tbt

This daddy’s Instagram provides sexy, thought-provoking looks into his journey through gay history

 

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A post shared by Mike Balaban (@bammer47)

Mike Balaban, a 70-year-old gay historian who runs the LGBTQ storytelling podcast “Bammer and Me”, uses his Instagram to share sizzling pics of himself and his hunky friends from the 1980s onward. Many of the shots show the shores of Fire Island, Mykonos, Rio de Janeiro and various gay enclaves, beaches and parties around the world.

While his images are rife with musclemen and handsome guys in their swimsuits (including numerous pics of himself), Balaban uses their captions to document personal moments of gay history, creating an autobiography filled with friends, lovers and acquaintances. Sometimes, he comments on the changing ways he relates to his sexuality and gay culture. Other times, he recounts more emotional topics, like the friends and lovers he lost to the HIV epidemic or the under-discussed prevalence of sex abuse among men.

As he’s gotten older, Balaban now identifies as demisexual, only feeling sexually attracted toward people he has established an emotional bond with. He still photographs his world travels and hunky strangers at gay events, but his reflections elevate his pics into insightful tidbits that shed light on what it means to be gay in an ever-changing world.

“If I could meet my younger self, I would share two pieces of hard-earned advice,” he wrote in a recent post. “First, gravitate towards those who show they want to be with you, not those who require you to make most of the effort at friendship. Secondly, the most important attribute in a potential romantic partner (after mutual attraction, of course:), and one that’s not so easy to find, is complete honesty/integrity. Make sure it’s present in anyone you give your heart to.”

 

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A post shared by Mike Balaban (@bammer47)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mike Balaban (@bammer47)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mike Balaban (@bammer47)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mike Balaban (@bammer47)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mike Balaban (@bammer47)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mike Balaban (@bammer47)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mike Balaban (@bammer47)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mike Balaban (@bammer47)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mike Balaban (@bammer47)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mike Balaban (@bammer47)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mike Balaban (@bammer47)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mike Balaban (@bammer47)