Welcome to the world of Jeff. He´s a gay bear, 50 years old and lives in Los Angeles and Berlin with his 31 year old boyfriend Noah. His life so far has been really quite extraordinary: He was a drug addict, homeless and lived in an open relationship with two guys, one of whom died this year. The other one, Alex, is his husband and family. He fought his way back to life and shares his experiences on his blog and in his books. Ever met a guy who spent their honeymoon in a Berlin Sexclub? Better take a moment and get to know the amazing Jeff Leavell! 

“If we want to be truly happy, we are going to learn to like who we are.” Jeff Leavell

You say of yourself that you‘re a slut and that you had sex with around 3500 guys. Why do you think this is an issue for so many gay men? I think, we have been raised to believe that our sexuality is somehow wrong. That somehow, if you fuck 3500 different people, you are dirty, or sick, or depraved. But as long as you treat your partners with respect, then who you fuck is no one’s business. We need to stop trying to shame and control each other. Stop judging each other. We live in a world that is hostile to queer people. It’s time, we start taking care of each other and stand up for each other.

No one gets to tell you, you aren’t amazing.

How often are you confronted by body and youth cult or ageism on the gay scene? Most the guys I have dated have been a lot younger than me. I like growing older. I like, who I’ve become. It’s taken me a while to get there but I do. I’ve learned, that these things can only hurt us, if we let them hurt us. That’s honestly the best thing about getting older: I don’t give a fuck, what other people think about me. If we want to be truly happy, we are going to learn to like who we are. I am a 50-year-old-HIV Positive-Queer man. And that’s fucking awesome. No one gets to tell you, you aren’t amazing.

Your share your life on your blog and in your books. What is your main intention? My main intention is pretty simple: You’re okay. We are all okay. Just as we are. I try to share some of my darkest moments and some of my most beautiful moments to say this. We are just people doing the best we can. It’s an important question to ask: are you happy? If the answer is no, then what is one thing, you can change that might lead you in a direction of happiness? The great thing about being queer is, we get to define and explore our relationships however we want. Going to a Sexclub for example might not be the most conventional choice for a honeymoon, but it felt like the perfect thing to do. We get to be who we want. We don’t have to play by anybody else’s rules.

We see a conservative rollback in the US and in Europe – how do you feel about that?  I am definitely afraid. I think, we are seeing a real attack on who we are as Queer People. But I also see a real push back against these fascists agendas. If we come together, and we stand as a community, we will prevail. I have a lot of faith in our potential. We are the only ones in control of our destiny. They can’t take our rights away unless we let them. And I’d really like to see the world move in a more open, happy direction. Maybe that’s a fantasy, but it’s one I like. 

Visit Jeff: www.jeffleavell.com

Interview: Michael Soze

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