9 Tales of Young Love and Old Memories

Nine residents of Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing share stories of love from the past and present.



Bryant Gordon, 76

As a student at University of California, Berkeley, Bryant Gordon would drop off his girlfriend at her sorority by her 11 p.m. curfew. Afterward, he would head down to a gay bar that was popular with college students.

While at a party one night, Gordon met Bob, and the two began a relationship that would last for years to come. Eventually, the couple moved to New York together.

“Every day was a memory, every day was fabulous,” Gordon says. “We rarely argued. He had a lot of passions and a lot of interests. ... He always made sure I was happy.”

Bob died in 1984 of an AIDS-related illness, an event that, in addition to being emotionally traumatic for Gordon, caused a rupture among family and friends.

“There were some relatives and some friends of ours that dropped us completely,” says Gordon, who moved to Hawaii for several years after Bob’s death. Hawaii, he says, was “therapeutic.”

Today, Gordon, 76 is seeing a 27-year-old Filipino man who is “more straight than gay. … Bob was Filipino, too. I have a thing for Asians.”

Gordon is cheerful and quick to joke about the experience of dating across race and generations.

“We drank too much that night, and the sex was awful,” he recalls about the first date with his new lover. “It was embarrassing for everybody.” And has it gotten better? “In my mind, perhaps.”