86-Year-Old Gay Man Proves You're Never Too Old To Attend Your First Pride

Curtis M. Wong

For Martin, learning to live as his authentic self didn’t have an age limit. 

An 86-year-old photographer, he opens up about his decision to come out as gay as part of 5 Gum’s “No Regrets” online short film series. He said concealing his true identity for 85 years left him riddled with insecurities and self-doubt. 

“It’s tough to be an outsider,” he explains in the clip, which can be viewed above. “I regret being such a sissy, so nervous, so bloody shy.” 

Later in the clip, Martin beams as he watches video footage of young LGBTQ people saying how his personal journey affected them, then he steps out into a crowd of dancers at his very first LGBTQ pride parade. 

“Regret is a powerful, universal emotion, and 5 Gum believes that you regret the things you don’t do in life more than the things you do,” 5 Gum’s brand manager Ashley Findlay told HuffPost. “When we heard Martin’s story, we knew we had to help him share it with the world to encourage younger generations to live life to the fullest.” 

Martin is one of five seniors profiled in the “No Regrets” series, which debuted online last week. Also featured is Stanford, a black man who cast aside his passion for swimming at a largely white high school in 1960s Chicago, and Lin, a Chinese opera singer who was so dedicated to her craft, she never had the time to travel and leave her homeland. 

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