Beauty Before Age

Growing Older in Gay Culture
Year Released
Film Length(s)
22 mins
Remote video URL


This groundbreaking film explores the power of youth and beauty in the gay community. A diverse group of gay men, ages 19 to 77, negotiate their fears of becoming old, undesirable and alone.

Featured review

Complex, sharp, disturbing, compassionate. The big connections in the film crackle and linger: between masculinity and loneliness, between age, AIDS and visibility, between the pursuit of wisdom and the pursuit of beauty. A terrific teaching tool.
Joshua Gamson
Professor of Sociology, University of San Francisco


The film critically examines the pressure to look young and attractive, lack of positive older role models and ways in which AIDS intensifies the fear and process of aging. Beauty Before Age offers a male perspective on a historically female issue and illuminates the larger societal obsession with physical appearance.


Astonishing... highly recommended for all gay, and most generally comprehensive, collections.
K. Glaser
Video Librarian
Provocative... the aging of the gay community now makes a discussion of the issues raised by this film essential.
Jay Ruby
Visual Anthropology Review, Vol. 16, #2
Outstanding production values and provocative subject content.
Ellen Greenblatt
Educational Media Reviews Online
Precise yet elegant - recommended to students of social and behavioral sciences, as well as public health organizations.
A. M. Williams
Department of Anthropology, Yale University

Awards and Screenings

Gold Apple, National Educational Media Network
Certificate of Merit, International Documentary Association
Grand Prize, University of Oregon Queer Film Festival
Award of Recognition, Missouri Video Festival
Honorable Mention, Silver Images Film Festival
BBC British Short Film Festival
New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York
National Institutes of Health, AIDS & Aging Conference
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Public Television Broadcast
LGBT Film Day, British Museum

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