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getting older can be such fun or such grief

Personalities change as we get older. Some become bitter and angry, others enlightened and full of joy. Dementia can cause many difficulties as we enter our advanced years. Here are some thoughts from you and myself on this subject that will affect us all one day.


Why is it that many accuse older people of becoming cantankerous or 'difficult'. Some find themselves being more tolerant, kinder, more accepting and loving as they age and others very much the reverse, intollerant, less accepting and very judgmental.

I have to admit that I thought I would mellow as I got older but it seems that is not to be... as I am still as passionate, still as 'in your face' - still as enigmatic and opionated as I ever was... and I am SO GLAD FOR IT - as when younger I was not allowd opinions - I was constantly talked down, treated as a fool and only when I grew a pair of balls and started standing up against the bullies who were putting me down - and yes - these were lovers who were older than me and so I thought they knew best, when the truth was they damned well did not, and I had to start trusting my opinions and my thoughts as being right and not always wrong - as I was told, and when people started agreeing with me, I knew I was not a teenager with no voice after all. My opinion mattered and I was worthy of sharing them.

I just had to learn to pick my battles - choose which ones I wanted to take on and those I did not.

That is maturity. That is 'coming of age' and that is when you start to appreciate yourself for who you are and not what people think and assume you to be.

Here are some of your e mails:-

Dear John: My partner works in aged care/dementia and even though he is 12 years my junior we are both probably classed as old. (I'm 73)

He has explained to me that with dementia there is damage to the brain and some peoples personality does actually change and often to be like someone they simply were not during their lives. Personalaties can change radically.


Also. Some people are actually areseholes all their lives and dont treat anyone else with respect or give then dignity. They dont change as they age. They just become OLD arseholes and often BITTER old arseholes.

Then there are those who figure that now they are old they really dont give a shit about what people think of what they say, they have less filters and as life now is too short to put up with crap and bullshit - now they feel they can say what we really think. Steve F.


Dear John: Why is the gay scene so full of bitter, angry resentful old men. I only came out aged 45 and have experienced a lot in the 15 years since, and have made a great gay life for myself. My X wife and children are all great friends and they all know I am gay. However. Dealing with many gay men who are my age shows a wealth of anger and bitterness.

Many are still married and living the lie.

Many have wives and children and even grandchildren and I suppose having been forced - ONLY BY THEIR OWN MAKING - to live a lie for so many years, I think maybe they resent and envy those gay men who have always been 'out' and always lived the gay lifestyle and never had to lie. This is where, in my opinion, most homophobia and abuse comes from, these bitter old gay men who are still with their wives in hiding and who resent the shit out of others who are out and proud.

These bitter old men are a disgrace to the LGBT community as all they do is knock and destroy out of their resentment and jealousy. It was a hard lesson to learn when coming out 15 years ago as to how many, amongst the older generation, have these bitter feelings towards other gay me


I joined the Edward Carpenter Community some years ago and was thrilled to attend a week long event and it was an amazing and enlightening week. But while most people entered into it all, there were those who always found the negative in everything, always liked to find fault all the time, who bitched at the younger guys, resented the actual venue with nothing nice to say and those who were a distraction to the good vibe shared.

It seems the expression 'There is always one' is true, except in the gay world from my experience, the older some get, the more resentful and envious they get and that is so sad for them and so destructive for th LGBT community.


Dear John.

I lived with my partner for just under 55 years. I was 20 when we met and he was 19. We saw the gay community grow from nothing and then die in the 80's because of Aids and we have seen the rebuilding ever since. My partner went to get some shopping 3 years ago and never came home. The police found him in a hospital where no one knew who he was. He had had a Dementia attack - all of a sudden and could not remember who he was or where he came from and only having cash on him and nothing that ID'd him, it took 3 days. He was fine for a while and all back to normal but then 6 months later the same thing happened. He simply was confused and thankfully this time I was there and managed to get him under control and to the doctor. It got better and then got worse and then got better again and so it kept going for a year until he was fully into dementia and barely knowing who and where he was but never forget who I was and would cry when he saw me. It was heartbreaking to be a part of.

He died one night in his sleep and while it was unexpected, it was a relief - for him - for me - for his family - for everyone - as his quality of life was not good and he was not happy and would not have wanted to end his life like that. I still remember the yough, the vibrant and excitable young man who I enjoyed so many years of pure joy with and it is those memories I now cling to. I am sad to have lost him, but glad to have discovered Hamilton Hall and have enjoyed 3 wonderful weekends with you and have always made good friends and enjoyed my time with you. Life continues. I may be old, but do have sound mind and look to the future with a smile on my face and less tears in my eyes.



John Bellamy Comments: I never thought I would grow old. It's not that I thought I would die young, I just never envisioned it at all. I worked out 3 days a week and was in very good shape. I had a sensational sex life, a successful business and a central London home, and was in my prime. I now talk to people in their 30's and always laugh when I tell them to go home, get naked, look in a full length mirror and realise, this is probably the best it is ever going to be, as it slowly changes and you find what was tight and muscular has become slack and saggy - and the skin becoming blotchy and moles start appearing as well as Liver Spots. A Saturday evening in with feet up and X Factor or Strictly sounds ideal instead of going out at midnight and not getting home after a night out until 5am...

Late nights take a lot longer to get over and as for chems... oh I did tons decades ago but it takes days and days to recover from when you enter your 60's. My sex life is better than ever - that is before Covid 19 came along which stopped it dead. With modern medication for HIV - you do not need condoms if fucking someone who is undetectable and that alone is Heaven Sent.

Older men are sexier. They have experience and most ( not all ) are better in the sack than some 20 year old. They take their time. They know it is not a race.

But we do need to watch our mental health - especially during and after the Covid 19 scare has closed society down, closed many into their homes and mental health has become a problem for many who need interaction - who need the outside world - who need space and freedom to be who they are and not a prisoner within their own home and within their own head space.

If you suspect yourself or a friend might be loosing it - go see a doctor, do not be afraid, be brave enough to do what you need to do.

Hamilton Hall mis always here if you need company, friuendship, someone to talk and even cry with as we offer an understanding from the heart rarely found in LGBTQ venues or anywhere come to that. The hotel with a soul.. or even..

Nourish your soul

As well as your arsehole.

At Hamilton Hall.

John Bellamy


<<< who cut my head off ???


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