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Queer AgingThe Gayby Boomers and a New Frontier for Gerontology$
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Jesus Ramirez-Valles

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190276348

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190276348.001.0001

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The Praxis of Queer Gerontology

The Praxis of Queer Gerontology

(p.199) 13 The Praxis of Queer Gerontology
Queer Aging

Jesus Ramirez-Valles

Oxford University Press

The stories of Queer Aging are infused with the creative bonds men build with other men through their sexual desire: friendships, friends with benefits, casual sex—and its contemporary version: no-strings-attached, open relationships, and ménages à trois. These forms of relating to one another are outside the norms of heterosexually. They are fluid, contextual, and, by their very nature, fragile. Against the background of marriage and coupledom, gay men show that intimacy, love, sex, friendship, casual sexual encounters, and group sex are not opposite; they all can coexist. These friendships, horizontal conjunctions, or sometimes called “associative practices” run throughout the life course and may provide the context for the exercise of freedom. This concept of friendship is qualitatively different from our common usage. It underscores liaisons formed beyond gender and heterosexuality. Friendship is what makes homosexuality a creative force, because it connects us, allowing us to communicate, circulate alternative ways of being, and deprivatize our existence.

Keywords:   Friendships, gerontology, older gay men, queer gerontology, same-sex marriage

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