The 125th episode of Lavender Hill heard Corwin and Phil being joined by special guest David Csontos. David has been on the show a few times before to talk about this plays. This time he was on to talk about something entirely different.
David is a playwright and activist. We know about some of the work he has done for the stage, so i won’t go into that other than to say I really enjoyed co-starring in his “I Am My Imaginary Friend” earlier this year. What I do want to go into is some of his activism work. He’s a fire safety activist and a gay activist. As Lavender Hill focuses on LGBTQA issues we’ll talk about some of what he has done in the world of gay activism.
Namely the purpose for his visit to the show on the 21st of July. A year ago he got tired of looking around the net for a social networking site or group geared towards gay men over 40 that is not a hook-up site. Not the easiest thing on the net to find. Almost all the sites that would pop up on a Google search or digging around Facebook were either hook-up sites, porn sites, or just not what he was looking for. So….David created the Facebook group Gay Men Over 40…and the people who love them.
GMO40 is designed to allow gay men and those who love them (lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, straight allies) to talk about things that are important to them. As well as just have some fun from time to time. During the show we read some of the comments from members about why they enjoy the group and what they get out of being in the group. One member said that of all the online social groups he has joined (over the past 30 years – wow, he started in the VERY early days of modeming) GMO40 has introduced him to real and true friends.
There have been some heart warming and heart breaking stories to come from GMO40. One man in the group was struggling to come out in his later years. He finally reached the point where he was ready to tell his family and close friends. Then we heard nothing from him for days. His daughter logged into the group under his account and told is why we hadn’t heard from him. He had taken his own life but in his suicide note he asked that someone log into his Facebook and tell the people of GMO40 that he was sorry. Recently a mother joined the group looking for information and support for her gay son. She has thanked the members for everything they have done to help her and to the best of David’s knowledge is still a member of the group.
Though the name of the group implies that all the members are 40 years old or more, the admins have decided that the minimum age for membership is 25. There is no age maximum. GMO40 is as inclusive of a group as possible. You don’t have to be gay to be a member. There are many straight allies in the group as well as bisexuals, transgender people and lesbians. All are welcome if they can follow the simple rules set out in the page description:
Nude photos/artwork prohibited. Anything which would imply that this site is like a hook-up site (including posting ‘clean’ photos with the intent of using GMO40 as a hook-up site) is prohibited. We refrain from posting links aimed at re-directing members to sex-activity groups of any kind. Those interested in such things know how to search elsewhere. The group admins (Gregg, Jeffrey, Philipp, Ron & David) reserve the right to delete anything at all that is considered inappropriate for an all-inclusive group.
We don’t bash someone for political beliefs. If a gay topic mixed with politics comes up (& it will, since there is almost no separation of church & state in government now), it can be discussed but be cool.
We refrain from overt talk of religious beliefs. The search for God is a deeply personal one. That is not to say that the group as a whole is anti-God. Spiritual matters are allowed but not proselytizing.
At David’s request we started the show off with a song by Doug Strahm, “Your Love” from Everything Has Changed.