Ramirez-Valles, professor and director of community health sciences at the University of Illinois-Chicago, spoke this month at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Nursing.
His most recent book, published in August, is In it, he told the stories of 11 aging gay men he had interviewed in depth. When he started his research, he said, he learned that older gay men are studied inadequately by aging experts and also by scholars who focus on the LGBTQ community.
When he set out to study gay men on the cusp of old age, Jesus Ramirez-Valles expected to find psychological fallout from the AIDS epidemic that darkened the years in which these baby boomers came of age. What surprised him was how many in a group that had championed sexual freedom were now lonely and wishing they had partners to grow old with.
"More and more and more they were saying, I wish I had a partner," Ramirez-Valles said.
Now what activity would be so out of the box for you, it might put you in a space to meet new guys, make friends with people who have gay friends or try a new hobby? If you really want a guy who appreciates monogamy, then hanging out with people who have open relationships probably isn't the best place to meet Mr. From sex to finances and family to intellectual awareness, letting your true desires show up doesn't make you weak, weird or wacky. The more you make excuses for why your gay dating life is the toilet, the less chance of it shifting in a positive way.
Think of it this way: If you can step out of the closet, you can certainly step out of your rut! It's you being truly you, so let your authentic self shine. If every date you go on with a gay guy leads you to say, "He was nice, but ... Well, it depends on your position — no pun intended.
The oldest boomers turned 65 in 2011, so most are not yet facing the most serious health problems encountered in old age.
The men Ramirez-Valles interviewed were evaluating their lives as they approached a new chapter.
So this might not be a good thing, but you will inevitable be cajoled into taking shots.
And that is one thing that twentysomethings are very good for: keeping you up-to-date with the hottest new trends.