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Grant - Older Gay Men

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in [00:00:05] At the age of 50, in your 50s, you're not an older person, that you here because you're a partner of Ray, who is 88 years old. He's born in 1924. So we'll be talking about issues surrounding us care. And any problems you have in dealing with the daughters half of a gay couple. [00:00:27] First, what what age related problems does right have [00:00:31] I guess, and it said the beginning, he has an underlying Crohn's disease. And this is been going since he was 60. But But now as an older person, the things that have come up prostate cancer, which they can operate on [00:00:49] these skin [00:00:52] cancers that they can remote, sometimes he has macular degeneration. And what's happened is that one of his eyes has actually collapsed, and now it's gone black, he's gone blind now that I, the other eye, he's slowly losing the eyesight. And in every so often the heaven injection, which keeps things in tow. And the is a level of balancing. And then this is, I guess, related to that he has dementia, vascular dementia, and that plays havoc with your brain and so on. And overall, these he has a level of depression that comes and goes, he has some ways of dealing with it. And we're not on any medication. He's not on any medication with it. And we've spoken to his doctor and Ray is clearly said that he doesn't want to go on any, any medication today to do with it. [00:01:58] What do you guys, your relationship has been going for 14 years? Yeah. And you started off from sip sip with home, when did that change? [00:02:08] It actually changed when [00:02:12] we're right head ended up by being put on a risk time because he'd had major poor health problems. And while it was in the hospital, they suggested he go into a risk time. And after about eight months of his time, I had been trying during that eight months, I'd been running his house, mowing the lawns and so on, I'd been doing my own house, the lawns and Nick and he has cats and also I'd be visiting every day so it was quite stress. And I'm moved into his house just reduce my running around and and there and as soon as I moved into his house, he decided he was going to move him to his own house because it was going to be someone needs to look after him. And this was [00:03:10] in early [00:03:15] 2010 I think Yeah. A couple of [00:03:19] years ago when he was in was in the list time did you say [00:03:23] this isn't race time there is time was ranked recommended to him [00:03:30] when he was in the hospital the hospital citizens were gone look at some race times they suggest to one particular is time and I cities just to just have another and they see it. I think you should go and look at this wrist effort. So So I followed their advice, which I think was really good advice. And [00:03:53] the wrist home [00:03:56] was a nice place I spoke to the manager and she quickly ascertained that we're okay capital and so right from the beginning she was aware of race and my relationship and then through the through the time when Ray was there she said there's an article ever come on about gay and gays and there is time and some of the things he showed me she was horrified that potentially people weren't she didn't think that people will given the true information because she's she felt that her his time was sensitive enough to cater for all people I said to her even if someone had HIV or AIDS and sit there's no difference people are people are people and I thought the is really a nice private rest home so that obviously there are British times around there can can deal with it. Anyway, as I said earlier, as soon as I moved into Ray's house, he decided he he no longer want to be in the rich time and he was his big time again, which is give them a gave a lot more energy and with his cats and all [00:05:28] well, how's your own life change them? [00:05:32] Well, I have a small business, greeting cards business and I found that trying to look after Ray and run the business was just way beyond the job. So so I I lead the business guide go business go. I actually gave it away to various people and and just been looking after a [00:05:54] full time. When When did he retires early 80s? Is that right? [00:05:59] I'm good. There was some he was in the clothing industry in the continent that he was in, closed down. And he found that quite frustrating. Not having to do. And he found he a friend of his was second hand goods for Sally looked up, worked with him for a while and then that's when he was diagnosed with the crimes. [00:06:27] Can you tell me anything about Ray's early life and your stories? You told you? [00:06:33] I yeah, is it helped me all sorts of stories I'm trying to remember some of the one that [00:06:42] I think is really funny was some often people would get together on Saturday afternoon or on Sunday afternoon and [00:06:52] they'd be drinking parties and so on one of the friends [00:06:57] soon to be an organizer of people and he would organize people to bring different plates to make up a meal and he would he would pair that with f1 glass and crockery and silver and one occasion that took all these over to a nearby cemetery and seven the cemetery and and enjoy the meal and the passes by and that way they laugh and and it just sounds like a fun sort of fun time that was that was gay times. [00:07:33] What do you what do you use? What do you would that be roughly? [00:07:36] Oh, I'd be in in the 50s maybe early 60s [00:07:43] when he was gay from New York [00:07:45] Yeah, now I'm the things that he told me is there is some as kids he would he would play with other boys. And [00:07:56] when you say play with other boys play with other boys [00:07:59] pheasant six years ago Yes. And [00:08:06] there were people that he would remember and he knew that they went off to war Second World War and some of them never turned and the others that came back and got married and and he just couldn't understand why someone that he'd been so intimate with with [00:08:26] with suddenly [00:08:29] decided the vape for whatever expression [00:08:34] and there were there was a friend that had a heart of a bitch and they would all go out spend the whole day bitch weekends and and Christmas times. And there was one thing that the story very well, but but there was they had a like a rowboat and these guys were in the rowboat and and then one of the other neighboring batches yelled out they go the queens and then they sit there with the riverboat queens [00:09:11] what was that was it was probably untie room. Yeah. [00:09:15] I've been going down there for a long, long time. A long time Islam. [00:09:19] Yes. Okay. [00:09:21] When you two got together to Germany, thoughts of the future and in the EU and in any way anticipate the problems you're encountering now, because right. [00:09:34] Now, now, I'm, in fact, when I ended the relationship, I knew that Ray had a lot more money and property than I had. And I said to him that should things change quite a bit just to walk away and leave with nothing. That's what we've discussed with it. And then as time went by, let far as Ray's health deteriorate, of more recent times, so we found health problems. And there was no way that I could even consider not being there for him. And the fact that we got so close, and we talked about things so much. [00:10:19] I just had to, I knew I had to be there for him. So [00:10:24] it wasn't something that we discussed when we got together. But it was something that became just part of the relationship is when you we felt we cared about each other, and was so honest, around the situations, for example, when we were having sex and Ray had had prostate, when he called when they and they investigate the area with a needle. And he he had blood coming out of an area which you normally don't have blood coming here and gave me a frightened. So from that point on, we decided that we would honestly talk about absolutely everything there were there was going on for for both of us. [00:11:08] So you spoken about dying, as well. [00:11:12] More recent times here what Well, the thing is at one stage, Ray said, Well, I'm gonna die, and then [00:11:21] health issues would come along. And then he said, I wish I could die, I want to die. And [00:11:30] and so instead we started talking about what are we going to do when what his needs when he dies, like the ashes of in his whenever it gets cremated, or whether it gets buried in decided that ashes are the best way. And it mean, I knew where I had to find out where they were going to go. And we initially thought somewhere in Oakland, but then talking further he wanted to possessions to be with his parents. And so that took a little bit to juggle that. And it meant that I meet one of his nieces. And there was a little bit concerned about that because because by Karen going and see here, I'm actually coming out to raise, raise nice, but also raised coming out in the process. And the fact that here a man of his in his 80s is coming out to us nice [00:12:34] is kind of a was was kind of funny scary to him, I think [00:12:40] is is to ride with his parents for a long time, I think, [00:12:45] well, his mother, his father died when he was about six. He his father died of a brain hemorrhage. No Brain Hemorrhage can tumor. And so he actually can only remember one have anyone memories of his father. And so when Ray was a child who looked after his mother, and then he had the fortunate he was in the fortunate situation that people weren't was mother wasn't expecting him to get married, because he was looking after her. So he could remain as a single man and get away with it quite legitimately, with everyone. And, and. And his mom was happy that he was some still looking after him. [00:13:34] So he was never pressured to get married. [00:13:37] Oh, absolutely not. Now his mother would have would have gone along with it. But she would have been very unhappy because we would be here, the person that was death to her [00:13:47] indeed, when he was in the clothing industry. I think he would have had some he worked with a lot of women and he is [00:13:55] here. And the stories about their [00:14:00] what was what was quite interesting in this is the things that he said that he would they would ask him to go dancing, because they knew that they were safe, though that wasn't, didn't feel and didn't feel as though he was going to try and take a band job. And there was actually one one person at the at the factory. She liked to go dancing and at one stage Ray was boarding with with her and her husband. And he Ray would take her out to the dance hall or whatever they were they went. And the husband was quite happy to stay at home. And it's kind of an odd situation. So but but he knew this, the husband knew that his wife was safe because he was going up with Ray, although I don't think they've discussed anything about homosexuality, but [00:14:58] it was assumed in the you you re assumed that he knew that he knew he was Yes, he is. [00:15:04] Yeah. But it wasn't discussed a lot of stuff about times that just weren't discussed. [00:15:10] Well considering rages now. You're in your 50s and right is it yet you still have a sex life? [00:15:18] Oh, yeah. Actually, what's what's kind of interesting is that cases kind of a dementia, because a lot of things that Ray can do the things that he can do as as things safely and, and so [00:15:37] through the day or the night. [00:15:42] I get manhandled quite a lot. [00:15:46] How do I and sometimes that I have to ask him just to be a little more quiet around. So So yeah, we we do still have a active sex life. I think [00:16:06] I find it [00:16:09] quite amazing. Because I would have never thought someone of 88 still [00:16:14] and enjoying and wanting to participate and six [00:16:20] this whole persona is absolutely. When when you talk to jealous he happy that you're looking after him. That's a silly question. Of course he is. But no worries like he worries about. [00:16:36] Yes, some was sometimes he said to me. And you sure you want to be with me? And [00:16:46] that [00:16:49] he's asking, genuinely, and I know [00:16:55] where he's come from be busy, because he wants me to be happy about life and death. And I always say yes. Because I do I feel I'm happy to be with him. And part of it is that he brings a lot of fun and joy. He's He's in the old since the tomb guy. He's He's quite a gay character. He's He's a very heavy person. And [00:17:24] I think [00:17:27] I think the fact that it's a question that gets asked is often in, in any relationship, gay or straight? People don't ask the other partner, do they want to be in that relationship? and Ray is genuinely genuinely asking me if I'm really happy to be with him in this relationship. [00:17:51] It's wonderful. How does Ray think of himself in terms of what how would he described himself as gay man? The terms have changed over the years certainly since he was born. Camp used to be very strong word that is not used and you're not using much to describe yourself these days. [00:18:12] I don't think he looks of himself as as being gay, straight. He just he just a person that's being true to himself. [00:18:27] Is that what you meaning? [00:18:30] Well, yes, I was wondering whether he saw himself as gay queer, as a homosexual. [00:18:39] Progress. k is the term that he's comfortable with. He hasn't said about gay or queer or any other to use amount of interest. Do you think of yourself? Okay. [00:18:51] Okay. It's usually a very common word these days, I think. [00:18:57] What [00:18:58] advice would you you personally give to anyone contemplating relationship with an old man? [00:19:08] Well, it's, it's actually becomes a tool dear to your relationship. [00:19:16] I think I never thought of that when I got into relationship with Ray. But, but that's the situation that I'm in now. And, and we actually talk about the, the fact that one of us is going to die. Yeah, the thing that I guess concerns me a little bit, because years ago, I had a stroke and the possibility that I died in, I see that it could be my either could be me, or could be Ray, even though [00:19:46] that situation, [00:19:49] Ray would certainly be cared for him. Obviously, it is he would have to go into a home. [00:19:55] He would. And this is one area that he had really hates the fact that I'm at home with him. [00:20:07] He has a lot more energy being being in the home environment, his own home. And I notice that when he goes away for two weeks, despite while I need a break, had depression kicks, and he says, [00:20:27] I wish I could die. [00:20:31] All these things and the fact that visitors do come and see him, he doesn't remember the visitors now with us to mention. And there was there was one time when he was actually in, in a living situation, where he was concerned that people would come in and kill him because being a game in, and [00:20:55] I guess it's all [00:20:59] being away from his home environment. He's like, hit the house. He said, He's been in the same house for over 60 years. And it's got so many memories. He's done a lot of things to the house. [00:21:12] And [00:21:14] there's, there's a sense of security and his own home. And he certainly he certainly doesn't get that from being in, in a race time. See the kind of dementia that he has the vascular dementia. He, he know he remembers what he doesn't remember. And, and things of being at home with us. I guess a lot of gay people have pizzas is the children and raise always had the kids as children. And the children are there with him? [00:21:52] Yeah, he's bigger than two, which you should take an enormous massive his time probably takes an enormous amount of your time deserves. Does he still enjoys gun? Hi. [00:22:02] Absolutely, yes, we were in during the, there's the Magnolia that's in full bloom at the moment. And that's kind of make darling. And there's a number of community of trees that are that him and his mother planted. And, and and these, these trees all have a history to him with where the plants came from, and the reason that they got that one because mother, like the flowers and so on, [00:22:31] raise raise life at home with his mother as a gay man, how did how did he manage that? He just said he was going to the pictures [00:22:39] was never never discussed, his mother didn't know anything. And [00:22:46] he will be going out with friends often or to the pictures. [00:22:53] And now was it was never discussed. The fact that Ray was the end was the NAFTA was all she wanted. So it was a rough time. I don't mean to be rude, but does this he did have friends with him. And he wants to it. It's somebody staying with him. And [00:23:19] I think one one time they go sort of [00:23:24] because because the mother like the the young men, student things wherever [00:23:33] else you want to talk about was right about right. Before we finish? [00:23:40] Well, yeah, I guess that, um, what's what's really nice is the support that we're getting, we get some support from public service and good [00:23:55] health department and [00:23:58] we have a person coming in was sharing because of raised balance. And what what I've found is when people know that we're a gay capital and the history of gay people is that often when people get to a stage where their health deteriorates and, and going into any institution, like risk time or side is committing suicide as that is easy option out of there. A lot of gay will, I've heard a number of people say that that's how they're going to in their life. Now there's something that Ray and I have talked about and race, that he just doesn't feel like he would want to commit suicide to get out of this. [00:24:45] The situation is and [00:24:48] there are times you'd like to die, but he certainly not going to do it himself. [00:24:51] No, no. And because of that, I'm we have mental health come in and help us and lots of ways, like services that they they have. There's there's also a men's group that he goes through, which is with our men with dementia, and at this stage is the only gay one there. But the fact that he can go somewhere and feel more alive about being [00:25:26] accepted as a gay man and a group [00:25:29] of I don't know. [00:25:30] Okay, yeah, [00:25:31] I guess the one, the one thing that ray is really upset about is that his friends of yours, he said, Oh, he wishes that they would visit him and, and hardly any visit him now, particularly with his domain too, because he, he asked, he asks the same questions [00:25:51] over and over again. [00:25:53] I think I think that some of those who visit him or not, he doesn't remember that we've done it. [00:25:58] No, he doesn't. But the fact that at home, we really have people come and see him is one person that that comes in. Because ray is seen as being looked after at home, then they don't need to go and visit him and and that's the times that we taught of be nice to heaven. And that's and I guess that's why it's really important that I have this means group that he can go to. So he has a level of socialization that he would otherwise miss out on.

This page features computer generated text of the source audio. It is not a transcript, it has not been checked by humans and will contain many errors. However it is useful for searching on keywords and themes.