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Empowering Aging Canadians

Q&A with the Old Gays: Having Fun and Aging with Panache

Mediaplanet chatted with the Old Gays (@oldgays on TikTok), four gay social media personalities and 2SLGBTQ+ rights activists, about how they stay socially connected and have fun as they age.

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What inspired you to become influencers on aging, and how do you hope to inspire older adults through your content?

We hope to inspire others by setting a good example — to stretch and to grow, just for the fun of it. Our social media just kept growing and growing and growing. We’ve been guided by a lot of forces around us. We were intrigued about the art of social media. We were just trying to make people happy, and that’s how we got started. That’s all.

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How can older adults, especially those in the 2SLGBTQ+ community, ensure they stay socially connected as they age?

Get out of your house, go socialize and meet people. We don’t want to die alone and forgotten for six days. Turn off the TV and get out there in society and just enjoy. And you have to have a passion for something, and to maintain that. Retirement is great because you can pursue things that you couldn’t when you were younger, and it’s a chance to relive exciting moments or perhaps to try something that you haven’t done before. If you’re physically able, you still have it within you. If you’re like us, you might like to learn new dances constantly!

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What advice would you give to older adults who are struggling to find meaning or purpose in their lives?

Find something that you’re passionate about and jump into it. A good exercise to try is to just take out a piece of paper and draw a line all the way down and then draw a line all the way across. On the left side, write down things that you’ve done and on the right side, write down things that you want to do or that you’ve never done. Maybe it’s travel, maybe it’s taking up a new skill, maybe it’s sexual. Then get started!

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Can you recommend some simple exercises or activities that older adults can incorporate into their daily routine to maintain their physical health and well-being?

Dance. Find a dance troop. Go dancing one night. You never know who you’ll meet. The one exercise that we’d recommend is to do squats. Yoga is also great! Everybody can do it at their own speed, and yoga works you out both physically and spiritually, and you’ll feel wonderful afterwards. Stretching your muscles every way you can is also really important in order to keep your flexibility. Lastly, walking is a simple but powerful thing. Go look at nature once in a while.

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What do you believe is the greatest misconception about aging and how do you hope to change people’s perceptions?

Take a look at us now — we’ve done more than we ever thought we’d be doing and we feel it, too. The perception is that once you cross over 50, you’re done with your life. That isn’t true! You’ve got a lot of life to live beyond that, so make the most of it. Keeping moving is the main thing — don’t become sedentary. And play word games, do crossword puzzles, and keep your mind occupied and stimulated, because that’ll keep the little brain cells going.

We also recommend surrounding yourself with young people, because being around young people and seeing through their eyes can give you a whole different perspective and interpretation. And this also gives them the opportunity to see through your eyes. The great thing about this young generation is that they’re really interested in their grandparents and their gay parents. They want to know about our lives. So share your life with young people — with your grand nieces and nephews. That’s essentially how this all got started for us!

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