“It took my husband and I a while to figure out what he meant,” Suckling writes in a recent op-ed titled Why do gay men act like teenagers? published by the New Zealand Herald. “Why wouldn’t two men want to get married?”
We can think of a number of reasons why, but our readers are probably already aware of them.
Suckling continues: “In the lead up to my wedding, I’d started to realize there was a certain adolescence I was letting go of. What I didn’t quite comprehended, until I thought that older gentleman’s comment through, was that such an adolescence isn’t something a lot of gay men want to let of go of.”
What follows next is an assault of outdated stereotypes and generalizations about gay men and their “Peter Pan syndrome.”
“Our culture permits — even encourages — an eternal Peter Pan syndrome whereby we can choose to remain young and free at heart,” Suckling writes. “And we do the best we can to keep our physicality in such a state too.”
He cleverly refers to this “eternal Peter Pan syndrome” as “gaydolescence.”
“For the most part, the gaydolescence comes from being denied a legitimate adolescence in our teenage years,” he theorizes. “The consequence of this is often young gay men don’t partake — and actively distance themselves — from the adolescent experiences of teenage love, sex, even good friendships.”
Maybe for some people. But these days, more and more LGBT youth are coming out at a younger and younger age.
“The fall out effect of this becomes apparent when we accept who we are, at 18, 22, or sometimes 30 or older, and then we become 16 year old boys all over again,” Suckling continues. “Sex drives ramp up. We join a party culture that doesn’t stop for anything. We date around and finally get the sexual education we missed out on (and then some).”
Oh, but it doesn’t stop there. Suckling continues: “It’s obvious that gaydolescence extends to some gay mens’ physical appearance, too.”
They do this, he says, by getting “buffed up” at the gym, paying more attention to their “skincare and hair regimes,” and wearing “hi-tops and tank tops at 38.”
“For some guys, the gaydolescence never really ends,” Sucking writes. “Others might drag it out until their mid-40s when they realize a the benefits of a prolonged adolescence are no longer outweighed by the effort it takes.”
“But for the gay men coupling up and getting married early-ish in life (myself included),” he says, “our gaydolescence isn’t even going to last into our 30s.”
So there you have it, fellas. Lee Suckling is better than you because he decided to get married and stop being a “gaydolescent.” Now you can either follow his lead or grow into one of those tired, old 40-something gay men wearing a tank top at a gay bar on a Saturday night. Your choice.