Seniors, Sexuality, and Gender: Notes on “Out Late”

By: Amaris Hinton 

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Netflix is a magical place. If you are anything like me, you can barely afford the necessities, let alone the extra things in life like cable, or snacks. I can’t tell you how many times Netflix has come through and saved me from the icy clutches of boredom.  This time though, Netflix gave me a very personal look into the lives of some people who have just recently joined the community that I love and support.

Out Late is the documented stories of five different individuals, all of senior age (55-85) who decided to come out within 2-5 of the release of the film which was 2008. Most of them had married, had children, then realized what was leaving them so unfulfilled.  They realized that they were gay, and they couldn’t lie anymore.  The documentary shows their never ending journey to discovering themselves and finding that special someone after so long. There was a former military officer who went through gender reassignment surgery and couldn’t be happier, a lesbian couple who both faced being shunned or let go because of their standing in the science and collegiate communities, another lesbian who came out at the age of 79 and loved to party, a man who was trying to find a healing path from the torment he had gone through as a young man, and another gentleman who had never married but finally found love once he came out and celebrated who he was.

The film has a fairly positive message overall, but there are some very emotional moments when these people discuss how hard it is to find a companion because of their age group. It is sad because it seemed like they were trading one form of discrimination for another.

I can’t imagine keeping my true self a secret for 30, 40, even 50+ years. I am quite an emotional creature and wear my heart on my sleeve (even as a married woman).  I consider myself an activist, and I know there is still a struggle to this day for my LGBT brothers and sisters.  But this film showed me that because of the fights that past and current generations are putting up, the individuals featured in Out Late felt the courage and hope that they could finally be themselves. They could learn to love themselves and find comfort in churches, other LGBT community members, and each other.

If I had a star system, this documentary would have 5. Please, if you are looking to be informed and moved, look into Out Late. You won’t regret it.

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One response to “Seniors, Sexuality, and Gender: Notes on “Out Late”

  1. It’s a great title, and it is interesting and sad, how people can leave it so late to be themselves. Although I guess there are people who move from one sexual orientation to another, and perhaps just don’t come in to their gay or transgender phase until pretty late in life.

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