Grandma isn’t the only recent film or TV show about LGBTQ characters no longer in the first bloom of youth. Amazon’s Transparent focuses on the ways family members respond to a parent coming out as trans in her 70s. In Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, two septuagenarian law partners come out as life partners, spurring adjustments in the lives of their children and wives of many decades. Vicious, which airs on PBS in the United States, is a gloriously camp celebration of two gay men in their 70s who have been lovers for 50 years. And a trans 66-year-old was at the center of the year’s most talked-about reality show: the E! Network’s I Am Cait. The trend even spread to the book world, where one of the fall’s most lauded nonfiction releases was The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle, by 75-year-old Lillian Faderman. In the arts at least, 2015 was the year of the queer senior.
Why is the culture suddenly so interested in our elders?