You’ll see a 40-something TOFA [Too Old for Abercrombie] wearing these clothes and my friends and I will laugh,” the man told Hajek. “You can’t control getting older but you can control looking like a fool.”
He paused. “I have gotten Botox three times in my life,” he added.
Contradictions like this were a prominent theme throughout Hajek’s interviews. The [gay] men he spoke with often said they were beyond youth culture, but still wanted to be perceived as young. While this desire is not unique to the gay community, it seems to be more prominent in a group traditionally typecast for its interest in appearance, attractiveness, and sex, according to Hajek. So how does a gay man at midlife cope?
“We’re scared of aging more than a lot of other people would be,” he says. “Ask younger guys what their future will be like, and a lot of them say they have no idea. They don’t perceive of a future, because they think they’re not going to have kids. They don’t have landmarks for progression through life that a lot of heterosexual people have.”