Saturday, March 21, 2015
"Before You Know It" looks at gay seniors, and some do find romance in "their" own age group
“Before You Know It” (2013), by PJ Raval, is a documentary tracing the lives of a few older gay men (especially three of them), dealing with slowing down, and facing either living alone or still trying to find love.
One of the men has a tract house in Niceville, in the Florida panhandle. He picks a gay retirement home (55 and over) in Portland, Oregon, a diagonal across the country. Eventually he returns to his own home to check (having shown us his cross-dressing knick-knacks from earlier in life) and finds a water leak has left it infested with black mold.
Another man lives in Galveston, TX and runs a bar. Eventually his story leads to Harlem, in New York City, and an interracial marriage between two 67-year-old men. The film covers the extra special session for New York State to vote on gay marriage. It also covers the difference between marriage and the older “civil union”.
Along the way there are many other treats: a gay cruise in the Caribbean, and a Puccini performance. New York City pride is shown, as is a Mardi Gras parade, apparently in Austin, TX.
All the men talk about growing up in less tolerant times, when they “couldn’t talk about it” in front of “family”.
It would be easy to wonder about covering dating sites (I see ads for “older gay men”). It’s also possible to cover “body fascism”. It’s true, I can wake up from dreaming, and fantasize that I would desire intimacy with a particular young adult who is several decades younger but “perfect” and even angelic. I don’t feel that way about waking up to another 70 year old. Could I have kept a gay partnership alive for a half century if I had been allowed to start one in 1961? Good question. It sounds like a character question now.
The official site is here.
I saw the film on Netflix instant play. It is also available on Amazon on iTunes.