OlderGay.Men is a home for older gay men and the men who love them. We work to connect the members of our community to each other and to supportive resources nearby and worldwide. Our site is free for everyone. Those who can afford a paid membership to help pay our bills receive extras as thank-yous, including the chance to vote on what we add to the site next.
In the late 1980s, Pat Colley created the first magazine for older gay men and their admirers, Swan. In just a few years, renamed Chiron Rising, it became the home for the older gay community, both through the magazine and at the popular CR gatherings. One of CR’s many fans, John Kilpatrick, created an email mailing list that let CR aficionados speak with one another more directly and – at times – with greater heat.
One problem with the mailing list format was the frequent posting of pictures. In the early 90s, this was an issue in a way that’s hard to imagine today. Even a small picture would be duplicated to thousands of recipients, many of whom never wanted it and paid by the megabyte for every message they downloaded.
Jeff Covey stepped in to ease the burden on the bandwidth-challenged. He had people with photos to share send them directly to him, then through a convoluted system, list members could read descriptions of what was available and request that specific photos be forwarded to them.
Pat eventually asked John to change the name of the mailing list so it wouldn’t look like an official CR operation, and John renamed it the Silverfox Mailing List. When Jeff made a website to replace the email service, it became the Silverfox Mailing List Pictures Archive, sfpix.net, then lost the “Mailing List” when the list went away.
It went on like this as years turned into decades. Jeff continued adding new pictures, but never quite summoned the will to sit down and update the site from where it was stuck in the mid-90s. That is, until 2018, when he bought a book and sat down and brought himself up-to-date. In 2019, he showed a new site to a few testers, then more and more, and was not entirely embarrassed by his efforts when 2020 came around.
Along the way, he realized what he could do with modern geolocation services – show members who’s near them, show what groups are meeting in a city they’ll be visiting, point out bars near an event they’re attending, and more. His ambition grew, and flowered into a new goal: To create the site Jeff would have wanted when he was 22 and first coming out and looking for an older man. Who’s out there? How do I find them? Where do I go, and what do I do? Where can I turn for advice?
We hope OlderGay.Men will answer these questions for the next generation of youngsters joining the community and for those navigating life as a gay elder. Be kind to one another, and let us know how we can help.
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