Are "Daddies" the Lost or Greatest Gay Generation, or Both?
The term "daddy" can mean something different to each and every person in the gay community, depending on how its used. For men who fit this definition by age, the word can conjure up a lot of meanings to it as the ones who survived some of the toughest years for the LGBT community are left wondering how they are viewed in 2017. Author and writer David Toussaint just penned a piece about this called "Daddy Issues: Are We the Lost Generation or the Greatest Gay Generation?", where he discusses his firsthand experience in all of this and sees where him and many others are today.
The basis of the article discusses the facts that his generation had to go through hell and back to get to where they are, survive, and yet still be treated as some sort of outcasts by the gay community today. Per David, "After the era of G.A.Y. (Got Aids Yet), we’re living in a world that we dreamed about and fought for, and sometimes kicks us in the ass for surviving at all. The conundrum of gay life after a certain age is that we killed ourselves to get here yet we are often punished for daring to age."
The term, "where's the lie", really comes into place here as I am part of the younger generation who has heard over and over again from people my age on how they won't date older men and use childlike adjectives to explain why, with really no backing behind it. This generation has the tendency to forget that the ones before us really paved the way for us to have what we do today, and to mock them for simply aging is something that this group needs to really work on.
Not only is there the "lost" aspect in the LGBT world, they are also missing in the media one as well. "We’re vastly unrepresented in the media and publishing (the two general over-40 gay algorithm articles sent to me are variations on HIV treatments and “Photos of Hot Older Guys That Prove Narcissism Is Just a Number”), because, apparently, we’re only good for finding cheaper ways to stay alive and looking good while we do so. But we’re also the leaders, the role models, the Greatest Gay Generation. No, we weren’t the first to die for gay survival, but we’re the last one’s still here. If there’s another war, we’ll serve as the blueprint. We’ll scream from the sidelines."
Given the fact that the next war might be on its way due to the current political climate, will it take anyone to realize the vast efforts that men like David had to take to give us marriage equality, same-sex rights and a slew of other things that make life for our generation that much easier? I can see why there is a balance between "lost" and "greatest" here, in that what they did equates to great and beyond but the younger generation either is ignorant to their accomplishments or simply doesn't care. Hopefully, its the former.
According to David, the word Daddy has more to do with the look of the guy, and not what goes beyond that. "Why some young gay men don’t understand this, and often disrespect aging, is beyond my comprehension, but it’s no surprise Daddy has become synonymous with sex appeal and strength. Who’s above us? Sure, I know 30-year-old bottom-leaning porn performers who get labeled “daddies”—I guess scruff and a strong jaw are qualifiers—but that’s in huge part because of our need to label everyone something, anything—we’re nothing without you."
Granted, even men in his generation had a dismissing way of talking about "daddy" types (he references a specific story later on), so this particular piece isn't all inclusive to the millennial generation, but David does bring up some very good points on how the term is used today more for a sexual reason and not to discuss what these guys had to endure to get to where they are. Eventually, my generation will age and the hopes for me and many others is that if we have to go into another battle similar to what theirs had to, that the generation below us gives us the respect we deserve and not just sees us for their sexual needs.