“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

We Were Here, AIDS documentary at 14 Pews

We Were HereWe Were Here, the award winning documentary of the early days of the AIDS crisis, premiers at 14 Pews theater (800 Aurora) Saturday, November 20, at 4:30 pm. The film, from director David Weissman, will be proceeded by a panel discussion on the state of the AIDS crisis today.

I came out in 1998, right at the tail end of the worst days of the AIDS crisis. I remember, with vivid clarity, the days of the walking wounded: when every other gay man I met would tell how their doctor said they should have died five years ago, when the community told time by recalling if an event took place before or after a certain person’s funeral.

Fortunately those days are largely behind us, but as new HIV infections continue to rise and we struggle to maintain funding for medications that are keeping people alive (at a cost of thousands of dollars a month), it’s important that we never forget the early days of the pandemic. For people of my generation and younger the mysterious “Gay Plague” that threatened our community in the early eighties can seem more like a fairy tale monster than the horrifying crisis it was, and is.

We Were Here tells the real life stories of five people who survived. Their mundane and profound recollections highlight, not only their personal experiences, but the broad political and social upheavals unleashed by the crisis. From their different vantage points as caregivers, activists, researchers, as friends and lovers of the afflicted, and as people with AIDS themselves, the interviewees share stories which are not only intensely personal, but which also illuminate the much larger themes of that era: the political and sexual complexities, and the terrible emotional toll. The film highlights the role of women – particularly lesbians – in caring for and fighting for their gay brothers.

Tickets for We Were Here are $10 and can be purchased at 14pews.org.

After the jump watch the trailer for We Were Here.

—  admin

Local Briefs • 03.11.11

LOSF introducing new officers

Legacy of Success Foundation will hold a meet-and-greet reception Tuesday, March 15, at 7 p.m. at Chocolate Secrets, 3926 Oak Lawn Ave.
The reception is being held to introduce the foundation’s new executive director, Lawrence Galloway, and new board members.

Meet the mayoral candidates

Two of the three major mayoral candidates said they will meet with members of the LGBT community next week.
Mike Rawlings will be the guest speaker at the monthly Stonewall Democrats meeting on Tuesday, March 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Ojeda’s Restaurant on Maple Avenue. Ron Natinsky said he will also attend.
On Thursday, March 17, Natinsky will speak at LULAC 4871 Dallas Rainbow Council at 6:30 p.m. at Havana’s on Cedar Springs Road

TDWCC fundraiser set

Texas Democratic Women of Collin County will hold a fundraising screening of “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” on Thursday, March 24, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Angelika Theater at Shops at Legacy in Plano.
The film, directed by Abigail Disney, is an account of how Christian and Muslim women demanded peace for Liberia after decades of civil war.
The program for the monthly meeting on Monday, March 28, will follow the theme of the movie and will include a panel discussion on “Religion, Tolerance and Politics” featuring a rabbi, an imam and a protestant church leader. The monthly meeting will be held at 6:45 p.m.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 11, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Update on Alekseev in Dallas

As we reported last Friday, Russian LGBT activist Nikolai Alekseev is will be making two appearances in North Texas this week.

On Thursday, March 3, at 3 p.m., Alekseev will speak at Brite Divinity School, and we just received some updated information on his Friday, March 4 appearance in Dallas.

Alekseev will speak Friday, at 7 p.m. at the Interfaith Peace Chapel, and for that appearance he will be joined by Andy Thayer, the co-founder of Gay Liberation Network who is accompanying the Russian activist on his U.S. tour, as well as several local LGBT leaders who will take part in a panel discussion to compare and contrast the fight for LGBT equality in Russia with the movement in North Texas.

Panelists will include moderator Blake Wilkinson, Rafael McDonnell with Resource Center Dallas, Agape MCC pastor the Rev. David Wynn and Dawn Meifert of MergeMedia Group.

Both events are free and open to the public.

—  admin

HRC hosts Family Town Hall at Cathedral of Hope today

The Human Rights Campaign is in a family way

Upon launching its first ever family committee in DFW, the Human Rights Campaign is having its first panel discussion today. The committee focuses on the ever growing LGBT parenting community in North Texas and serve as a model for future chapters under the HRC’s Family Project initiative. The initiative address topics such as adoption, unions, family law, education, healthcare and more. What’s more, this is prime territory for the Family Project. Texas ranks fourth in states with LGBT family populations.

Today’s town hall is the first in a family-focused event to foster conversation on adoption and foster care and moderated by attorney Lorie Birch. LGBT parents and those hoping to be can gather more and new information on the idea of expanding or starting a family.

DEETS: Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. 2 p.m. Free. HRC.org/issues/parenting

—  Rich Lopez

AIDS Arm’s Red Ribbon Society hosting discussion on impact of health care reform law

The Red Ribbon Society of AIDS Arms will host a dinner and “lively panel discussion to address the facts and impact of Health Care Reform on you, your family and your business,” Red Ribbon members have announced.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15, in the Magnolia Room at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, 3520 Oak Lawn Ave. Seating is limited and those attending must R.S.V.P. to Kris Martin by the end of the day on Friday, Sept. 10. The invitation I got here at the office did not include information on the cost to attend. But I bet you can find that out by e-mailing Kris at kmartin@aidsarms.org or calling her at 214-521-5191, ext. 373.

The panel discussion will feature Arnold Doyle, senior director of professional affairs at Tibotec Therapeutics; attorney Michael Regier, senior vice president of legal and corporate affairs at VHA Inc.; attorney Scott Chase, certified in health law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization; and Dr. David M. Lee with Uptown Physicians Group and Baylor University Medical Center.

The Red Ribbon Society was created in 2005 for individuals who contribute $1,000 or more on an annual basis toward the programs, research and clinical care at AIDS Arms. For more about membership, go here.

—  admin

Cross Points series wraps up with panel on religion and the LGBT community

Latisha McDaniel

“We’ve come to the last discussion for our Cross Points summer education series,” Latisha McDaniel said.

Equality March Texas presents a panel discussion on being religious (or non-religious) and being LGBT on Thursday, July 29.

The Rev. Deneen Robinson of Living Faith Covenant Church will serve as moderator. Other panelists will be Renee Gros-Reis and David Taffet (oh, that’s me!)

The church has been a home that many gays cannot imagine life without, while some gays have left the institution with bitterness at the people (if not the deity). This discussion will be about the work being done in religious institutions to change the conversation from one-sided hate speech to mutual understanding to welcoming. We’ll also discuss the work being done in affirming congregations. Finally, we’ll look at ways in which those who aren’t into church can help make sure gay religious people and their spaces are respected.

The panel begins at 7 p.m. at Resource Center Dallas.

—  David Taffet

CROSSPOINTS panel to address opportunities, pitfalls of being out at work

Dennis Coleman

The opportunities and pitfalls of being out at work will be discussed at this week’s CROSSPOINTS panel discussion at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 1 at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center. Equality March Texas is coordinating the six-week series, which will take a break next week for the holiday.

Union organizer Mike Lo Vuolo will moderate this week’s panel discussion.

CROSSPOINTS organizer Latisha McDaniel said five people are tentatively scheduled to be on the panel.

Dennis Coleman from Lambda Legal will offer a legal perspective on what rights people have to be out at work and what rights employers have to discriminate pending passage of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Laura Martin, LGBT community liaison officer for the Dallas Police Department, will give her perspective on being out in an organization with few other out employees.

Binet’s Andi Reis will talk about being an out bisexual.

Louise Young and Rafael McDonnell will talk about Out & Equal employee groups. Young formed the LGBT groups at Texas Instruments and later at Raytheon when they purchased her division from TI. McDonnell is strategic communications and programs manager at Resource Center Dallas.

“There are plenty of pitfalls to being out at work,” said McDaniel. “But I hope they talk about some of the benefits. Being able to concentrate on your work rather than on people finding out about your personal life.”

“Don’t ask, don’t tell,” which McDaniel described as the biggest example of workplace discrimination, will also be discussed.

—  David Taffet