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Daily Beast Article Highlights Double Standard in Coverage of Age Different Relationships

Over the past few years I’ve become a fan of the British actor and writer Stephen Fry. From his old sketch comedy show with Hugh Laurie, to his TV travelogue of America, to his thoughtful web presence Mr. Fry brings intelligence and humor to the all of his projects. Though I’ve known Fry was gay I didn’t know much about his personal life. This week he and his partner Elliott Spencer announced their engagement. With Spencer being 30 year’s Fry’s junior a fury of speculation and insinuation flared up among the media and on social networks. Of course, for those of us who’ve been in age different relationships this is not surprising, but it certainly is disheartening. I empathize with both men for what amounts to public harassment.

Interestingly, on Friday the Daily Beast posted a wonderful commentary by Samantha Allen about the double standard in the way May to December relationships are covered in the media and in the general consciousness entitled Freaking Out about Age Gaps in Gay Relationships is Homophobic. It is well argued reflection on and refutation of the tropes and stereotypes found in discussion of gay men in age different relationships. I recommend you take a look.



Intergenerational Commitment: Vicar and Fashion Designer to Wed

Reverend Colin Coward and Bobby Egbele (image from the MailOnline)

It’s a few days old, but I just came across this news story and couldn’t help but share it.

It’s not often that we see a high profile story about an intergenerational couple.  This one has become even more high profile since the older man is an Anglican Priest.  Reverend Colin Coward, 65, and his 25 year old boyfriend Bobby Egbele plan to have a blessing ceremony in the reverend’s church following a civil ceremony.  The couple have been together for three years and will consider this combination of ceremonies their marriage.

I’ve read a number of articles, blog posts, and comments on this news story and unfortunately all the old negative stereotypes about intergenerational gay couples are already being paraded about.  Disparaging remarks are made about the age difference and inauthentic motives are attributed to both men.  However, I find the story compelling and heart warming.  It takes a lot of courage to confront the conservative traditions of the Anglican church and to open themselves up to such ridicule.  I wish the two men much happiness and success together.