Christopher Lawrence – Generational Effects

“I was still young and adventurous.”

I didn’t [do things with the Dorian Group]. It was all older people, and I didn’t really get it yet. I was still young and adventurous, and cute as a button, and the dancer. I had a very full dance card. I had a very full social-sexual life. I was typical, in some ways.

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Even though I was in my late 30s [when I married a woman], I still wasn’t a grown up, which is really kind of typical of gay men. We grow up very late. I suspect most gay people actually mature socially later—at least from my generation, because they didn’t have a chance to actually socialize with each other, with the people who would be their orientation. I think that’s part of it. I think that’s also why you see so many older men [trails off] . . . Of course that doesn’t explain the straight men who are just as bad—so many older men who come out, and they want to be with very, very young men. It’s because they never did it [earlier]! [Laughs.]

It’s let’s like stairs. You have this social experience here, and then you kiss, and then you make out, and then you touch, and then, you know, it’s these experiences that straight people have automatically in their social growth that gay people don’t necessarily get to have.

That’s changing now. Drastically! Which is wonderful. It’s because of the people from my generation, and before my generation, who kept fighting, so that we wouldn’t be pushed back from the closet and be ignored. I don’t take credit for it personally, but I can take credit as part of the movement itself. [I] felt very strongly attached to that.

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Source: Interview with Maureen Nickerson, 8 August 2007; audio held in the Museum of Arts and Culture; transcribed and edited by Laura S. Hodgman