Ageist or not? That is the debate over a TikTok video put up by a user named Oskar (@dobermanboxxer). The video shows Oskar making faces while an instrumental of Rihanna’s song “Work” plays and a caption reading “Can someone open a gay club where the maximum age is 32 bc the geriatrics keep getting on my nerves.” In the description for the video, the user wrote, “Like…they had so much time to mature but stay acting immature and creepy.. it’s not an isolated incident either.” (UPDATE- 08/29/2022: The original poster deleted this video and his rebuttal video, but as you well know, nothing on the internet is truly gone.)
Upload of a deleted TikTok. pic.twitter.com/B0GMQCdnpD
— Gerald Biggerstaff (@GeraldoBigstuff) August 29, 2022
While there were some people who agreed with Oskar,
there were many more that called him out for his ageist views.
Others made videos in response to Oskar’s claims.
#stitch with @Oskar I’m so done with the gays.
#stitch with @Oskar
Oskar made his own video in response to the many comments and videos criticizing him. He explains that it is older gays that are more predatory and are more likely to try to grope younger guys in clubs. (UPDATE: 08/29/2022- This video has been removed as well.)
One user (TheChubbMartin2.0) came back with a critique on both of Oskar’s videos that he used as a teachable moment for the original poster.
As TheChubbMartin2.0 points out in his video, times have changed in gay (or LGBTQ) culture. From the seventies to at least the late 2000s, being gay was not socially acceptable. There were not many positive representations of gay men or lesbian women on television either. Kylie Lawrence elaborates in her article for Prism Florida:
Gay bars provided a safe space for LGBTQ community members to go without fear of being harassed for their identity, and it allowed them to meet other members of the community…Gay club culture originated in the early to mid-1900s but truly began to thrive and grow in the ’70s and ’80s. It was filled with vibrant music, unique dance moves, and extravagant style. There were no rules or norms, but rather the trend was to be your true and authentic self and to embrace differences and uniqueness.
The secrecy of gay bars also fostered a sexually charged environment. If you were going out to a gay bar during the 70s, 80s, and even in some places in the late 90s, one of the (if not the singular) reasons for this was to find some guy to have sex with.
Compare that to today where television shows like Modern Family and movies like Love, Simon show positive LGBTQ+ representation and more visibility of the LGBTQ+ thanks to actors, singers, and athletes coming out. Being gay, lesbian, or bisexual is more mainstream now and so are the clubs.
As an article in Bon Appetit points out:
It makes sense that the sexualization of bodies has become a central point of queer-centered nightlife, given that gay people have so often been forced to hide their sexuality in the outside world. But it becomes problematic when the presumed access to other queer bodies that has become commonplace at gay bars results in the violation of consent.
Gone are the days, in most gay bars, where two men decide to hook up outside of the bar, in a dark backroom, in the bar’s bathroom, etc. In this day of hookup cell phone apps like Grindr or Scruff, gay men look for sexual encounters from their iPhones or Samsung cells while going out to a club is a way to be seen without the pressures of finding sexual partners.
The mores (or customs) of today’s gay bars versus the gay bars pre-internet have diverged in other ways too. The music played on the dancefloor is more conventional today, and so are the clubs for that matter. Gay bars of the 70s and 80s allowed the use of “poppers” (a substance made with alkyl nitrates that were inhaled to create a euphoric effect) while many clubs today frown upon their usage.
Do you agree with Oskar’s views or do you think he comes off as ageist? Let us know in the comments or on our social media accounts.