“Gen Silent” explores challenges facing the elderly LGBT community

Gen Silent PosterThere are almost 38 million LGBT Americans over the age of 65. This number is expected to double by 2030. Yet in a Fenway Institute study fifty percent of nursing home workers said that their co-workers are intolerant of LGBT people. That collision of a rapidly aging queer population and a nursing home system ill-prepared to serve them is explored in Gen Silent, a documentary showing at the GLBT Cultural Center (401 Branard) on Thursday, January 26, at 6:30 pm.

Gen Silent, from award-winning director and documentary filmmaker Stu Maddux, follows six LGBT seniors as they struggle to make decisions about their twilight years. These seniors put a face on what experts in the film call an epidemic: gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender seniors so afraid of discrimination in long-term health care that many go back into the closet.

Gen Silent startlingly discovers how oppression in the years before Stonewall now leaves many elders not just afraid but dangerously isolated and at risk on not receiving medical care. The film shows the wide range in quality of paid caregivers –from those who are specifically trained to make LGBT seniors feel safe, to the other end of the spectrum, where LGBT elders face discrimination, neglect or abuse, including shocking bed-side attempts by staff to persuade seniors to give up their “sinful” lifestyles.

This free screening will be followed by a call-to-action and panel discussion with some of Houston’s GLBT senior leaders.

View the trailer for Gen Silent after the break.

—  admin

Local Briefs

GAIN holding monthly meeting

GAIN, the GLBT aging interest network that is a program of Resource Center Dallas, will meet Thursday, April 28, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Resource Center, 2701 Reagan.
Educator, public speaker and writer Deneen Robinson, BSW, will present the program on Alzheimer’s and dementia in the aging LGBT community.
Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served.

Students seeks study participants

Cindy Chwalik, a clinical psychology student at Walden University who is interning with Youth First Texas, is looking for natal females (those who were born biologically female) who were born in the South and came out as lesbians while living in the South to participate in a research project she is conducting. She is particularly looking for women born in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina.

Participation involves a 60-to-90-minute interview. Chwalik said there is no compensation for participating, but the information will help those who come out in the future.
Contact her via email at cindychwalik @aol.com.

TDWCC to hear from candidates

Texas Democratic Women of Collin County will hold their next general meeting Monday, April 25, at 6:45 p.m. at the Preston Ridge Campus of Collin College, 9700 Wade Blvd. in Frisco, Founders Hall, Shawnee Room F148.

The program will feature a forum of candidates in the upcoming non-partisan municipal elections. Confirmed thus far from Plano are Judy Drotman, campaign manager for City Council Place 3 candidate Andre Davidson; City Council Place 5 candidate Matt Lagos; City Council Place 5 candidate Jim Duggan, and City Council Place 7 candidate Pat Gallagher.

Candidates in the Frisco elections who have confirmed so far are Mayor Maher Maso, City Council Place 5 candidate Bart Crowder, and Frisco ISD candidated Anne McCausland and Dody Brigadier.

—  John Wright

Orlando’s Gay Church Aging Rapidly

Joy Metropolitan Community Church X390 (ORLANDO SENTINEL) | ADVOCATE.COMOrlando’s Joy Metropolitan Community Church, which caters to gay and
lesbian worshippers, is having trouble attracting young people to its
pews, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

MetLife study on Aging Boomers reveals some disturbing stats

del martin and phyllis lyon
Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon

MetLife and American Society on Aging (ASA), which includes an appropriately named group, the LGBT Aging Issues Network (LAIN), have done a study on aging Baby Boomers.

Note to MetLife, I may be a Baby Boomer, but I’m NOT aging.

Their study, “Still Out, Still Aging: The MetLife Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Baby Boomers,” reveals some interesting similarities and some disturbing differences between the LGBT population and the population in general.

The study, which polled 1,200 LGBT individuals and 1,200 people from the general population, shows stark differences and striking similarities between the two groups with regard to attitudes, demographics and aging:

·         60% of LGBT Boomers fear being unable to care for themselves as they age; 35% fear becoming dependent on others; and 10% fear discrimination as they age.

·         Of the LGBT sample surveyed, Lesbians (76%), Gay men (74%), Bisexuals (16%) and Transgender individuals (39%) say they are “completely” or “mostly” out.  61% of Lesbians and 57% of Gay men say their families are “completely” or “very” accepting, while that is true for 24% of Bisexuals and 42% of Transgender individuals.

—  David Taffet

HHS teams with SAGE

Michael  Adams, executive director of SAGE
Michael Adams, executive director of SAGE

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Administration on Aging have awarded Services &  Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders (SAGE) a three-year, $900,000 grant to create the nation’s only national resource center on LGBT aging.

The National Technical Assistance Resource Center for LGBT Elders will assist communities across the country in their efforts to provide services and supports for older LGBT people.  The Resource Center will provide training to aging service providers and LGBT agencies nationwide, and will offer critically important educational tools to LGBT older people.

“Agencies that provide services to older individuals may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the needs of this under-served population,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The Resource Center will provide information, assistance and resources for both mainstream aging organizations and LGBT organizations and will provide assistance to LGBT individuals as they plan for future long-term care needs.”

SAGE is the nation’s oldest and largest organization serving LGBT older adults. In creating the Resource Center, SAGE will forge a partnership with 10 organizations with expertise in a wide range of areas including mainstream aging, LGBT aging, culture change and competency and program evaluation.

“The creation of a National Technical Assistance Resource Center for LGBT Elders is a monumental step forward for the LGBT community,” said Michael Adams, executive director of SAGE. “SAGE is extremely gratified to be given this opportunity to create and oversee the Resource Center in close cooperation with the Administration on Aging.”

—  David Taffet