Armistead Maupin | Books | San Francisco

Armistead Maupin: How to Live Well at any Age

Sixty-two-year-old Armistead Maupin, whose partner of two years, Christopher Turner, is in his thirties, tells AfterElton that issues of age are foremost in his mind right now:

Maupin"I think it's the central issue of our generation. There are a lot of people out there who are trying to figure out how to be good old gay people — how to do it well, how to be the best you can for your age. In my case that has to do with trying to be the best version of 62 I can imagine. Not to try and recreate something I felt I had 30 years ago. Interestingly enough, my partner, Christopher, runs a personals website for men over 40. I actually met him on the site. I saw this handsome 34-year-old there that made my heart beat faster. I bumped into him in the street a few months later and asked him for a date."

He has had good advice for the younger generation as well. If you'll remember, he was in the news about a year ago when the "pro-family" groups were raising a stink about one of his quotes on a Starbucks coffee cup: "My only regret about being gay is that I repressed it so long. I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don't make that mistake yourself. Life's too damn short."

Maupin is also preparing to deliver another book in the Tales of the City series, Michael Tolliver Lives, in which Tolliver (Mouse) is now a 55-year-old gardener who has survived AIDS.

Armistead Maupin Chronicles His Gay Generation [afterelton]

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  1. More power to anyone who finds love and is happy. But, gay, staight or whatever, I still don't really get what someone in their thirties finds sexy in someone in their sixties.

    Posted by: ho4mo | Aug 16, 2006 6:24:56 PM

  2. you fuckin go, dude. i hope to god that when i'm 60, i can still snag a 30something that looks half as hot as that guy.

    Posted by: b mac | Aug 16, 2006 6:32:13 PM

  3. mouse as a 55yo? maryanne after menopause? and mrs. madrigal's probably gone. it makes me kind of sad to think about.

    i think i prefer to remember mouse at the end of the sixth book, standing on his front porch, staring out at his city, uncertain, hopeful and in love.

    in my mind, there was never any doubt that we would survive.

    Posted by: basis4insanity | Aug 16, 2006 6:55:18 PM

  4. What does a 30 year old find attrative in a 62 year old?

    MONEY, plain and simple. gay or straight....Money makes 60+ year olds more attractive to 30+ year olds.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Aug 16, 2006 6:56:18 PM

  5. Jimmyboyo - I'm calling complete and utter bullshit on that stuid comment. Seems like you are projecting.

    Some people appreciate the wisdom and experience that an older person may have accumulated, gay or straight.

    Don't be so shallow. It's embarrassing

    Posted by: CF | Aug 16, 2006 7:08:41 PM

  6. Cf I appreciate the wisdom of 60 year olds as friends.

    Is it shallow to say Money. Nope. It is called being relaistic.

    Sorry. BUT if said 60 year old shot themselves full of HGH every day (it runs like tens of thousands of dollars a year), has a great plastic surgeon, works out constantly.....then maybe it might not be the money.

    But come on. Don't be foolish. It is money plain and simple. I wonder how much the guy in the above article has.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Aug 16, 2006 7:16:05 PM

  7. From an interview about how Maupin met Turner.

    How’s your love life, post-Terry?

    I have a boyfriend, Christopher Turner, who’s 34. Modern guy that I am, I saw him on a website. I didn’t respond by way of the Web; I chased him down Castro Street, saying, “Didn’t I see you on” I feel like I’m 25 again.

    Posted by: Walt | Aug 16, 2006 7:22:11 PM

  8. "Daddyhunt"? Yikes...

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | Aug 16, 2006 7:37:22 PM

  9. Hmmm... Maupin's got a younger guy? More power to him. And it could be but it doesn't have to be the money. I've dated men twenty and thirty years older than me and it's been totally cool. I couldn't wait for date number two, and three... It was way cooler than dating a twenty-two year old with a hard dick, vacuous conversation and a wondering eye, ready to jump the bones of his next Mr. Right Now.

    Posted by: xavier | Aug 16, 2006 9:28:10 PM

  10. Some very shallow people around here. And misinformed.

    There really are people who are attracted to other people based on their own definition of what attractive is. They don't need you or the tv set to tell them what beauty is.

    I myself have been with men who were older and "less attractive" than me. Their strength and the way they carry themselves was what drew me to them. I've also had men 10 years younger and far far more beautiful than me want to be with me - and I didn't have to initiate it with gifts and pony rides. It wasn't about money, I haven't got that much anyway.

    I feel sorry for those of you who will never experience these things because you are too shallow to get it.

    Posted by: Lucky | Aug 17, 2006 1:18:45 AM

  11. Now ladies, don't be cynical! Mr Turner might be richer than Mr Maupin for all you know! They're happy, so we should be happy too. The story helps counter the view that many older gay people are rendered invisible in gay communities (or that "old" people should be quiet about their relationships). I mean (arggh) that'll be me in 22 years. [And for those of you who can't do math, I'm not 12 at present ;>]

    I simply can't wait for another TOTC book - and Mrs Madrigal can't be dead - she'd only be about 85 or so ... maybe the book might tackle issues in the lives of older LGBT people in general.

    Bravo to them both!

    Posted by: Sean R | Aug 17, 2006 5:06:02 AM

  12. Now ladies, don't be cynical! Mr Turner might be richer than Mr Maupin for all you know! They're happy, so we should be happy too. The story helps counter the view that many older gay people are rendered invisible in gay communities (or that "old" people should be quiet about their relationships). I mean (arggh) that'll be me in 22 years.

    I simply can't wait for another TOTC book - and Mrs Madrigal can't be dead - she'd only be about 85 or so ... maybe the book might tackle issues in the lives of older LGBT people in general and help give us some food for thought about old(er) age!!

    Bravo to them both!

    Posted by: Sean R | Aug 17, 2006 5:07:11 AM

  13. "What does a 30 year old find attrative in a 62 year old?

    MONEY, plain and simple. gay or straight....Money makes 60+ year olds more attractive to 30+ year olds."

    I call bullshit. I've always prefered older men. The fact that my partner is only 10 years older than me is a real shock.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Aug 17, 2006 7:35:52 AM

  14. My father left his marriage for a 30-something year old woman. 6 years later, they're still together, which makes him 61 and her 36, and my dad is a fireman so he is not rich by anyone's defintion. Some people just happen to like people older than they are.

    Posted by: GBM | Aug 17, 2006 7:56:15 AM

  15. Ah... the advantages of age and wealth. In my poorer 20's, earning under $30k a year, I could afford the $19 a month Bally's membership and married myself to the gym, and consequently got an incredible body out of the deal.

    Now, nearing 50, earning well over 6 figures a year, I can afford to HIRE the body I once had in my 20's. It's a HELL of a lot easier than going to that fucking gym every night!

    "What do you do to work out?"
    "Oh, Pool Boy...? Stoli martini. Olives. Rocks on the side."


    Posted by: Rad | Aug 17, 2006 9:01:55 AM

  16. lucky 10 years is not 30 years.

    I did not say older gay men and younger gay men can not and do not fall in love. but a 30 year age difference is beyond older.

    10 year difference is believable....30 year difference = money

    You think me shalow, and I think you all either naive or all 60+ year olds holding out hope for some young meat

    Be realistic

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Aug 17, 2006 9:33:33 AM

  17. No Jimmy, 30 years isn't 10, thanks for the math lesson. But it's not the number of years you are thinking about - it's the difference in physical beauty - as you define it. You just can't imagine that people of varying degrees of physical beauty would want to be with each other for any other reason than money. I'm telling you that you are wrong, and you'll have a better life if you absorb that now.

    And what I'm also telling you is that you haven't got any idea how many people do not subscribe to conventional definitions of beauty.

    For your info, I'm in my early 30's, my bf is approaching 50, and we both have men in their early 20's who have wanted to share our bed. We don't go out looking for them either - they've come to us. Why? Because we carry ourselves with confidence and we don't prey on them like "dirty old men". There are guys some 20 years younger than my bf who want to be with us, emotionally and physically. They draw strength from our experiences.

    You can dismiss it all anyway you choose, but you're dead wrong.

    Posted by: Lucky | Aug 17, 2006 9:59:07 AM

  18. Good for him (although it's a little odd to see Armistead dating someone half his age since he kinda resembles my father).

    Posted by: Steven. | Aug 17, 2006 10:13:06 AM

  19. you can dismiss what I say but you are being naive

    You think me a right royal bastard for equating love with physical beauty......well take it up with nature, evolution, and reality

    ideas on beauty are not purely social conventions. many of our ideas on beauty are hard wired!!!! geneticaly into us. There is a reason. Youth denotes breedability. yes 60 year olds can breed, but with far less productive sperm. They also can not provide for their children like a more youthful mate can. Rich older men??? Uhm the socioecomnomic systems that we run our civillizations by have existed for a mere nanosecond in the evolutionary history of man. The appeal of youth is HARD WIRED into all of us. If you don't like it then take it up with nature. Rage about the shalowness of it all against Evolution itself. LOL

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Aug 17, 2006 10:15:36 AM

  20. Jimmy, yes we find people beautiful or attractive because physical characteristics give cues to our brain about what we can get from the individual. Youth = virility, Muscles = strength, and so on. But other characteristics have no such evolutionary explanation. And the definition of beauty has changed through time. Fat used to equal wealthy, so if you look at paintings from the past few hundred years, you'll see women portrayed with big fat hips, not the skinny models we see today.

    So it's not all evolution - it's that we are programmed by our cultural surroundings to see certain things as beautiful.

    Now, what people are attracted to depends on what they are seeking. And what they are seeking changes over time. When I was very young, I was much more attracted to older men -because they had qualities that I wanted to have too. Now, I find my eyes looking more towards youth - because they have more of what I want - the energy and optimism of youth.

    So when you make a blanket statement that no one would want to be with a 60 year old for things other than money, you are wrong. Younger men may see in a certain 60 year old qualities of strength and wisdom, and the attraction to the 60 year old is in part because of how they look and not in despite of it.

    Is it rarer than people who want only to be with youth? Yes, it is. But don't make blanket statements like you did, and I think you'll be better off.

    Posted by: Lucky | Aug 17, 2006 10:39:43 AM

  21. Jimmy,

    Do NOT purport to know what is "hardwired" in people. There are individuals who are a lot smarter than you and who have dedicated their lives to researching that and who have yet to come to definitive conclusions.

    Your rantings about youth denoting breedability is one of the most ridiculous assertions I've heard publically. (Technically, 'symmetry' implies desirable breeding more anyway -- in the animal kingdom)

    Don't mix 'breedability' into the argument about HOMOSEXUAL relationships. You sound like a right-wing Christian defending why the gay sex act is wrong.

    Also, many humans have transcended their animal proclivities to go "against nature" by doing things like marrying infertile people, physically handicapped people, people of the same sex, people of different races, people much older/younger etc. -- things which would seem to logically go against the Darwinian drive to perpetuate the species.

    My point is, not everyone is a hardwired animal who walks through life with their ballsack making the decisions.

    Believe it or not, there are gay men (and women) who do not subscribe to the subculture of youth/physical appearance worship. Some of us look at life as a journey where we aim to tie up with someone who augments us and whom we may augment. At the end of the day, when you are facing your destiny (that's death pal) I doubt breeding and youth will matter much.

    On an bitchy note, I feel badly for anyone who might be in a relationship with you. Your superficiality is pedestrian and cliche.

    Posted by: CF | Aug 17, 2006 11:04:14 AM

  22. God JimmyBoyd, you prove your ignorance more and more with every single post you place on this site.

    Posted by: Wayne | Aug 17, 2006 1:44:30 PM

  23. bitch all you want

    condemn me all you want

    take it up with evolution

    humanity is hard wired a certain way and no amount of screaming about it will change that fact.

    socioeconomic ideas of beauty are transient and are but a nanosecond in history while our hard wired genetic make up = hard wired into us over millions of years......leads to youth being the beauty ideal.

    sorry, one day i will be as old as you who bitch about it...and I to will not like it, but it is reality

    obviously those who are on here bitching about the injustice of it are all old and bemoan that fact

    Sorry, it is is reality....and i to will be in your position one day

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Aug 17, 2006 2:44:09 PM

  24. CF transcended their animal nature


    who ever said our being overglorified monkeys was a bad thing? denying the reality of your animal nature is not transcending it

    there is no transcendence. there is only embracing it and transforming it

    TRANSFORMATION not transcendence

    to deny a thing is to give that thing more power

    breddability in homosexuals isn't an issue??? LOL it very much is an issue. Homosexuals not breeding is a current trend and not the historical norm. breedability does not equal marriage to a female....breddability is spreading ones seed and that is it........he who spreads his seed the farthest and the most is the victor in the evolutionary race

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Aug 17, 2006 2:52:40 PM

  25. PS The fact that Maupin is a succesful author and screenwriter has been forgotten

    Honestly, how many of you think his 32 yr old boyfriend would be with him if he was a 62 year old desk jockey in a nowhere job????????????

    It is the money. Now if you put foreword a couple with a 30 year age difference where the older partner didn't have money then you would be able to make a better argument

    maupin has money, he is a succesful author and screenwriter. PROVES my point

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Aug 17, 2006 3:04:19 PM

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