Prime Timers members / Courtesy photo

Atlanta Prime Timers Keeps Older LGBTQ Men Social

The Atlanta Prime Timers is a social organization of LGBTQ men over 40. Founded in 1989, the group is the third oldest chapter of Prime Timers Worldwide, an organization created to provide social support for older queer men.

“It’s a wonderful organization because as people get older, they tend to isolate more,” Atlanta Prime Timers Membership Director Jason Calvert told Georgia Voice. “This is even more so in the LGBTQ community, because a lot of people don’t have relationships with their families, and several are single. Isolation can lead to a higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s, so it’s good to have social opportunities.”

The group has over 150 members, with the youngest member in his 40s and most members being over 55. Around half of the group is single, and several couples have been together between 20 to 50-something years.

“A couple of years ago they lowered the age requirement to join down to 21 to be more inclusive,” Calvert said. “We make the joke that we need wheelchair pushers.”

Atlanta Prime Timers gathers for around 30 activities per month, many of which are ongoing events. Some events are weekly, like the group’s yearslong tradition of catching up over a cup of coffee.

“Every Wednesday morning we meet at Panera Bread to have coffee and snacks,” Calvert said. “It’s usually a big crowd. The least I’ve seen there is around 8–10, but we sometimes have over 20 people. On Saturday we do the same thing, but at Brooklyn Bagel & Deli in Ansley Mall with a smaller crowd of three to eight people.”

Other events take place monthly. For the first Saturday of every month, the group hosts a potluck cookout or game night with anywhere from 40 to 70 people attending. A new tradition is the monthly movie lunch, where group members see a movie after grabbing food at Golden Corral.

“The second Tuesday of every month is a PALS charity bingo event at Lips,” Calvert said. “The prime timers hosted one three months ago, and we had over 40 prime timers show up. We raised a lot of money for PALS, and it was a lot of fun. The theme was Mrs. Roper, a character from the television show ‘Threes Company’ from the ‘70s. It turned out to be the most popular theme there was. Almost half the people there were dressed up as her, it was awesome.”

Of course, every member doesn’t attend every event, so most gatherings have a turnout of anywhere from eight to 80 people. New events pop up all the time, and members can communicate through emails and the Atlanta Prime Timers’ website to invite others to outings like movies and karaoke.

Some members are very involved, some may only attend a few events, and others join for the benefit of discounted tickets to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and other theatres.

“We go to museums all the time, different parks, and tours; we usually have at least two a month,” Calvert said. “A lot of them are recurring. We go, and then we go the next year or the year after. I think we’ve hit just about every museum in the Atlanta area and there are three museums in Cartersville we went to.”

With hundreds of events to attend each year, group members are never at a loss for things to do. The group has even gone ziplining and is planning another outing soon. When it comes to Calvert’s favorite events, he enjoys any time spent surrounded by friends.

“I like the Christmas parties because we have more people show up at that,” he said. “Fourth of July and Memorial Day we do a big cookout. I like the events with large crowds. One of my favorites is just potluck game night where everybody brings a snack to share, and we play board games.”

For only $30 a year to be a member, some people just join to show support, and even some members who move away continue to give. The organization is open to any men attracted to men, including trans and bisexual men.

For those considering joining, Calvert offers these words of support:

“What drawback is there to having a bunch of people to spend time with, especially for older men who tend to sit at home alone,” he said. “You can never have too many friends.”

 

To learn more about Atlanta Prime Timers, visit atlantaprimetimers.com.