“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

Defining Homes • Super (re)model

Remodeler Chris Sandlin says slow your roll before that redux

Wingren-Kitchen-5By Jonanna Widner

As a third-generation homebuilder and remodeler, it’s no surprise that Chris Sandlin opted out of a journalism career and instead chose the family business. He made the change in 2005 and with such a history of the industry in his blood already, Sandlin brings a fairly unique perspective to the market.

“I’m 30 years old, which is relatively young compared to others in my position,“ he says. “But I put a lot of time and energy into the right team of workers and sub-contractors to customers’ homes so the end result lives up to what the homeowners deserve. As a gay business owner, I’m happy in providing stellar home services to the community.”

Before moving forward with that remodel, Sandlin says to think before demolishing.

Wingren-Master-Bath-2Know when to remodel: “I commonly work with homeowners to determine whether it makes more sense to remodel or move. I approach each situation openly and honestly, and try my best to suggest what I think would be best, even if that means I don’t win the job.”

Remodel before selling: “This is usually the case with older homes that have not been remodeled recently. Homeowners accept my guidance for what sells. I have a good combination of experience in the homebuilding and real estate industry.

“There is a catch-22 here. If the house sells quickly, homeowners in won’t have time to experience the finished remodel project which tends to be the kitchen or master bath.”

“This can happen very easily. Most $250,000 homes do not need a $50,000 bathroom redo, nor does a $300,000 home need a $100,000 commercial grade kitchen. A wide variety of factors need to be considered, including how long they plan to stay in the home, what’s the budget, how it adds to the home’s value.“

Budget help: “When in the budgeting/planning phase with homeowners, research the values of nearby homes, especially with remodels. This has been helpful in concrete figures regarding their remodel, as well as experienced conjectures about how the remodel will affect the home’s future value.”

Don’t rush the details:  ”Too many homeowners want to rush into their project without a clear vision. Step back, assess the project and come up with a plan. With that, the end result will be everything the homeowner wants. Rushing into it without a plan will only result in more time, money and headaches.”

Going green: “This is an area I take pride in. As a certified green professional through the National Association of Homebuilders, I integrate green philosophies and I want to minimize waste factor and landfill component as much as possible.”

“I started making many green features as my standard a long time ago because I feel it’s the right way to build and remodel. I’m happy to see more homeowners interested in these options.”

DIY:  “I’m happy to help prepare homeowners for what they would encounter if doing it on their own. Sometimes it works out just fine, with small jobs that don’t require licensed tradesmen or city permits. When it comes to larger jobs, people need to know if they honestly have the time to do this in addition to the day job.”DH

Visit SandlinBuild.com for more information.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 7, 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—  Kevin Thomas

Mass. Gov. Orders Protection for Trans Workers

GOV DEVAL PATRICK X390 (GLAAD) | ADVOCATE.COMMassachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed an executive order Thursday
banning work-based discrimination against transgender state government
employees, and contractors.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  David Taffet

Gay Radio Novella will be broadcast to Latino Farm Workers in California

Considering how the comedy “Will and Grace” moved social acceptance of gay rights forward in our country, the more serious radionovela, “Bienvenidos a Casa,” or “Welcome Home,” is a great idea. It features the story of a gay teenager who is rejected by latino society then accepted by his mother, then his neighbors:

Activists say it’s the first time information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues is reaching rural Latino farmworker communities in a language and format that’s accessible.

The three-episode radionovela, developed in collaboration with San Francisco State University and California Rural Legal Assistance, was based on input from community focus groups and performed by community volunteers.

Many Latinos grew up listening to radionovelas, which in some parts of Latin America are more popular than television and have inspired the creation of telenovelas – TV soap operas. The radio dramas depict life’s struggles through recurring characters and themes. In recent years, short radionovelas have become an increasingly popular way to raise awareness of various issues among Latino audiences in the U.S.

Welcome change for a culture that is used to ridiculing and trumpeting negative stereotypes. Latino entertainment has been in dire need of positive messages regarding acceptance of differing sexual orientations and gender expression.

Note from Joe: This is a pretty cool development — and can only help with potential allies. Last year, polling in California showed that Latino Catholics are actually strong supporters of marriage equality. Family matters.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  David Taffet

Gay Bar Wants Hot, Straight Workers

DOWNTOWN BAR UK X390The owners of a gay bar in Manchester, England have come under fire for
posting a job listing seeking exclusively heterosexual employees.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Office of Personnel Management Rolls Out Benefit for Partners of Federal Workers

Yesterday, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a memorandum instructing federal agencies to allow their employees to take leave without pay to attend to educational and medical needs of a same-sex partner’s child or elderly relative. Under a 1997 order by President Clinton, federal employees have been permitted to take up to 24 hours of unpaid leave for family support purposes, such as attending parent-teacher conferences or accompany a child or elderly relative to a routine checkup – purposes for which employees would otherwise have to use vacation time. Yesterday’s announcement makes such leave equally available to federal employees with same-sex domestic partners.

President Obama included this benefit in his June 2010 memorandum identifying additional benefits that could be extended to the same-sex partners of federal employees without additional action by Congress. However, extending key benefits – such as health insurance and retirement plans – does require legislation, and HRC continues to push Congress to pass the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, a bill that would ensure that LGBT federal workers and their families have access to those critical protections.

More information for federal workers on how to utilize family support leave is available here.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright