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.



Sal, 70

Sal, a wickedly smart and humorous GLEH resident, says he would do anything (short of murder) for friend or family. But relationships have been historically more elusive.

“I was barely 21, and I worked downtown at a department store in the receiving department [while] I was going to LACC,” Sal says, referring to Los Angeles City College. “I was extremely naive and innocent. I saw a flyer about a bar... I think it was called The Klondike. And I go in. I’m nervous. I’d never been to a place like that."

“I had seen the movies. I sent a drink over to this attractive guy. And he came over. We started to talk. He was Irish. This man didn’t just kiss the blarney stone, he bit off a piece… He scared the hell out of me. He wanted to get serious. And I ran the other way."

For Sal, the Irish man's approach was "too much, too soon." But that did not stop him from beginning a relationship.

“I think it maybe lasted six months," he says. "He wanted to move in. I wrote him a note that said, ‘I can’t give you what you want. In order to give you more, I’ll give you less of me.’ And I left. And who knows what might have happened? But I wasn’t ready for that, and who knows if I ever will be? It’s a big commitment.”

“I am seeing someone and he’s a friend with benefits," Sal reveals, when discussing his current love life. "He’s Latin, and he’s … I’ve known him for about 14, 15 years. I met him coming from a bar called the Faultline, and he’s got this gorgeous green eyes. He says, ‘Hi,’ and we exchange numbers. He says, ‘Call me, and I’ll have you over for dinner,’ and we did. But we lost contact."

"And I’m leaving the same bar, maybe four, five years later, and he’s walking in, and I’m walking out. He looks at me and says, ‘I know you.’ And I said, I know you, too… And [now] we see each other.”