‘It Makes A Difference’: Gay Octogenarian Newlyweds Open Up About Marriage


gay couple cairns

An octogenarian gay couple from Sydney have opened up about married life and companionship after recently tying the knot.

Graeme and Brian, both 84, recently married after a chance meeting last year at the Mature Age Gay group in Sydney.

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“I’ve been a member of the group for 25 years, since it first started,” Brian said.

“At one of the meetings, Graeme was sitting behind me. As I turned back, I saw him and I immediately thought, ‘Gee, I know that face.’

“I picked up his hand and kissed him and I said ‘I’m sure we’ve had sex 40 years ago, somewhere.’

“It turned out we hadn’t. We had met once 15 years ago. He had a boyfriend for 28 years, who I knew. He passed away 12 months ago.

“His boyfriend Peter was an artist and a designer of kites. He’s quite famous, he’s got artwork all around the world.”

Brian said he had also had a boyfriend of 25 years who passed away two years ago.

“Graeme and I got to talking, and later on I said to myself, I think you should come home with me tonight. He said ‘I think that’s a good idea,'” he said.

Graeme said he was originally married, as many gay men of his generation were.

“I had five children, so I’ve got half a dozen grandchildren as well. I get on well with them all,” he said.

“It was after 27 years of marriage, when my youngest left school and went to university that I decided I needed to have a life.

“Of course, when you’re in your early 50s, you don’t know what will happen. I met Peter through the personal ads in a gay newspaper.

“We met and we clicked, and we were together for 28 odd years. It did work out for me, fortunately.”

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Graeme said he and Brian got together in September last year.

“Brian and I were both born in 1934, which is the year of the dog. We’re two old dogs together,” he said.

“We got on so well and we were both used to having our partners living with us.

“A lot of gay older men get used to living alone, but neither of us have gotten used to it. It’s worked out very well.

“The only problem is we were both cooks earlier in our lives. He gets out of my kitchen, and I stay out of his kitchen.”

The couple recently married at a “very special” ceremony, and they said the formal commitment of marriage “really made a difference” for them.

“It makes a difference to the families’ attitudes to the relationship as well,” Graeme said.

“You’re committed and we’re part of each other’s families. Brian’s part of mine, and I’m a part of his.

“And if I were to pass away, Brian would still be part of my family, and vice versa. Otherwise, he could be neglected and not included.”

Graeme and Brian are currently enjoying a relaxing honeymoon at the LGBTIQ-only Turtle Cove BeachResort in tropical Cairns.

“Our honeymoon has been lovely, so relaxing,” he said.

“Brian was just saying this afternoon he’s never felt so relaxed and comfortable in his life. It’s just perfect for us.”