The View From Down Here

This article was originally published in A&U Magazine.

Around the first of April of this year, I began using a wheelchair when I leave the apartment. This was an inevitability that I resisted, fought off for as long as I could. Admitting that I need a wheelchair struck me as “the last straw,” akin to simply giving up, accepting the fact that the virus is winning. Worse, I have become more of a burden to my fiancé Rick than a companion. (When he read a draft of this column, Rick balked at my thinking I’m a burden on him and assured me that I’m not. He’s a good man that way.)

However, between the debilitating pain in.... Read More

             

No One Deserves To Be Invisible

by Dr. Theodore Hutchinson. This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.

On the day I was born 63 years ago, I became a ghost when these words were uttered: “Congratulations, it’s a girl!”

I am a person who is transgender. Although the signs were present throughout my life, the conversation and knowledge about trans folks were not a part of mainstream life in the U.S. back then. I was invisible to myself and to others.

But I’ve come to realize that no one deserves to be invisible. No one deserves to be forgotten. No one.... Read More

             

Study Shows Most LGBT Adults Worry About Discrimination in Senior Care, Housing

by Dave Singleton. This article originally appeared on Caring.com.

You don’t know what you don’t know.

That’s what I learned touring over 30 assisted living homes and senior communities in recent years. Some visits were for an article I was working on or for volunteering. Others were personal: I was looking for a welcoming home for my mom.

Having written about LGBT housing for five years, I asked myself the same question when I walked through the doors of each community: Would I feel comfortable here if I was older and ready for a senior community?

The answer was always no, and not because I thought the managers and workers at those homes were bigots. I asked.... Read More

             

See Me

This post originally appeared on the NCOA blog.

According to a recent Gallup Poll, there are approximately 2.4 million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people over 50 years old. We know that many LGBTQ/SGL (same-gender loving) elders never came out of the closet because of the discrimination and stigma associated with being considered criminal and mentally ill. Many compartmentalized their lives into separate “bins” without ever sharing their whole selves.

The way it was

Indeed, LGBTQ/SGL people could be fired from their jobs; have their children taken away through the courts;.... Read More

             

Dignity, respect, and care can’t wait

This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.

The Trump administration is giving businesses and medical providers a license to discriminate: to deny services to LGBT individuals based on religious or moral beliefs. In response, SAGE is enlisting the power of the LGBT community, its allies, and organizations who care for LGBT elders to take a stand in our Care Can’t Wait social media campaign.

SAGE acknowledges and thanks all the partner organizations who have taken the pledge and encourages others to join us in standing up for LGBT elders in the face of religious-based discrimination.

The.... Read More

             

Two Spirit and LGBT Natives Are Making a Difference in Their Communities

June is LGBT Pride Month and although there are Two Spirit and LGBT members within Native communities, they are often apprehensive to come out. As the Indigenous Ways of Knowing Program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling notes, family is important within Tribal communities, and “too often, rejection of Two Spirit / LGBT community members by families, peers, and the community breaks families apart and tears at the social fabric of our community.”

This year, the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) wants to celebrate LGBT Pride Month by sharing some information on Two Spirit and LGBT Natives that are not only out and proud, but making a significant difference.... Read More

             

Successful Outcomes of the LGBT Aging Policy Task Force

by Dr. Marcy Adelman. This article originally appeared in the San Francisco Bay Times.

Four years ago, the San Francisco LGBT Aging Policy Task Force concluded its 18-month tenure by submitting its final report, LGBT Aging at the Golden Gate: San Francisco Policy Issues and Recommendations, to the Board of Supervisors. The LGBT task force had been charged with studying and identifying systemic barriers to living well and to make recommendations for enhancing quality of life and reducing health disparities and inequities for LGBT older adults.

The task force’s report was unanimously adopted by the Board of Supervisors.... Read More

             

Pat Baldwin: Advocating for LGBTQ Elders in Michigan

by Adam Polaski, Freedom for All Americans. This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.

Five years ago, Pat Baldwin walked into the office of the executive director at the Hannan Foundation, an organization dedicated to preserving the dignity of elders in the state of Michigan, and took a seat. Pat, who is the director of the Hannan Center for Lifelong Learning, wanted to speak with the foundation’s director about an issue close to her heart—an issue for which she knew Hannan was uniquely suited to make a difference.

Having worked with older adults and the aging population at Hannan for the past 17 years, Pat recalls that she had seen an increase in troubling.... Read More

             

Mapping LGBTQ History in St. Louis

All too often, history is written by those in the mainstream, and the stories of marginalized communities – the stories of our elders – are lost. A team in St. Louis is working to recapture and map the history of LGBTQ communities in the region, and last month, they unveiled their interactive online map that documents queer history across the city from 1945 to 1992. Researchers identified 800 locations that were important to the LGBTQ communities in St. Louis during that time, including bars, bookstores, HIV clinics, cruising spots, protest sites, and locations of police.... Read More

             

New Video: Embracing Culturally Competent Care for LGBTQ Older Adults

by Renée Markus Hodin. This post originally appeared on the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation.

October 11 is the 29th annual National Coming Out Day (NCOD) which celebrates people of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) identities feeling empowered to make their true selves known – to their families, friends and coworkers and in their broader communities. In 1994, October was designated as LGBTQ History Month with NCOD as its anchor date.

In the spirit of this month and Coming Out Day, the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation is pleased to share.... Read More

             

Aging as LGBT: Two Stories

by Heron Greenesmith. This post originally appeared on the Justice in Aging blog.

Tina and Jackie were born in the same town in 1947. Despite similar beginnings, their lives take very different turns. In 1967, Tina meets Frank. And Jackie meets Frances. As a same-sex couple, Jackie and Frances couldn’t marry, were denied spousal benefits, and experienced a lifetime of discrimination and lost wages. Fast forward to today, and Jackie, like so many other older adults, struggles with financial insecurity, social isolation, and overall lack of health and well-being, simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT).

Unfortunately, Jackie’s story.... Read More

             

Black, Gray and Gay: The Perils of Aging LGBTQ People of Color

by Chandra Thomas Whitfield. This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

Cecelia Hayden Smith, 72, knows exactly how she wants to live out the remainder of her golden years: lounging lazily on the porch of a cozy house tucked along a quiet, treelined street in Washington, D.C.

She’d greet her partner each morning with a homemade country breakfast, and their afternoons and evenings would be filled with lively games of Spades and Bid Whist with a dozen or so housemates — all fellow LGBTQ elders.

“I’ve already picked out my rocking chair,” the retired substance abuse counselor quipped. “Just call me ‘Mama C,’ and make sure my room is in the front, so I can always see.... Read More

             
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