Not to put too fine a point on it- I am one of those “tired old queens” people like to talk about.
For years I rejected Queen (along with Queer) as my voice and general appearance leans to the masculine. And both terms were too often said devoid of love or acceptance. But I do love show-tunes, Cher and schlock. I’ve never been keen on sports (perhaps as much due to my TEV ‘clubfoot‘ as anything).
Over the years I’ve reclaimed Queer- at my core I will never be ‘normal’ or desire to assimilate. And now I’ve stopped running from Queen. Not because I expect you to kneel before Me (well, there are a few of you…). I strive to be at least half the proud Queen as the womyn in my life, and those Queens who came before me.
Being “old” truly is more than just a number. For gay men who came out just before or during the onslaught of GRID/hiv/AIDS, getting old, if it did happen, was often surprisingly quick. The disease f*cked with all the actuarial tables. Exactly what percentage of my generation of queer folk were sacrificed to the hysteria and hatred can never be calculated- death certificates can (and often did) list the emergent disease without identifying the underlying syndrome as the cause.
I’ve blogged about why I expected not to live past 40- many factors, some out of my control. But at 150% of that number I am old. Not quite decrepit, but in a body not maintained as well as it could’ve been. A variety of chronic conditions have settled in.
And that leaves us with “tired“. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, psychologically etc. To be clear, I’m far from ready to check out. There are people, things and events that continue to inspire me. A friend celebrates finding their true gender, people who love openly and generously, a world-wide network of crazy queer nuns who fight back against guilt, shame, bigotry and the Darkness. A collection of families (biological and chosen) who inspire, surprise and delight me.
But lawdy, lawdy, I am tired.
I have not retreated from ‘real life’ because I no longer want to participate. I will return. But this tired old queen needs to recover; my spirit and my sight are weak.