating. It results in so much pain and suffering to so many.

by Anonymousreply 2808/26/2013

Even though I don't practice an organized religion, it strikes me as interesting that religious views are often ridiculed here. Yet this guy was totally wrapped up in his statistical view of the world and did something so ridiculous because of it.

And, R7, you're an idiot.

by Anonymousreply 2908/26/2013

Many society ills would be solved if everyone over 60 killed themselves.

by Anonymousreply 3008/26/2013

r27 are=age

by Anonymousreply 3108/26/2013

All of society's ills would be resolved if people all people would just stop having children.

by Anonymousreply 3208/26/2013

or had the state do it--over 60 not a bad idea

by Anonymousreply 3308/26/2013

I'm 55 (will be 56 in October). 30s had lots of anxiety over getting a career established and wondering if I would ever find a relationship again. Turning 40 felt traumatic, though the 40s themselves were fine. Turning 50 not nearly as bad as I thought it would be--glad to still be around (so many from my generation are not) and in reasonably secure health and economic situation. 60 sounds like a major potential trauma, but it is also the age at which I can, if I choose, retire and not worry about money--it could, health permitting, be an age to try something new.

by Anonymousreply 3408/26/2013

Suicide is painless. It brings on many changes. And I can take or leave it if I try.

by Anonymousreply 3508/26/2013

I'll be 61 next week, so if I can make it through the next few days, I guess I'll be safe!

by Anonymousreply 3608/26/2013

Sadly, white men over fifty have the highest suicide rates. I didn't say attempted, I mean accomplished.

What's going on?

by Anonymousreply 3708/26/2013

To the people who say 'well I'm older and my life wasn't like that!'. Good for you! No one is trying to change anything in your life. But not everyone has been so fortunate. Wouldn't it be nice to think of them too?

To the posters who ask why the gov't needs to be involved, suicide is illegal in most places. But more importantly, medical personnel who help someone once they've made their decision could face murder related charges. Considering that the people desperate enough to seek this option are usually infirm and in terrible pain, they're going to need some help most likely.

You know who is a big proponent of assisted suicide for the terminally ill? Doctors, because of all the needless suffering they see. Some doctors, when they retire, get very prominent DNR tattoos on their chests, because they have seen the trauma that CPR inflicts on the elderly.

For someone to end their life painlessly isn't free either. The right drug combination is needed. So gov't has to be involved so that Medicare can pay for those drugs.

Doctors in this country are often too afraid to have an honest open discussion with family members about a loved ones death because in the U.S. the family too often reacts like the doctor is a ghoul or something. It's a shame.

by Anonymousreply 3808/26/2013

R18, the title is a perfectly good sentence, although it obviously uses slang.

What's your issue with it?

by Anonymousreply 3908/26/2013

Everything in our culture is geared toward youth and maintaining a young appearance.

Our social policies do not provide for the aged the way most western countries do. Old people are diminished and marginalized. Unless they are very affluent, then they are "active adults".

My aunt is 85, lives alone, is very vital and independent. It is appalling to see the condescending and dismissive tone wait staff, retail personnel, and almost everyone else takes with her. All that dear-ing and cooing voices. She despises it, but uses irony and humor to deflect it.

I can see that if one has no family or partner, and doesn't have a strong support network that aging can seem ominous. Add to that an uncertain financial situation and yikes! I realize I have described myself at 62. Oh well.

by Anonymousreply 4008/26/2013

[quote]I can see that if one has no family or partner, and doesn't have a strong support network that aging can seem ominous

Bingo. Only change "can seem" to "is".

I'm an only child. Both parents are still alive. And since I couldn't put them through my own suicide, I'll be alive until they go. At that point, I'll put their affairs in order (I assume I'll be executor), then put my affairs in order, then end it. Because I can't fathom why I shouldn't or wouldn't.

by Anonymousreply 4108/26/2013

OMG the insincere 'you're so adorable' sing songy voice some people use, like they're talking to an infant, it's disgusting.

If I get to that age and someone tried that on me I'd tell them to STFU. Except then they'd probably just beat me and take the dessert out of my cheap-o nursing home meal. Sad.

by Anonymousreply 4208/26/2013

R38, this Martin Manley wasn't sick and made a public spectacle of his suicide, suggesting that suicide is an option for people who are just bored or a little lonely or feel ugly.

I am very, very careful about anything I post on the internet knowing that many are introverted and emotionally sensitive. A discussion about doctor-assisted suicide for the terminally ill belongs on another thread.

What we are addressing, in this thread, is how many people feel wrung-out and worthless as they age. And their not even that old!

I am just trying to offer an alternative view to all of the hand-wringing over aging.

by Anonymousreply 4308/26/2013

If all some of you are/were ever interested in is getting laid, then yeah, you're not going to like aging very much. But I have so many things I'm interested in learning about and doing that one lifetime doesn't seem like enough to fit it all in. I want to travel more, work on my garden and take up a foreign language. I want to hike and bike on sunny days and read lots of books. I love to just curl up with my dog and surf the internet while I listen to the rain falling outside. I'll never stop enjoying great food, wine and music. Even a good cup of coffee makes me really happy.

I think the problem for some of you is that you never learned to enjoy your own company or appreciate the simple pleasures of life.

by Anonymousreply 4408/26/2013

Tina Turner said something similar in her interview with Oprah, R1. Her early life was miserable and her life is much happier now.

by Anonymousreply 4508/26/2013

R44 , I could kiss you!! Thank you for saying so well, what I feel.

by Anonymousreply 4608/26/2013

Do what Glenn Greenwald does:

Prey on homeless,impoverished teens for sex in exchange for XBox.

by Anonymousreply 4708/26/2013

When I'm old I intend to read lots of books, listen to lots of music and meditate in an attempt to find enlightenment. All while stoned out of my mind.

by Anonymousreply 4808/26/2013

OMG! Has anyone checked on Nate Silver?!?

by Anonymousreply 4908/26/2013

If you watch Bio Channel, they have a show now about kids who claim to have died and then been reborn into their current life.

I hope that's not what happens though, I want to go somewhere better than here and stay there!

by Anonymousreply 5008/26/2013

I'm 57 with no physical health issues excepting for chronic muscular aches and, of course, chronic low-grade depression. I must say, life really sucks. My partner is the same age and has far less depression and far far more pain (virtually uncontrollable pain even with high dose phentenyl patches). Both of us accomplish near nothing every single day. I wish I could change things but I feel powerless. We're in the Mother of All Ruts.

by Anonymousreply 5108/26/2013

I adore you R44. I feel the same way. đź‘Ť

by Anonymousreply 5208/26/2013

What do you live off of R51?

by Anonymousreply 5308/26/2013

I found out last week that I have kidney cancer. I'm in my mid 50s, unemployed and no hopes of finding a job at my age. I go in tomorrow for a series of tests to find out just how bad it is.

It doesn't look good. I've been ill for over a year and have been getting worse. If I had health insurance a year ago I might have had better chance, but truthfully I'm somewhat relieved that I'm not going to have to worry about the fact that I pretty much wiped out my 401k when I spent 2 years out of work a few years ago.

My doctor seems totally dumbfounded that I have no interest in trying anything to give me few more months. Right now all I want to have is a sense of how long I have left and how long it will be before I'm in serious pain so I can make some decisions about how to spend what time is left.

by Anonymousreply 5408/26/2013

[quote]Here's what the rabbi told my depressed granny: "It is possible the person you are supposed to help, has not yet been born."

I love that.

I've been suicidal off and on since I was 10 years old, but part of the reason I never made an attempt is because I always wanted to make a difference in someone's life.

When I was 25, I became friends with a neighbourhood couple and their children. One summer day, I was playing in the yard with their 2-y.o. son Mark when the next-door neighbour boy came out of his front door, and his vicious dog followed.

Mark began excitedly babbling about the "goggie" and reached out to pet her.

She whipped her head around to glare at him, and I got a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I took two quick steps forward, grabbed Mark by his biceps, and swung him up and away from the dog just as she lunged for him.

She sank her teeth into my knee, then released. I yelled "bad dog" and aggressively kicked at her face, which made her back up instead of pressing forward for another attack.

Finally, by that point, the stupid neighbour boy had realised what was happening, and took the dog back into his house.

I ended up with deep puncture wounds from the dog's teeth, resulting in a few stitches and a course of antibiotics.

Since the family had just gotten the dog from their Indian Reserve, the dog was quarantined for observation, then destroyed. Fortunately, she wasn't rabid, so at least I didn't have to worry about that.

I'm sure Mark forgot about the incident a few days after it happened (he was just a toddler), but I still have nightmares where I'm not able to reach him in time and the dog rips his face and ears off and kills him.

I have no doubt in my mind that if I hadn't stepped forward and picked him up, she would've done exactly that.

So yeah, you never know whose life you're going to change. It is indeed possible that the person you are supposed to help, has not yet been born.

by Anonymousreply 5508/26/2013

r54 We've been living on near nothing for the last 5 years. We sold possessions on Ebay and people gave us money. My partner finally got social security disability this month and we should now be able to survive financially. Even though I'm also too disabled to work, I'll never qualify. You have to have a severe physical ailment to point to in order to get disability.

by Anonymousreply 5608/26/2013

What's most curious about this thread is that most commenters, whether they see the life half-full or half-empty, struggle to understand those who feel differently. For all of you who enjoy your dotage, that's great, but there isn't necessarily something wrong or lacking in those who don't find as much happiness in their lives. I'm a generally optimistic person who enjoys good food, good company, and nice moments (not to mention sex, drugs & disco) but I still think life can be a largely hollow experience in our individualised society, particularly for older people, and I wouldn't be suprised if I do decide to exit early should old age prove to be lonely and depressing. It is quite possible to make a rational decision about whether one's own quality of life is sufficient to keep living or not, and all the twee sentimentality in the world won't convince me there's anything wrong with that.

by Anonymousreply 5708/26/2013

r57, believe it or not, I think it all boils down to something pretty frivolous. People think they might miss out on something REALLY rewarding or REALLY interesting if they decide for an early checkout. I believe that all there is to it.

There is a grain of truth to it. A friend drank himself to death on 1/20/01, five days before his 50th birthday. He missed out on 911.

by Anonymousreply 5808/26/2013

While suicide has always seemed a polite option I do get a bit annoyed about people who go on and on about government assisted suicide. It appears these people are only really interested in talking about suicide and not doing it. Really, if you want it so bad just go out and score a 50 dollar bag of smack. It really is that easy.

by Anonymousreply 5908/27/2013

r59, Actually, a wonderful death is cleaner and easier than a bag of dope. All this media attention about the best way to kill a prisoner is just STUPID!

Hypoxia is a wonderful and pleasant death. Ever heard of SCUBA divers getting nitrogen narcosis? Same thing. Get a can of pure nitrogen. A couple of cases of whipped cream cans will do the same (contains nitrogen oxide). There are many odorless gases that will work just the same.

Incidentally, this is also the humane method used to put down pussy-cats and dogs. They just put them in a can and suck most of the air out. It is very pleasant for the animal... although it sounds kinda gross.

by Anonymousreply 6008/27/2013

Once you accept that you'll never be "pretty" again, you find more important things to worry about.

And you realize how much time and money was wasted worrying about such a superficial thing.

It's not about how you look, its about who you are.

Be that nice, friendly, helpful, good person that people love.

There aren't enough of them in the world.

by Anonymousreply 6108/27/2013

r61, I think you've just done missed the point. "Not being pretty" is the least of the worries for those looking for an early exit. It's more like feeling a little less human, day by day. Your not able to enjoy the things you once enjoyed.

by Anonymousreply 6208/27/2013

Count me in as another one who had a rocky as hell earlier life and who is happier now than he has ever been. Headed to my mid 50's and things are great. BUT, everyone is different. No one has the right to choose for someone else. Plenty of people are suffering and unhappy. Pie in the sky blowing smoke about how great life is won't work for everyone. Life is unfair and many people in my age range are ill or poor or depressed. I am blessed to have a wonderful life. NOW. Who knows what the future will bring and what choices I might make? If that guy committed suicide at age 60, then that was his choice. HIS choice. I will say that he looked way older than that in those pictures. He said he "looked 60 and thought like a 60 year old, etc. etc." Not all of us do. He had dark circles and snow white hair. He looked 80 to me. And perhaps he suffered from depression that was simply undiagnosed. He didn't acknowledge that he was depressed but he obviously was. I get the feeling that he was NOT gay.

This will sound prejudiced as hell but I do think that gay men are so much more fabulous than straight men. Tougher, stronger. We are SURVIVORS.

by Anonymousreply 6308/27/2013

R61, not all people age the same. Some men are handsome ALL their lives. And this makes other gay men NOT so lucky...insane. It is quite possible to be sexy, nice, kind, intelligent and live a full life clear into old age. Maybe not that common but still possible.

by Anonymousreply 6408/27/2013

I agree with R60. Not suicidal in the slightest, but if I become such, I'm going with good old carbon monoxide poisoning. Why make a gory mess for others to have to clean up - or risk being horribly disfigured/injured if you fail at one of the other methods.

by Anonymousreply 6508/27/2013

r65 I believe carbon monoxide is an actual poison, not unlike cyanide. That may not be as pleasant an experience as other forms of simple hypoxia. Plus, the most common source of CO is car exhaust... not exactly pleasant to breath. Buy yourself a couple of cases of whipped cream cans. NO = laughing gas. You'll have a good time.

by Anonymousreply 6608/27/2013

Thanks R66, I will make a note of it when they send me my AARP card.

I do get why he did it, just marveling at how some people choose this outcome while others struggle so hard to stay alive. Unlike a lot of other older people who commit suicide, the guy had no known health problems or financial woes, and he seemed to have friends.

by Anonymousreply 6708/27/2013

[bold]The Dangers of Growing Old While Gay[/bold]

Despite its deeply unfortunate stock illustration, there’s an op-ed in The Advocate today that’s well worth your time. In his piece, screenwriter Jon Bernstein eloquently addresses a phobia endemic to American culture but suffered with particular intensity within the stereotypically image-conscious gay male community: the fear of growing old.

Looking to gay literary history for a way into a prickly subject, Bernstein uses Oscar Wilde’s accounting of the terrible costs that come with the quest for youth, The Picture of Dorian Gray, as a cautionary tale. But what makes this piece unique is that instead of adding to the well-worn genre “gay narcissism rebuke,” Bernstein offers a compelling explanation for the issue itself:

[quote]For gay men, I believe the problem is that we don’t know how to grow old. We lost a generation of teachers and role models to the AIDS crisis, a tragedy that continues to haunt and remind us of our own mortality. Moreover, many of us feel like we lose a connection to our community of support when younger generations ignore us or brush us aside.

There’s a lot to unpack in that paragraph. Though some artists and filmmakers are finally beginning to grapple with the “community memory” that AIDS has stolen from younger generations of gay people, the contours of that void will take decades to map completely. And the pain of the loss is doubled when you recall that “gay culture” is not something that can be passed down biologically or through other traditional means. Instead, we depend on self-made, ad-hoc “families” of friends and community members to teach us, as David Halperin so perfectly puts it, “how to be gay.”

But as Bernstein points out, even those who made it through the AIDS crisis are now finding their place in the ever-growing gay community—more of us are born every day, after all—uncertain. Because of a few bad apples and a great deal of youthful short-sightedness, many younger gay guys perceive the older generation as nothing but a bunch of letchy old men who, absent their youthful looks, should just retire from public gay life altogether. This situation is bad for everyone: dangerous for older men who, as Bernstein describes, become socially isolated and depressed, and dangerous for younger ones who, because of a kind of historical isolation, miss out on the wisdom that their elders might provide.

For myself, I can say that some of my most valued friendships are with the older gay men in my life. They connect me to a hard-won (and fragile!) cultural lineage that I can be proud of and help ground my actions in the knowledge that, as a gay writer and, really, a person, I have a lot to live up to. I share Bernstein’s hope that more older gays will be willing to make themselves “teachers and role models to younger gay men, who must come to realize that they too are growing older.” And with that realization, I hope that more of us will be willing to learn.

by Anonymousreply 6808/28/2013

Interesting article. I'm still in my twenties but when I read accounts like the ones in this thread I do kind of worry about growing older. However, at the same time I do appreciate the honesty about what growing older is truly life for many people.

by Anonymousreply 6908/28/2013

Just turned 66 and old age is suddenly hitting me. Not physically. I feel fine, although I wear a pacemaker. But it's the realization that nothing that's ailing me is likely to get demonstrably better. When younger, I could always say to myself, "Well, I can work out more to harden the abs." or "I can eat more healthily to lose weight." Those are still options, of course, but they won't make a great deal of difference (especially with the abs). I wake up most mornings with the thought that I'm on an inevitable slide to the end. Just hope it isn't a slide to poverty, too.

by Anonymousreply 7008/28/2013

When I was 20, I saw the movie "Love, Sidney" (not the TV series, the TV movie).

In it, Tony Randal plays an older (assumed to be gay, insinuated to be gay, understood to be gay) man, who lives a very lonely life, stuck in a rut, with no joy.

It's portrayed brilliantly and heart-breakingly. In the movie he meets a single mother, who is in need, moves in with him, and brings him back to life. But as she gets back on her feet, she meets a nice guy, and eventually leaves. And Tony Randal's character is back to his lonely rut, but at least now he has a picture of the kid on his fridge to give him a little smile now and then.

When I saw that movie, I was TERRIFIED that was going to be me. Well, without the 'taste of family' interlude in the middle... just the lonely guy, suck in a dead end boring job, living by himself, stuck in a rut, waiting to die basically.

And here I am, 30 years later... alone, lonely, stuck in a rut, in a dead end job that I'm lucky to have, going home to am empty house every night...

My youthful terror has become my mundane reality. Sigh.

by Anonymousreply 7108/28/2013

Most of us are talking about more than losing our looks, we're talking about how we want to leave this world once we have a terminal illness, a disease sapping our very humanity, that sort of thing.

If you want to define death, one way to define would be once you reach this point. You're a walking (or not) dead person, on borrowed time, your body just hasn't caught up. Or your mind hasn't if your body fails you but your mind stays sharp.

I remember years ago when they put a pacemaker in my 70 year old grandmother (which in hindsight may have been unintentionally cruel given how she spent the last years of her life) that the doctor made a comment about how the pacemaker would still be going in my grandmothers casket 20 years later. That comment scared the hell out of me.

We are increasing the quantity of days alive but not the quality. There really does come a time to let go. Most of the time people know their time if they are mentally competent. Often, in truth, their family knows it too, though in our culture it is unfortunately taboo to have an honest discussion about it.

by Anonymousreply 7208/28/2013

R71 I would never suggest you go straight but there ARE plenty of nice old bats out there just looking for companionship... nothing else. It's not like you gotta throw them some sausage every now and again. They're too old and broken up to take dick even if they wanted it. Perfect match!

by Anonymousreply 7308/28/2013

I skimmed over Manley's suicide website yesterday and I spent a day thinking about it. Here's my take:

1) He was a sports statistician and all those statistics drove him insane. He applied analytic statistics to EVERYTHING. He forgot, the first rule of statistics is that statistics LIE. Stephen J Gould was told he had 6 months to live then lived another 20 years. But, statistically, he had 6 months.

2) Although he touted himself as a non-conformist, I thought he lacked imagination. He could have had fun in so many ways that he never imagined. There's lots of stuff he never tried... like shooting cocaine, for example. I know, it's not socially acceptable but IT IS lots of fun... err, or so I'm told.

by Anonymousreply 7408/29/2013

#R-74) You are right. If he was going to end it anyway i think I would have tried all sorts of things to feel happier.

by Anonymousreply 7508/29/2013

I think Manley sounds like he had Asperger's or something. Obsessed with numbers and something lacking in the social/emotional department.

by Anonymousreply 7608/29/2013

Did he write a how-to memo for the rest of us?

by Anonymousreply 7710/13/2013

I'm 64 and I just started a relationship with a 50 year old guy who's smart, funny, handsome, and happens to like older men. I never expected anything like this to happen--I assumed I would be alone since the end of my last relationship six years ago.

Not gloating or bragging, just saying, you really never know with life. Things can be going well, then they fall apart. Things can be going badly, and they improve. The worst mistake you can make in life, whether you're 25 or 70, is to think you can predict the future. The worst times in my life have been followed by the best, but when at my worst, I always thought it was over. It wasn't. And isn't. And won't be until it ends.

by Anonymousreply 7810/13/2013

He's my new hero, right after Dr. Kvorkian.

by Anonymousreply 7911/04/2013

I agree with r17. No need for justifying when. It is especially needed in the case of the seriously ill/bedridden/vegetative and even severely disabled cases. Yes, I think there are some who are better off dead than alive.

I have similar intentions as this guy, to off oneself when one is still able to.

But I don't want to leave my partner behind all alone facing this world. Sigh.

by Anonymousreply 8011/04/2013

I would also expect to off myself at some point, being a single gay guy without family. But 60 is far too young. I would expect to wait until I get a serious disease or become physically incapacitated.... hopefully that won't happen till 75, 80, 85... I think Manley had other reasons for going...

by Anonymousreply 8111/04/2013

When my parents (whom I love) go, I will have no reason to go on at all, to be honest. I'll have nobody to live for. Given the ages my grandparents went, it'll probably be in about 10 more years, or around the time I turn 60. So I can totally see this.

I won't make a big deal of it though. Just quietly get my things in order, figure out what charities to leave whatever I might have at the time, maybe include a few friends if I still have any at that point (it's a rapidly shrinking pool at this point, and they're all very far away now).

by Anonymousreply 8211/04/2013
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