Guest Post by Center Volunteer, Nelson Freitas recapping the Center’s recent event, “Coming Out as Old,” featuring Jonathan Ned Katz and Edward Field. Katz, who celebrated his 73rd Birthday at this Center function, is an award winning historian, author, and a director of OutHistory.org. He recently came out as a visual artist. Edward Field is an award-winning poet, biographer, memoirist, fiction writer and editor. During this gathering he read his poems about sex and being old.
In a nutshell, together Jonathan Ned Katz and Edward Field share an exciting world of aging and creativity and make us feel optimistic about our future as mature gay men. As we age, many of us quickly recognize our time here is limited which propels us to search for new meaning and seek out a deeper appreciation for living.
Both talked about the stigma of OLD in our community and the need to dilute that with finding, exercising and sharing a passion, whatever it might be, that keeps you vital and engaged in life. Jonathan achieves it through his artwork while Ed via his writing and poetry.
Image by Ector Simpson
Jonathan’s artwork, mainly homo-erotic shows an appreciation for the physicality of the male body. It strikes a sense of humility, with individual recognition of models through inclusion of their names and signatures. His work feels surprising and spontaneous and not over-produced. It’s authentic rawness (he described it as a homemade affect) exudes a sense of freshness and confidence.
Ed’s writings mix satire with human insight. He muses about things like visiting a doctor at 52 and the doctor saying whatever he is feeling is normal given his age. He creatively talks about remaining acquainted with our bodies as we age. In other words, embrace your body and what it has become. He also reads a poem dedicated to his partner of fifty years. What an achievement for anyone! It’s both touching and honest.
In the end, for anyone wondering, there is life post fifty. It fact, it’s promising and filled with greater confidence and freedom of expression. Let’s all keep living.