SAGE Men Leeds

MESMAC host and support SAGE MEN LEEDS to be an independent peer-led social group for gay men over 50 years.

Sage Men Leeds invites all members into a safe and friendly social group that has a supportive and understanding atmosphere.   We are a peer-led social group of mature gay men offering mutual support to each other by way of friendly group meet ups at regular intervals. All members of the group have the opportunity to contribute to the group if they wish by way of quizzes, talks, visits to places of interest or offer any other appropriate and suitable suggestions. We meet Wednesday afternoons in a central location in Leeds for tea / coffee/ biscuits / light-hearted friendly banter / occasional quizzes / guest speakers, etc.   Other events such as outings to places of interest occur outside our regular meet-ups, which offer a sense of shared experience and to combat isolation and loneliness. These can be subject to funds, access and availability.  

It’s free to join our friendly group!

Contact: Michael or James at

Creative Voices

Creative Voices is an arts project co-created by older adults from the LGBTQ+ plus community in Leeds and Creative artist Minoti Parikh. This project was delivered by Yorkshire MESMAC and kindly funded by the National Lottery funding.

The project's main purpose was to give members of the community, the time and space to explore creative arts as a way of feeling uplifted, empowered and positive in a fun and relaxing space. Over five months the group have been meeting to laugh, be playful and learn different creative forms of expressing themselves while building new friendships. 

At the end of the project, the group put on a final sharing event where members showcased their creativity through a series of short acts. Please see below a small snippet of the work that was shared.

For me and others, [this project] was quite transformative. Fingers crossed for more in the future.

In this world it is not always easy to make yourself visible because being visible carries risks. There are places where it is possible to be more relaxed in our behaviour, where we are with people who we perceive to be accepting, in places where we feel confident that we will not raise intolerance in others. One can never be sure what will cause a person to react, one way or another

One late afternoon we are walking to Leeds station after a meeting with a small group of other lesbians and gay men, having shared stories and laughter & warmth. We walk, she and I, holding hands, smiling fondly at each other and in tune with the world and the busy concourse thronging with people just wanting to get somewhere, get home. Checking our respective train times she comes with me to my platform, her train being later. On the platform we stand, eyes only for eachother. The moment is interrupted by the beep, beep, beep, beep, beep signal that the doors are about to close. Without thinking we lean towards eachother and kiss, and I run on to the train in a cloud of bliss leaving her on the platform. I hear a man’s shout directed at us; panicking: do I jump off the train, I don’t want to abandon her to face some man’s ire and abuse? I look back and she is smiling and beckoning me forward, I’m confused. She is talking to a man and laughing, the man who shouted, he is laughing. I get off, I don’t want to leave her alone with this situation, even if I have no idea what’s happening here. She grabs my hand, her face so full of smiles. I turn to look at him, it’s the guard, and tune into his words, dialling down my adrenalin. Still laughing he says: “You’ve got 5 minutes yet before the train leaves ............” and adds “I didn’t want to spoil your “brief encounter” moment”

By this time it feels like the whole carriage is looking on at this mini drama. And so, standing on the platform, a bit mo re self consciously, we kiss

- Margaret

I was told that this piece should contain no: sexism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, deadnaming, racism, general intolerance, and horridness. And should be last about 3 minutes. AND BE UPLIFTING!

So, I scrapped my plans for my four-hour, naked performance piece set in a disused Turkish Bath, entitled “All the Serial Killers I’ve Ever Slept With,” in favour of more moaning about my father and my consequent queer development.

A Glass Half Empty?

A glass is raised in a local pub,

The Eastwood Working Men’s Club,

A treat, my dad has paid my sub,

And introduced the drinking.


Through the bottom of the glass,

I see my father, working class,

Setting tasks, I’ll never pass.

Even then, I’m sinking


Fuelled with drink and disapproving,

Antipathy within him moving,

Our difference is strangely soothing,

Ignore the father’s shilling.


Departure from the norm it seems,

Is a threat to all his dreams,

I always play for other teams,

Joining his: unwilling.


I feel my glass will never fill,

To swallow up life’s bitter pill,

I climb a never-ending hill,

Climbing on my own.      


I need to find another place,

I need to see a friendly face,

A different sort of human race,

To feel that I have grown.


The glass is but a quarter full,

I feel a sympathetic pull,

New friends, gay, not dull,

Liquid level rising.


I join a cause, make my mark,

March around the local park,

The outlook looking not so dark,

The glass might need resizing.


We protest against all the laws,

The ones which write us off as whores,

Aim our fists at Fascists’ jaws,

Liquid slowly swilling.


We wear our badges on our coats,

Ignore our beams, bemoan their motes

Read their texts and make our notes,

The glass is slowly filling.


We’re feeling blue and only blue,

And can’t conceive another hue,

Another challenge, soon is due,

Because the glass is needy.


White’s a colour for a shroud,

We need more colours to feel proud,

A rainbow marks us from the crowd, But still the glass is greedy.

- James

It’s been a long time.
Never thought I’d see the day.
It’s been a long time.
So glad to hear you say.
It’s been a long time.
For me to feel this way.
It’s been a long time.
I love you too please stay.

- Maureen

Some queers are really rough but some roughs are really queer. - Quentin Crisp.

“Perverts!”, cry the οἱ πολλοί

Hope their betters to annoy.

Secretly they want a youth,

Ashamed to own Socratic truth.

Hypocrisy is all their game

Anything to point the blame

Secretly they join our tribe.

Loudly shouting out their jibe.

Lads, Lads, Lads! on weekend benders

Dressed as scallies, young offenders

Secretly suffused with envy

Join in all the chanting frenzy.

Roset tattoo subscribed with “MAM”

Writ large across a meaty ham.

Secretly on inside thigh.

Tiny letters “DICK or DIE”.

- James

Want to know more or to contact us?

Sage offers friendly social and support meetings for LGBT+ persons over 50 meeting at 22-23 Blayds Yards. Mixed Sage (all genders) meets Tuesday 2-3:30 pm, Sage Men (for male-identifying persons) meet Wednesdays 2-3:30pm. These meetings are social drop-ins and sometimes also with a visiting speaker. Members also sometimes organise separate events.  


Visit us on twitter at @LGBTSage or on facebook (friend request Sage MESMAC or like our page Sage Project at Age UK Leeds and Yorkshire MESMAC). 

Should you wish to write to us please do at Sage, Yorkshire MESMAC, 22-23 Blayds Yard, Leeds, LS1 4AD. You can also call us via 0113 244 4209.

Yorkshire MESMAC and Sage offer LGBT+ awareness training to organisations that work with older people. Please contact us for further advice.