Prime Timers was founded in 1987 by a retired professor in Boston, Woody Ballwin. Professor Ballwin, frustrated with society’s worship of youth and the marginalization of older gay men, decided to strike back. He put an ad in the Boston paper and solicited his friends to help create a new organization. It was to be called Prime Timers . Its growth first in Boston and then throughout the United States heralded the need for addressing the social needs of the aging gay and bisexual man.
Today, Prime Timers Worldwide has more than 7,500 members in over eighty chapters across North America, Europe and Australia. Men not close to a local chapter may still join as an independent and attend any local chapter event, join PT travel groups and participate in regional and national conventions.
The organization is continuously revitalized through its local chapter meetings and social activities, organized cruises and conventions. During odd numbered years, members gather to celebrate at the Prime Timers Worldwide Convention. Chicago, Illinois will host the 2017 Convention. During even numbered years, local chapters host regional conferences open to all members both regional and worldwide. Local chapters also invite all members to participate in their cruises that take place all over the world.
On the 3rd of June 2007, Michael Stone (the Vice President of Chapters from Prime Timers World Wide) met with nine St. Louis gay men to help create Prime Timers St. Louis. These men quickly established an interim Board of Directors and slate of Officers.
Since that initial meeting, the organization’s “fun-loving” membership has put in place an effective leadership team and has established a full schedule of exciting social, recreational and educational activities. We hold Monthly Membership Meetings centered on an educational theme and host frequent social activities and events for our members at local restaurants, theatres, community venues and members’ homes.
Part of our missions is to increase our visibility and expand our membership. For example, during St. Louis PrideFest, members actively recruit new members at our information both and pass out information cards and brochures. We also regularly partner with other LBGT organizations on issues of common interest.
Prime Timers St. Louis has rapidly become a major presence in the gay community and a much needed social organization for older gay and bisexual men in the metropolitan St. Louis community.