As the times change, so are the lives of the LGBTQ Community. Many queer men and women in their 50’s and 60’s remember a time not so long ago when HIV/AIDS ravished the community, and meeting potential partners was a matter of going out to a bar and having conversations with people, as opposed to clicking a thumbnail picture on their phone screen.
To many younger queers in their 20’s and 30’s, HIV/AIDS is nearly a thing of the past, and meeting guys on apps is a perfectly acceptable and preferred method of communication. The way someone in their 20’s or 30’s views the world will always be a little different from how someone who is in their 40’s or 50’s views it. These differences in perception and experience are what sort of fuel what we call the generational age gap.
But, what about when people from different generations decide to date one another? What do they have in common? What can they talk about? What can they learn from one another? This is a subject I’ve rarely seen tackled on any show that features queer or gay relationships, despite the fact that it’s a very real and prevalent thing in the queer community. The way that writer/director Brandon Kirby tackles this discussion on Episode 6 of his web series I’m Fine is smart, enlightening, and definitely worthy of viewing.
I’m Fine follows a group of friends in Los Angeles as they navigate through life in the big city, and attempt to find their place as queer people living in today’s society. Season 3 completes Kirby’s trilogy, as these friends explore identity, monogamy, shame, and the gay generational relationship divide.
Episode 6 of this season begins with two twenty-somethings, Nate (Perry Powell) and Mick (Frankie Rodriguez), who both meet older guys while day drinking at a bar. Things start off a little awkward for each pair, but both Mick and Nate eventually end up having very deep, personal conversations with these two “Daddies” , who are both in very different places in their lives. One is very vibrant and confident and doesn’t appreciate being called “Daddy”, while the other seems to be settled in the reality that he is now the “older gentleman” who seems to unabashedly buy affection.
These are two vastly different characters who bring different perspectives on what it means to be middle-aged in the queer community; A community that seems to believe that youth, beauty, and worthiness are all synonymous, and that older men are expected to chase after younger boyfriends in order to maintain that sense of youth and self-worth. These are stereotypes and assumptions that definitely need challenging, and Kirby and his extremely talented cast of actors do an excellent job of crafting and delivering these frank conversations.
Though our experiences are different, we still exist and love in this community together. When these two worlds meet, it makes for an interesting dynamic and some very eye opening conversations. At the bar, both of these pairs seem to take away quite a lot from one another, but one pair seems to hit it off quite well. Will the relationship work? What challenges will come up in order to push the narrative and conversation about the generational divide further? I’m curious to see where I’m Fine takes these relationships next!
Watch I’m Fine on Dekkoo now and check out the trailer for season 3 below!