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2002 Articles 
The new 
Victor
Meldrew
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The New Victor Meldrews

They are aged 35 to 54, married, fed up with work, disillusioned with life and hold out little hope of anything getting better. They are the new Victor Meldrews of this world.

For readers outside the UK, Victor Meldrew is a character in a popular UK TV comedy programme. He is a pensioner who is exasperated by every aspect of modern life. He is grumpy, disagreeable, cynical and with a totally negative view of life.

In reality, people over 55 in the UK, including gay men, have quite a positive view of life compared with the new Meldrews.

Survey after survey shows the thirty five to fifty four age group are cross and fed up, they don't have much to look forward to, expect the health service to deteriorate, their pensions to be worthless, rising house prices preventing their moving to larger houses and work as unfulfilling.

Even their sex lives seem to take a dive, affected by depression, pills and the demands of work and family. They also have envy of the teens and twenties who appear to be free of all cares, having sex every day, no responsibilities and little care for the future. All in the mind of course, but the brain is our main sex organ.

How badly gay men in this age bracket are affected by the Meldrew syndrome is unclear, but certainly some aspects have to affect them, work boredom, pension prospects, deteriorating health services and housing problems. Oh yes and a fear of ageing and jealousy of the teens and twenties again !

But they do have relative freedom to change their lives compared with their married brothers. With over fifty percent of mortgages bow being given to single people either there are a lot of gay men and lesbians buying properties or straights are learning to live alone.

Other surveys into the lives of gay men, show that older gay men are on the whole happy and well balanced. Despite the hardships they suffered as young men with repressive laws, they seem to have emerged into old age in reasonable shape. 

Personally I am lucky. I did suffer badly in the pre 1967 years but am probably happier now than at any time since I was a kid. I have a long time partner, a few real friends including younger people who treat me respect and who value their friendship with me. Sex still is on the agenda with my partner and occasionally with others. My mortgage is paid off and perhaps of most importance, I keep reasonably healthy.

I also know that there are many thousands of older gay men in this country who are also happy with their lives and the chance of an older gay man being happy seem to be higher than they are for his straight brother especially those who through divorce or death no longer have a partner.

With the population becoming less and less trusting of politicians and their abilities to change anything perhaps those same politicians should look at the whole way society operates and recognizing that there is a lot to learn from gay people and the way they lead their lives. 

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Age hits back !