I once read an article on the internet about an enlightened young gay man berating his contemporaries. Some young gays, he argued, look at older gay men and think ‘ewww! Disgusting! An old, fat hairy bear!’.

The enlightened author was making the point that without those older gay men, and the battles they fought for equal rights, there would be no LGBT culture as we know and accept it today. So much of what we rightly accept as gay rights might well still be in the closet without the challenges faced by an older generation of gay men (and women).

I would argue that much of the same attitudes displayed by younger gays is also prevalent in naturism, and I’ve read comments about how people of a certain age or weight shouldn’t be going naked. That naked is only the preserve of the younger, and attractive generation. ‘Put your old saggy boobs away, along with the rolls of fat around your stomach’ is a common view.

I’m sorry, but if that’s your view, you’re wrong. As with gay rights, an older generation of naturists fought battles so that you could have a nearby naturist beach or swimming pool facility. In the 60s and 70s, they were pushing at the envelope to ensure you could enjoy a naturist beach. They were forming and building naturist clubs. They were lobbying. They were the vanguard of post-war naturism. They are the reason you enjoy the naturist facilities you enjoy today.

Perhaps, rather than moaning about the older generation of naturists, the time has come to say thanks to them for what they did, what they achieved.




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