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Queer AgingThe Gayby Boomers and a New Frontier for Gerontology$
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Jesus Ramirez-Valles

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190276348

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190276348.001.0001

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Queering Gerontology

Queering Gerontology

An Introduction

(p.1) 1 Queering Gerontology
Queer Aging

Jesus Ramirez-Valles

Oxford University Press

The overall population in Western societies is aging at a faster rate than ever before. In the United States, the older gay male population is growing rapidly, mainly as a result of the aging of the Baby Boomer generation. Within the Baby Boomers, there is a group of gay men—the Gayby Boomers—different from their heterosexual Boomers and the larger gay male population. This is the first group of men to embrace the “gay” identity. Queer gerontology is a critical analysis of the heterosexual norms shaping scholarship and practice in gerontology. It is a strategy to raise questions, develop methodologies, gather data, and create new theoretical tools. It works as a lens to look at aging. The goal is to unmask ways in which heterosexual dominant norms define what it means to be an older person—from the decline of our bodies to retirement, support communities, and living conditions.

Keywords:   Baby Boomer generation, gerontology, HIV/AIDS, life course, older gay men, queer theory

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