Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Celebrating Age: Poise, Compassion, and Great Achievements

Look at me, all classy and dressed up for a party, like a normal human being. I was just coming off my pain flare when I wore this outfit, and you can see a resemblance to the outfit in my last post: loose maxi, soft fabric, focus on comfort. The bra and the belt are the major changes, pain-wise, and they left my ribs aching badly at the end of the night.

Still, it felt good to dress well, to genuinely feel like I looked good, and to head off to a real social event. I wore my new (to me) dress, earrings and matching brooch just for the event. It seemed like a good time for their inauguration.

Boots: Ecco; Barrettes; Stylized; Right hand ring: Burks; Dress, jacket, brooch, and earrings: vintage
It was my friend, James', 50th birthday and I wanted to look sufficiently celebratory. He and I hung out in the same crowds 20 or 25 years ago, when we were both able-bodied and full of energy and hope. We went to the gay bars and danced all night, feeling radical, liberated, and downright cool.

We were cool, actually. We really were. I am quite sure that our own openness in being our queer selves helped pave the way for the queer youth of today, whether those youth know it or not. I think we knew this at the time, knew that there was something more than just dancing going on when a bunch of young queers went to a gay bar together in the early 1990s. We were not ashamed. We did not hide who we were or who we loved. We were living as if we were already in the world we hoped would come: one of freedom and equality. And, in many ways, that world really has come now. Imagine that!

Of course, our dancing days are over now. Now we're both on canes because of chronic pain. In fact, I got him a foldable cane for his birthday and he was very happy with it. Such a gift would have been a joke to us when we were young. Our bodies are old before their time.

Well, so it goes. I decided to shine for his party the way I feel we both used to shine every Friday and Saturday night way back in the olden days.

I wore my hair in a classy French twist, but paired it with my tough leather jacket, just like the one he wore then and still wears today.

I may not be as nimble as I was then but I think I can still look pretty good.

Much more importantly, I know I'm a smarter, wiser and, nicer person than I was then. Despite all my struggles, I think I'm happier too.

I'm classier too, if truth be told. With age, even crippled age, come self-awareness, sophistication and poise that youngsters just simply cannot pull off. So damn straight we celebrated James' 50th. It was worth celebrating.

At the party, another old gay friend spoke of his long term marriage to his husband. His legal marriage, something I think most of us could barely dream of when were dancing in those bars all those years ago. Love, yes. Marriage equality, no. And yet, here we are, achieving dreams we didn't even dare dream back then.

That too is worth celebrating, canes and all.

(I'm sharing this over at Visible Mondays on Not Dead Yet.)


  1. What a classy and yet sexy outfit. At first I thought you had gloves on in the first picture due to the sun on your arm. I love your super shiny belt, and those earrings and brooch are spectacular.
    Thanks for the work you did paving the way. Not that we have marriage equality yet in Australia...grr.
    I agree, with age comes sophistication and poise...hmmm when will that arrive in my house I wonder? ;-)
    Soooo glad you had a chance to dress up and enjoy the moment. xo JJ

    1. All second-hand, m'dear. I love it when something I got for nothing makes me feel like a million bucks. You're on the way toward marriage equality there, aren't you? My activism now is more about child abuse and disability, but I guess, in my own way, with my words, I'm a life-long activist.

  2. You look stunning and radiant in this maxi dress, just beautiful! Dreams sure are worth celebrating! xx

    1. Yay! It was the time of evening with "magic light" too. Fashion photographers wait for it.

  3. You do shine, and yes, your spirit 20 years ago most definitely laid a path for queer folk today. Bravo to you and your friends. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, xo.

    1. Maybe the work I'm doing now for child abuse awareness will bear fruit 20 years from now. It seems hopeless but that's how I felt about marriage equality too.

  4. Okay...I'll try rewriting this comment...I hate it when that happens.

    I love this maxi on you. I have one almost the same but in blue and green. It looks gorgeous on you.

    I'm always amazed when people say they are happy to age. I don't get it. I really don't. In fact I have a post coming up about that this week. I think it might be controversial.


    1. I'll have to track down your post and give it a read. I'm not actually saying that I'm happy to age. I'm just saying that, since I have no choice, I might as well see the positives in it. Because of my disability, my body feels like I'm about 90 and I often compare notes with people that age: our pain, stamina, and abilities are all about equal -- and I'm only 44! I'm not at all happy about that but, so it goes. So: with it go I.

  5. You look beautiful with this maxi and I love the added bling. I love that you gifted your friend a cane - I remember when my hubby turned 40, we gave him a cane and we laughed....but you never know how they ages and may need it one of these days.


    Hope to see you for TBT Fashion link up.

    1. Added bling is always a good thing, yes?

      Disability can hit anyone in a flash, regardless of age. Mine crept up on me but, for others, one second -- a fall, a car accident, whatever -- can completely change everything. So, no, you never do know.

      Thanks for the link invite. I will indeed see you there.