“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

New report on challenges faced by LGBT senior citizens

Rich Lopez forwarded this information to me, because when it’s about old people, he thinks of me. Thanks Rich.

Rep. Tammy Baldwin
Rep. Tammy Baldwin

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Center for American Progress Action Fund and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) will discuss new legislation and a new report, “Improving the Lives of LGBT Older Adults” at a meeting on April 28 at noon in Washington.

The report addresses the unique challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender elders in the United States. The study was done by Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders (SAGE) and the Movement Advancement Project (MAP).

Congresswoman Baldwin will also discuss legislation to help address these disparities, while experts in the field will share the latest research and policy analysis.

Aging lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender baby boomers are the first generation of LGBT people who have openly lived LGBT lives in large numbers.

While most Americans face challenges as they age, LGBT elders have the added burden of a lifetime of stigma; familial relationships that lack recognition under the law; and unequal treatment under laws, programs, and services designed to support and protect older Americans.

The lack of financial security, good health and health care, and social and community support is a fearful reality for a disproportionate number of LGBT older adults.

—  David Taffet