Mature and proud of it

Mature and proud of it

It doesn’t matter if you’re 40 or 90, there’s still a life to live after the grey hairs start to outnumber the coloured, and a social group to keep you in the loop. -” Mature Age Gays (MAG)

Founded in 1991 by Steve Ostrow through ACON, Mature Age Gays is now the largest gay organisation in Australia.

Ostrow describes the group as a peer support, social and educational group targeting mature age men aged 40 and up who have sex with men, regardless of how they choose to identify themselves.

In today’s society we’re living longer but not necessarily better. There’s a lot of stress, loneliness and fear of the future, he said.

MAG deals with people holistically. Many were lonely, isolated or estranged from family members. Some didn’t have partnering tools that young men today are taught.

The group boasts more than 600 members and at least 150 of those attend the regular get-together every second Saturday.

We live in a youth-orientated gay society and once you pass your use-by date, that’s it. It’s a self-support group and is independent from ACON, so they feel ownership, Ostrow said.

When you come to a MAG meeting you’re welcomed -“ you can have a coffee session, be entertained or listen to a guest speaker and enjoy a buffet afterwards.

In the 16 years it has been established, MAG has created travelling groups and even an STI testing awareness campaign. More recently it has created a will register and is among those groups campaigning for a gay-friendly retirement home.

People are dying and we find out three days later because the neighbour smelt them, Ostrow said. We’re working with different health services to create more gay friendly places.

The will registers have been really successful. We also have a group called MAGic for when you get sick or if you have a problem. Someone will talk to you or come over to take you shopping or see a doctor.

The organisation also has a social arm known as MAGnet that meets every Wednesday at the Taxi Club for dinner and activities.

67% have a will
53% have access to the news and internet
43% believe in a life hereafter
29% want to be cremated
69% live alone
50% are single
67% are retired

Visit or phone 9358 1460. If you would like to subscribe to SSO call Jo on 8263 0506 or email [email protected].

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