March 20th – the first day of spring – marks the 9th annual National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a national mobilization effort designed to encourage Natives (American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians) across the United States and Territorial Areas to get educated, get tested, get involved in prevention, and get treated for HIV and AIDS. The Diverse Elders Coalition is commemorating this important day by offering resources to our constituents and encouraging everyone to get tested and #GetCovered. Remember that American Indians and Alaskan Natives can enroll in Marketplace coverage under the ACA at any time of year – no need to wait for a designated enrollment period.
Native Americans are 0.9 percent of the U.S..... Read More
AARP and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders: New Information about Elder Communities
by Ben de Guzman, Diverse Elders Coalition National Managing Coordinator
December 7, is a day that, in the now famous words of President Franklin Roosevelt, has gone down in infamy. The attack on Pearl Harbor by Japanese Imperial military forces resulted in the death of 2,500 people with 1,000 more wounded and is generally recognized as the impetus that finally drew the United States into World War II. Traditionally, news coverage of the December 7 anniversary over the years has centered on survivors and evokes memories of the attack itself. Stories from the war are told by fewer and fewer people, as those who were around reach further into their golden years- many well into their 90s.
As the new National Managing Coordinator for the Diverse Elders Coalition, I am pleased to write my first post for our blog here on World AIDS Day. Observed annually on December 1, World AIDS Day is recognized around the world with this year’s theme: Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-Free Generation. This theme directly invokes the idea of age and makes us “focus” in on how different generations experience the epidemic, and is particularly appropriate for us to think about here.
As an openly gay man, I grew up and entered my teen years during the height of the epidemic in the 1980s. At the same time, I grew up a child of immigrants in a Filipino American household with two.... Read More
Living the Legacy: Keeping the Comanche Language and Culture Alive
Moribund: In terminal decline; lacking vitality or vigor. (Oxford Dictionary)
“Languages across the world are in crisis. Half of the world’s languages are “moribund, spoken only by adults who no longer teach them to the next generation.” The language loss among North American indigenous people is “especially acute,” where an estimated 155 languages are still spoken, if you add in the Alaskan Native languages. Of these 135 are moribund; and the U.S. Census of 1990 indicated that one-third of these have fewer than 100 speakers. “Native American Language Immersion: Innovative Native Education for Children and Families” Pease Pretty On Top, J.
My mother, Geneva Woomavoyah Navarro, was born in the small town of.... Read More
On April 3, 2008, my longtime friend Don (last name withheld) tested positive for HIV, the same day as his mother’s 56th birthday. He remembers the day vividly. “I had given blood to my doctor and a couple weeks later, I still hadn’t received a call. I called my doctor’s office and they said, ‘There’s an anomaly with your blood.’ I immediately freaked out and thought, ‘God, this is it.'” Don took the last appointment of the day and a few hours later received his diagnosis, along with a few referrals. He went home “to pull myself together, call my mom and wish her a happy birthday.” He wouldn’t share his HIV status with his mother for several years.
The AID Institute’s 7th annual National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD) will be observed September 18, 2014 with the theme “Aging is a part of life; HIV doesn’t have to be!” For more information about HIV/AIDS and older Americans or to become involved with the campaign, visit www.NHAAAD.org.
Among diverse communities, the stigma of HIV is a cause of shame, embarrassment, and worse of all, denial and silence. When denial and silence are present, the lack of communication and information lead to myths and misinformation. Worst of all, silence results in increased infections and is inevitably compounded by stigma, which leads to people living with HIV who are undiagnosed and therefore, untreated.
Today is National Senior Citizen’s Day, which is a great opportunity to look at the role age and aging play in all of our lives. Many people are familiar with terms like racism or sexism—but here at SAGE we spend a lot of time thinking about ageism. Ageism is the act of stereotyping and forming prejudices about people or groups based on their age. It can take many forms, from assuming that all teenagers are irresponsible to passing over an older adult’s job application because of their age.
One important way that we combat these different.... Read More
Medicare & the Windsor Decision: Where do we stand?
Last year’s Windsor decision has triggered a series of ongoing changes that impact many of us on a day-to-day basis. For LGBT older adults, Medicare is one of the most critical Federal programs undergoing change. So where do Medicare recipients currently stand? Our Q&A with Casey Schwarz of the Medicare Rights Center answers some important questions.
This seven part series by Matthew S. Bajko (firstname.lastname@example.org) originally appeared in the Bay Area Reporter/New America Media. Matthew explores a range of issues facing LGBT elders including aging with AIDS, isolation, limited housing options, discrimination on many fronts and a lifetime of struggle.
Trauma of AIDS Epidemic Impacts Aging Survivors
SAN FRANCISCO–The nightmares terrorized San Francisco resident Tez Anderson for years. He would dream he was buried deep underground and wake in the middle of the night feeling panicked.
“It felt like I was in a lot of danger. It was not so much about death, it was more that I was in peril,” recalled Anderson, who is.... Read More
The Growing, Neglected Challenges of LGBT Latino Elders
Latino elders who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) face additional challenges as they age, compounded by barriers rooted in their racial and ethnic identities, as well as LGBT stigma and discrimination. Yet the attention and infrastructure to ameliorate these conditions is generally lacking. That’s the overarching conclusion reached by the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) in a first-ever national needs assessment examining the social, economic and political realities of a growing, though multiply marginalized, population.
NCHOA’s report speaks to a timely moment. Demographics project a significant increase in Latino people and older people over the next few decades, trends rooted largely in immigration and the aging of the Baby Boom generation, respectively. For example, the.... Read More
LGBT People: Our Longing for Home, Our Right to Housing
There are mornings when the hour-long commute to work feels Odyssean. Today is one of those mornings. February has unfurled a litany of winter storms that have left New York City awash in slush and my Facebook feed soaked in bemoaning. As I trudge through Brooklyn and board the D train to Manhattan, I’m stirred by the resilience of people to survive winter—huddled overnight in subway trains and housing shelters, or living miles from work to afford one’s rent, a mortgage and the accumulating costs of.... Read More