No andropause for gay men? The body, aging and sexuality in Turkey
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CitationErol, M. & Özbay, C. (2018). No andropause for gay men? the body, aging and sexuality in Turkey. Journal of Gender Studies, 27(7), 847-859. doi:10.1080/09589236.2017.1329715
This article aims to contribute to the ongoing scholarly debate about the implications of andropause in the Gender Studies literature by decentring and complicating it further using the case of Turkish gay men. Aging gay men in Turkey struggle to remain young, healthy and cool' as they use their wittiness and emotional maturity towards younger men. All of these happen at the intersection of masculinity politics and homophobia within Turkish society and the profound ageism within the global gay culture. Our questions are shaped around andropause and its absence as gay men reject and disidentify with it: Is andropause a heteronormative concept? Through the active rejection of the external outcomes of aging and andropause, mid-life Turkish gay men present an idiosyncratic vantage point to explicate the relatively understudied intersection of masculinity, homosexuality and aging in the non-western contexts. Through interviews we contend that, unlike their heterosexual equivalents, mid-life gay men do not accept andropause, but instead they develop tactics to consolidate their socially capable, self-assured and well-integrated subjectivity within the fringes of the global gay culture. Looking closer at aging gay men and their multifactorial strategies provides us the chance to grasp the ubiquitous heteronormativity inscribed in the narratives of andropause.