Signorile: ‘Cut The Ageist Crap’ About Tom Daley’s Relationship With ‘Older’ Man

from The New Civil Rights Movement

Veteran journalist Michelangelo Signorile has been covering the LGBT community for decades. He’s written about the evils of the closet in his 1993 book, Queer in America: Sex, the Media, and the Closets of Power, and Life Outside – The Signorile Report on Gay Men: Sex, Drugs, Muscles, and the Passages of Life. Newsweek included him on their list of “100 Cultural Elite.” He’s written for several LGBT outlets, is now the editor-at-large for the Huffington Post’s Gay Voices, and has a long-running daily radio show on SiriusXM.

“Let’s cut the ageist crap” Signorile writes.

“Yes, Black is old enough to be Daley’s father. But he’s not. If Black were just a couple of years older than Daley, he could be his brother too. But he’s not. Shocking news for you: You’re all going to be old. And your tastes are going to evolve over time. Some younger people are attracted to older people, and vice versa… If that’s not your thing, it’s totally cool, but in that case just shut your mouth.”

Signorile also calls out those whose negative comments — especially those who have said, “yuk.” “Deal with your homophobia, including your internalized homophobia if you happen to gay.”

We’ve put an age limit on what we can and can’t do because we live in a civil society and abide by the rule of law. And this particular relationship falls well within the limit. So let’s drop this crap too.

He also slams those who feed into the right wing’s lies about the LGBT community, especially the lie that many, most, or all gay men are pedophiles.

There’s an undercurrent in these comments — the “chicken hawk” charge — that suggests that gay men are more likely to sexually abuse underage teens, the ugliest lie about gay men out there. Hardcore homophobes are predictably pointing to Black and Daley as supposed proof. But many gay men too, so defensive about the charge and deathly fearful of how it’s used, overcompensate by saying “yuk.”

I’d like to add my two cents here as well.

I’m married to a younger man. We’ve been together almost six years, and we married this past June. Our age difference has never been an issue for us, and we make each other happy. We learn from each other, we help each other grow, and we support each other.

What’s the problem?

The LGBT community has been vilified for centuries. Maybe it’s hard to not turn some of that hate onto others, but when we attack our own, we feed into false narratives the right has pushed for decades.

For years we’ve been saying that “love is love,” and that it shouldn’t matter what gender(s) a couple is, as long as they’re happy. Why should it matter how old they are, as long as it’s legal and they’re happy?

Love is an amazing thing, too precious and rare to waste — or to denigrate.

It’s time we started to support each other more, and while we’re at it, it’s time we started to care more about other minority communities.

I’m with Mike. Cut the crap.