“I remember my 50s were tough. As you get older, you walk down the street and people don’t even look at you. It’s weird the way we treat people that are older, and especially in West Hollywood, where everybody wants to be young and beautiful.
I think we’re past that as a gay community. I hope. You know, I think that also had a lot to do with the bar scene, which has been curtailed. But even before that, back in my day — I got here [to California] in ’82 — all you had were the bars; you’d go to the bars. That’s just where you went to see other gay people and meet other gay people. Now I think, ‘My gosh, we have everything. We have choirs. And we have gay camping. We have gay this, we have gay that.’ There’s a lot of ways, plus the internet, where you can meet people.
My generation, we went through so much. I remember I walked up to these young kids holding hands in Kitchen 24 [in West Hollywood] and I just said, ‘You have no idea what we went through so you guys could…’ — and then all of a sudden it hit me: Oh my god, I don’t want to be that, like your granddad who would say, ‘You kids have no idea what we went through!’ I thought, ‘Oh my god! It’s the same thing!’ They were like, ‘Yeah, uh-huh, go on, Pop-Pop.'”–Actor and Instagram icon Leslie Jordan, on the changing gay community. Jordan told journalist Chris Azzopardi that ageism is less an issue in the community, and that he does not want to be seen as a preachy old man.