Showing posts with label Gay Seniors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Seniors. Show all posts

June 30, 2016

NYC Explores New Housing for LGBT Seniors

A rendering of the Ingersoll Senior Residences, to be built in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood.ENLARGE
A rendering of the Ingersoll Senior Residences, to be built in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood. PHOTO: MARVEL ARCHITECTS 
A new initiative to build affordable housing that is friendly for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender seniors is beginning to take shape. 
Senior-housing basics, like hot meals, fitness and language classes will be available at the Ingersoll Senior Residences in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, and the Crotona Senior Residences in Crotona Park North in the Bronx. 
But also to be offered is LGBT-specific programming, like Pride Month celebrations and book or art clubs that highlight LGBT writers and artists. 


The national LGBT advocacy organization called Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders, or SAGE, will help staff and operate the centers. SAGE plans to announce details about the residential programs on Thursday.
The two New York projects will join similar LGBT-focused complexes in cities including Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Philadelphia, said Michael Adams, chief executive officer of SAGE. 
Many LGBT seniors “do not have family and are single and rely on the kind of infrastructure that you can provide in a building like this,” said Donald Capoccia, managing principal at BFC Partners, the developer on the Ingersoll project.

Tom Hameline, president and chief executive of HELP USA, which is developing the Crotona Senior Residences, said the company had been a partner on several other developments for families and high-needs individuals, including people living with HIV/AIDS.  Both of the New York apartment buildings will be open to LGBT and non-LGBT seniors, Mr. Adams said, and the SAGE services will be offered free to other seniors who live nearby. 
The residences will help serve a community that has historically faced discrimination, he said. “What we repeatedly hear from SAGE constituents is they are afraid to apply for any kind of senior services.”
The buildings will house lower-income eligible seniors age 62 and older. The 145-unit Ingersoll complex, whose construction is expected to cost about $47 million, will be built on an unused grassy area near the north side of Fort Greene Park. 
 The 82-unit Crotona residence is anticipated to cost about $38.4 million. 
Both buildings are expected to be completed within three years.
The projects are funded through different combinations of state and city dollars from agencies like the New York City Housing Authority and New York State Homes and Community Renewal, among others.

Wall Street Journal

May 28, 2016

Aging Should Not Be The Cause for Gays to Go back to The Closet

Gay woman
Nancy ValverdSean Culligan/OZY
Nancy Valverde pulls out her jingling set of keys and unlocks one, two, three padlocks attached to thick silver chains on the door to her apartment. “They didn’t like lesbians” in her old East L.A. neighborhood, she says. Today, the 83-year-old finally feels at home at Triangle Square, a low-income housing development built especially for LGBT seniors. But having spent her whole life fighting to be herself — complete with stints in jail for wearing pants — she just can’t give up those locks.

If Valverde isn’t quite used to the idea of a safe space, one can forgive her — not least because the phenomenon of residences for gay seniors is proving a juggernaut. By some counts, there are more than 500 homes throughout the country, from liberal New Mexico to the more conservative woods of South Carolina, and demand is expected to surge: By 2030, there will be six million LGBT Americans over the age of 65, double the number now, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. 

Though the residences fall along the economic spectrum, from pricey, upscale setups to government-funded facilities like Valverde’s, there’s little doubt they’re a boon for LGBT seniors. To move into “mixed” elderly homes, some fear, would shove them back into a culture that regarded homosexuality as sinful, illegal or bizarre. “We want to provide a place where our LGBT seniors can talk candidly about their lives and don’t have to be forced back into the closet,” says Tripp Mills, deputy director of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s senior services. 

But the fledgling industry has some hurdles to overcome. Supply and demand are often mismatched, with some spaces difficult to fill up and others with thousand-person waiting lists. Marketing can be dicey too, since Fair Housing laws prevent the advertising of spaces as LGBT-only. Public housing in urban areas is already scarce, and many object to “set-asides” for certain groups.

Yet the need is there. Elderly people tend to rely on their families, “from driving them to the doctor to shoveling snow from the driveway,” points out Serena Worthington, a director with Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE). But gay and lesbian seniors may lack such support. They’re four times less likely to have children than their heterosexual counterparts and twice as likely to live alone, according to the NGLTF. For many in their generation, coming out meant severing family ties. Other seniors may want nothing to do with government-funded homes — after all, they grew up in an era when laws criminalized their love lives.

But interviews with about a dozen residents suggest that those who do come to LGBT facilities find a kind of family they never had — one based on shared experiences and common understanding. Traditional elder-care homes are often fraught with homophobic encounters, they said, and economic discrimination in the form of skewed pricing and availability, according to studies. “We can have any conversation we want here and you just can’t do that in mixed groups,” says 76-year-old Jim Croyley, a former teacher who lives at Stonewall Gardens, an elegantly appointed private LGBT living community in Palm Springs.
We’re sitting at the communal lunch table, eating barbecue chicken and drinking tea, and the conversation is easy, full of laughter and teasing. For Matt Wilkinson, who is HIV-positive, the levity is particularly poignant. At his previous facility, he was advised not to disclose his status to other residents, and when one man found out, he refused to eat in the same dining hall as Wilkinson. “Older generations of straight people are not as well-versed in the mechanics of the disease as the gay community is,” Wilkinson says. At Stonewall, all of that is in the open — health, romantic histories, aversions to football.

But as sunny a paradise as Stonewall seems, with happy-hour outings to Toucan’s next door and palm trees dotting the courtyard, is not cheap — one-bedrooms start at $4,200. And the facility is struggling. Only 11 of the 21 units are occupied. Other posh private facilities are in similar straits. Fountaingrove Lodge, in Santa Rosa, California, is pivoting away from LGBT customers to earn more revenue. Senior facilities can be expensive: Many of these developments take years and upward of $20 million to launch. While Stonewall’s housing developer is committed to the long haul, other properties might not be so lucky.

Low-income housing faces the opposite problem: There aren’t nearly enough rooms to go around for all the LGBT seniors who want them. That’s especially true in urban areas. Once safe havens for gay mavericks, cities now face skyrocketing rents and scarce public housing. Take 55 Laguna, an LGBT-friendly residence in San Francisco. It received over 5,000 inquiries for 110 units. Triangle Square, back in Hollywood, has an ongoing 3,000-plus person wait list. Ed De Hay, a 79-year-old who was priced out of his apartment after his partner passed away, waited for five years until a spot opened up. “This is my family now,” De Hay says, referring to Valverde and the other residents at Triangle Square.

De Hay and Valverde are bonded together by more than their sexual orientation. The loss of their life partners left them alone until they found one another, they tell me — a friendship built on shared experiences in love and loss. Today, Valverde says she feels comfortable at her apartment knowing she is home. She might still carry a giant ring of keys, but now she has others to watch her back.

April 6, 2016

Why Aging and Caregiving Are Harder for LGBT Adults

An estimated 44 million Americans work as unpaid caregivers. If they are caring for older adults, as most are, their lives are often incredibly difficult. For those in the LGBT community, all of the stresses of caregiving are compounded.

“LGBT people are more likely than the general population to be a caregiver at some point in their life, and they’re often providing the care in more isolation and with less support than other caregivers, as well as from social services,” said Nate Sweeney, executive director of the LGBT Health Resource Center at Chase Brexton Health Care in Baltimore. The center, a partnership with SAGE (Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders) funded by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, provides services for LGBT caregivers and care recipients. It may be one of the few in the nation.
Fear may make them nervous about anyone coming to their home, and terrified at the prospect of living in an institutional setting.
Sweeney was one of three caregiving professionals who spoke about LGBT caregiving issues at a panel of the American Society on Aging’s national Aging in America conference I attended in Washington, D.C. last week. (The other two: Tom Weber, director of care management at SAGE, and Imani Woody of Mary’s House for Older Adults in Washington, D.C.)

There are currently about 1.5 million LGBT older adults in the United States, a number that will rise to 3 million by 2030, Sweeney said. According to a caregiving report last year by the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and the AARP Public Policy Institute, 9 percent of caregivers self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender.

Health Problems and Prejudice

Older adults who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender have higher rates of depression, alcohol and drug abuse, heart disease, obesity and risk for HIV. They may have come of age in “a very different social landscape than what is present today,” Sweeney said when I interviewed him this week.

It was not uncommon for LGBT people to be fired from a job because of their sexual orientation or sexual identity. They may have been rejected by their families.
“They also faced a lot of discrimination in health care, so there’s a lot of unmanaged chronic disease, as well as a lot of mistrust of medical systems,” Sweeney said. They may also mistrust social services that cater to the aging population — especially if they had an experience in home care or an institutional setting in which other older adults or staff didn’t welcome them.

As we age, we often begin to lose our independence. Services designed to help fill growing needs may be threatening to LGBT older adults, Sweeney said.
“That’s particularly scary if you’re dependent on someone who doesn’t believe in your lifestyle, or someone who is very judgmental of who you are,” he said. “That can cause a lot of stress and a lot of worry, causing people to start to erase parts of their identity.”
Some transgender people have been able to take advantage of medical interventions, including gender-affirming surgery, under Medicare. That comes with complications, too, Sweeney said, since they may have fewer family to support them with post-operative care.

The Need to Stick Together

Older LGBT individuals have a history — often born of necessity — of making their own families, something Sweeney said he and others call the “Golden Girls” model. Those ongoing friendships, even between exes, are vital.
But they may not be enough as those groups age, and face health problems, together. And unless they are legally married, LGBT couples are not legally recognized and can face a lack of access in health emergencies, for example.

The reverse is often true, as well: More LGBT people will end up being caregivers than the general population (one in four compared with one in five). That’s partly because their siblings are more likely to be married and have children of their own. If an aging parent moves in with a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender child, there may be conflict stemming from lack of acceptance, Sweeney said. A parent may refuse to call a transgender child by his or her preferred name, for example.

“That can be very hard, because you know you’re taking care of someone and they’re really hurting you emotionally,” he said.

Support Groups Lacking

Even when LGBT caregivers reach out to others through support groups, more often than not, those groups are not specific to LGBT people. And while they need support on the same issues than any other caregiver does — time away from work, struggling with increasing responsibilities, dealing with role reversal — their identity may be a distraction for the others.

“If someone’s going in looking for caregiving support, they may be the first LGBT person the other people in this Parkinson’s support group [for example] has ever met, and so the caregiver loses the ability to come in and talk about the caregiving stressors and instead is having to spend a lot of time talking about their identity or explaining some Trans 101 things to people,” Sweeney said. They then end up not getting the support they came for.

Other Challenges

Sweeney’s group listed these additional factors that can present difficulties for LGBT caregiving:
  • LGBT older adults are less likely to be financially ready for retirement and less likely to have long-term care insurance. Most do not fit the stereotype of the rich gay white male “with a place in Florida and a place in Palm Springs,” Sweeney said.
  • They are at greater risk of isolation. They’re half as likely to be partnered, twice as likely to live alone and four times as likely as heterosexual older adults to have no children.
  • They may live in secrecy. LGBT older adults may still be closeted and fearful of being outed. This may make them nervous about anyone coming to their home, and terrified at the prospect of living in an institutional setting.
  • LGBT older adults are five times less likely to seek medical and/or social services for older adults.

The Good News

On the positive side, there has been a growing recognition of the issues of older LGBT people, Sweeney said. Large advocacy groups such as AARP and the Alzheimer’s Association realize that LGBT people make up a significant portion of caregivers.
Woody said health and social services providers can do seemingly small things to be more welcoming to the community. “Wear a [rainbow] flag on your lapel,” she said. “Put a flag in your office.”
For more information and resources, go to the website for the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging.

January 19, 2015

Jean Claude Baker Who took over Josephine’s After Her Death has Committed Suicide

It is with sad news that i say this Jean-Claude Baker, owner of Chez Josephine an elegant French restaurant in the heart of Manhattan and adopted son of Legendary Chanteuse Josephine Baker has committed suicide. Mr Baker was found this past Thursday inside his Mercedes Benz at his East Hampton home it is however unclear the exact circumstances when he died. I have been a regular throughout the years at his restaurant and we formed a friendship, and he was a fun gracious gentleman that made everyone feel at home including me and my guests.

It is with sad news that i say this Jean-Claude Baker, owner of Chez Josephine an elegant French restaurant in the heart of Manhattan and adopted son of Legendary Chanteuse Josephine Baker has committed suicide. Mr Baker was found this past Thursday inside his Mercedes Benz at his East Hampton home it is however unclear the exact circumstances when he died. I have been a regular throughout the years at his restaurant and we formed a friendship, and he was a fun gracious gentleman that made everyone feel at home including me and my guests.
Jean-Claude Baker, the flamboyant restaurateur who created the popular Manhattan nightspot Chez Josephine in memory of Josephine Baker, the exotically beautiful dancer and mesmerizing chanteuse who had cared for him as a lonely child in Paris and whose biography he published to acclaim in 1993, was found dead on Thursday at his home in East Hampton, N.Y. He was 71.
The cause was suicide, said Patrick Pacheco, a theater reporter and friend. Mr. Baker’s body was discovered in his car, Mr. Pacheco said.
Mr. Baker led a colorful and many-faceted life populated by boldface names. Living on his own in Paris by the time he was 14, he became a shrewd worker in hotels and restaurants with a gift for charming the clientele; while working at Le Pavillon Dauphine in 1960, he greeted the Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev, who, emerging from a limousine, reportedly kissed him on the lips.
A few years later Mr. Baker moved to West Berlin, where he had a career as a singer — he recorded under the name Jean-Claude Rousseau — and opened a nightclub called the Pimm’s Club. Sometimes called the Studio 54 of that era, it drew a mix of gay and straight customers and a glittering international crowd, including Mick Jagger, Mahalia Jackson, Leonard Bernstein, Rudolf Nureyev, Margot Fonteyn, Jessye Norman and Orson Welles.
Chez Josephine, a high-end brasserie and piano bar featuring luxuriant velvet curtains, red banquettes and Josephine Baker memorabilia, opened in 1986 on 42nd Street, between Ninth and 10th Avenues. It was an anchor in the transformation of a grim strip of real estate into an Off Broadway theater district.
From the start Chez Josephine was an eccentric pre- and post-theater spot — many Broadway theaters are within walking distance — and with its ripe décor redolent of Paris from an earlier age and Mr. Baker’s effervescent hospitality, it gathered its own coterie of the famous.
One regular was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Mr. Baker told a reporter that to protect her privacy, he once allowed her to use the men’s room while he stood guard. If she had used the women’s room, he said, other women would have flocked in after her.
Mr. Baker was born Jean-Claude Julien Leon Tronville in Dijon, France, on April 18, 1943. He met Josephine Baker in 1958 at the Hotel Scribe in Paris, where she was living at the time and where he was a teenage bellhop living on his own.
His parents, Constance Luce Tronville and Julien Rouzaud, were not married when he was born, though they married later, when Jean-Claude was 7 and then known by his father’s last name. Soon afterward, his father moved to Paris to work in a restaurant, and at 14, Jean-Claude went to search for him, leaving behind his mother and three younger sisters.
“What happened was, I found my father living in a hotel for prostitutes, where they rented rooms by the hour; he had gambled away all his money,” Mr. Baker wrote in the introduction to the biography “Josephine: The Hungry Heart,” written with Chris Chase. “Three days later, he disappeared, and didn’t come back.” 
 “Josephine listened to all this,” he wrote of their first encounter, “and then she said, ‘Don’t be worried, my little one; you have no father, but from today on, you will have two mothers.’ ”
They were not especially close at first, he wrote; their intimacy began when she went to Berlin in 1968, and he arranged for her to perform at the Pimm’s Club.
Her career was wobbly by then, but for much of the time before her death in 1975, Mr. Baker supported her, serving as manager, companion and amanuensis. He took her last name as his own in the early 1970s.
Mr. Baker is survived by his sisters, Marie-Josèphe Lottier, Marie-Annick Rouzaud and Martine Viellard.
Josephine Baker was notoriously difficult — self-involved and brilliant, capable of extraordinary kindness and extraordinary cruelty — and the colliding strains of her character, coupled with Mr. Baker’s complex relationship with her, drove him to write her biography, he said.
Their relationship also inspired him to amass an extensive collection of posters, paintings, documents and other memorabilia pertaining to early-20th-century African-American performers.
“Working with Chris Chase, Jean-Claude Baker has combined cultural and theatrical history with an intense Oedipal drama,” Margo Jefferson wrote in The New York Times about “The Hungry Heart.” “He met Baker when he was 14, and was unofficially adopted by her. Through the years she treated him like a son and like a serf.
“He read everything about her he could find, he writes, ‘because I loved her, hated her, and wanted desperately to understand her.’ Those emotions drove his book, and they drove him to do vast amounts of valuable research. The result is mesmerizing: a battle of wills with Josephine as the mastermind, concocting fables about her life, and Jean-Claude as the detective, breaking them down into facts.”
NY Times

Sometimes is very hard to adapt to the changes of aging when one is been beautiful and had it all. True he was an orphan but he was under the wings of Josephine, his anchor. Without her he was all alone and old no matter how much money and celebrities he knew. He most’ve figured he lived enough. 
I understand..

January 14, 2015

New Center in the Bronx will concentrate on Gay Seniors


Tom Esola has become a regular at a senior center in Midtown Manhattan, where he drops by two to three times a week to see friends, sit down to shepherd’s pie dinners, volunteer in the computer room and even try a tango lesson.

But to get to the center, Mr. Esola, 64, has to take an hourlong ride on the D train from his home in Norwood, the last stop in the Bronx. Though he has tried senior centers in his own neighborhood, Mr. Esola, who is gay, said, “I didn’t identify with the people there,” and has always returned to the Midtown center, which specifically serves people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

Now Mr. Esola will have an option closer to home. Services and Advocacy for G.L.B.T. Elders, or SAGE, the organization that operates the Midtown center, is opening its first senior center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Bronx on Wednesday as part of a $1.5 million, city-funded expansion of L.G.B.T.-focused senior programs and support services across the five boroughs. The Bronx center will operate five days a week from rented space on the second floor of the Union Community Health Center on East 188th Street. It will offer a range of social, cultural, art and health programs, as well as hot lunches.

“It is the largest investment of support services for L.G.B.T. elders in the city’s history,” said Ritchie Torres, a Bronx city councilman who is gay and who led the effort for city funding. “It’s hard to imagine a constituency that has been more invisible to city government and underserved by society at large.”

Mr. Torres and other supporters of the expansion contend that these people are more likely to be in need of help or support because they are often single, have no children and may be estranged from their families. About 100,000 of New York City’s 1.5 million residents who are 60 and older are believed to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, according to SAGE leaders and other advocates. Nearly one-third of that group is estimated to live in poverty.

New York’s Department for the Aging finances 250 senior centers across the city, and provides nearly $773,000 annually for the SAGE center in Midtown, which opened in 2012. As part of the expansion, SAGE received $1.2 million to open the new Bronx center, convert another SAGE site with limited programs in Harlem into a full-service senior center, and team up with community organizations in Brooklyn and on Staten Island to increase programs and services.

The remaining $300,000 is being used to support a center run by Queens Community House. The money has allowed the center, which was displaced by a fire last year, to hire a new assistant director, provide hot daily lunches and expand wellness and recreational offerings as it prepares to move to a permanent home.

Donna M. Corrado, the commissioner of the Department for the Aging, said: “The increased funding is recognition that more programs are needed to better serve the unique needs of the older L.G.B.T. community. SAGE offers a place where L.G.B.T. seniors can attend programming, socialize and obtain services in a safe space with people of similar interests and life experiences.”
 Joyce Banks, 70, a Bronx resident, said that after her partner of 32 years died of cancer in 2013, she started going to the SAGE site in Harlem for comfort, companionship and help applying for financial assistance after losing her partner’s income. “It was my home away from home,” she said. “I’m not the friendliest person, but you can’t dwell and sit in the house and become a recluse. You have to get up and out.” 
 Brochures in the SAGE Bronx office. Along with opening the Bronx center, the group plans to use city funding to expand its programs in Manhattan, in Brooklyn and on Staten Island.CreditJake Naughton for The New York Times 
The SAGE center in Midtown serves more than 1,500 people a year, about one-third of whom live outside of Manhattan. Michael Adams, executive director of SAGE, said that many older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face discrimination or feel isolated in more traditional senior centers in their neighborhoods. “What we hear is, ‘We can go to senior center A or senior center B to get lunch, but we’re sitting by ourselves if we’re open,′” Mr. Adams said. “The fact is people should not have to travel an hour or two to get to a senior center that is welcoming and friendly to them.”

Some advocates and Bronx residents view the new center as long overdue in a borough where they say it has been especially difficult for those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. One of the city’s most vicious anti-gay crimes took place in the Bronx in 2010 after members of a street gang called the Latin King Goonies lured a man to an apartment and then beat and tortured him for hours. Two years later, the borough’s only center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents, the Bronx Community Pride Center, closed amid financial problems after its former leader, Lisa Winters, stole money for personal expenses. Since then, a new community group, known as the Bronx L.G.B.T.Q. Center, has been formed; it is providing limited services such as a free legal clinic as it raises funds for a permanent home.

“I’m intent on making the Bronx much more gay-friendly,” Councilman Torres said, adding that he has heard no opposition to the expansion of the services.

In the Bronx, where advocates estimate there are about 16,800 older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, the new center will serve up to 50 hot meals a day and host a reading club, yoga and tai chi lessons, a media room, and bilingual English-Spanish programs geared specifically for local residents. For instance, in a borough facing a crisis in obesity and diabetes, it plans to have a nutritionist show people how to modify traditional family recipes to make them healthier.

Geo Genao, 64, one of the center’s four staff members, is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who said he wanted to help others find a support network among people with similar experiences, the way he did. “For me, to be gay in the Latino culture is very hard because the mentality they have about being gay is like, ‘You are sick — it’s not something right,'” Mr. Genao said.

Mr. Esola, a retired banker who lives alone, said he plans to visit the Bronx center, especially on freezing days when he will welcome a shorter commute. He said he continues to face discrimination at times for being gay. Last year, he recalled, he was trying to pass two men on a sidewalk in Chelsea when they accused him of coming too close, called him gay, and pushed him hard enough that he fell to the ground.

“I just think straight people have been not that friendly to gay people,” he said. “I think we need our own places.”

April 15, 2014

First LGTB Senior Citizen’s Home is to Open in Spain


26 December Foundation, which is behind Madrid scheme, says some senior citizens hide their sexuality to avoid rejection by peers
Spain’s first home for gay and lesbian senior citizen’s is to open in a converted hotel in Madrid.
Federico Armenteros, president of the 26 December Foundation, which is behind the scheme, said that as far as society was concerned "elderly LGTB don't exist".
He said the home would not be exclusively for gay people. "We're not going to ask you who you sleep with when you apply," he said. "Anyone can come, the only thing to bear in mind is that it specialises in elderly LGTBs. As it is, there are homes for ex-servicemen, nuns or retired workers from specific companies and no one says they are being discriminatory."
Until late 1978, gay people in Spain were classified  by law as “dangerous" and faced prison or internment in re-education centres, as well as having their movements restricted. The foundation takes its name from the date the law was reformed.
Boti García, president of Spain's LGTB federation, said: "When people think of LGTB people, they think of young people. There's a tendency, as there is in society as a whole, to leave out the elderly."
Armenteros said elderly people in general were not as accepting of gay and lesbian people, and as result some went back into the closet in old age, especially if they were in a home. "They don't have children and grandchildren they can talk about and often they conceal their sexual orientation to avoid rejection."
The foundation is also planning a civic centre for the same community in the Lavapiés neighbourhood of Madrid, due to be completed within the next few months. It will offer painting classes, physiotherapy, a classroom for the University of the Elderly and a gym, among other things.
"Neither the centre nor the home will be places to park old people," said Armenteros. "We want elderly people to feel useful, that they have a good time and feel at home." The home is due to open in 2015.

April 29, 2013

Someone Asking Your 82 Y.O. Grand Ma } How Do You Feel About Gay Sex?

Quick poll: How many of you would completely freak if your sweet, little grandmother told you, "I know when I was young, I was chasing all the little dykes around"? Yeah, that's what we thought. Except, that's the response one videographer got when he took it upon himself to head to the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center to ask its residents the age-old question: What do you think about gay sex?

Needless to say, the results were pretty surprising if you're convinced that old people are the progressive youth army's worst enemy (not). One man can't seem to tell the difference between sex and yoga, but perhaps there isn't much of a difference in positions after all, when it boils down to it. Other enthusiastic responses include, "Whatever floats your boat," "It's fantastic," and "My favorite part was the 'come, come, come, come, come!'"

Though mainly humorous, what's enlightening about this video is that it once-and-for-all dispels the notion that homosexuality is some kind of trendy new fad that happened because of Will & Grace. It's been around forever, folks. (dlisted)

January 23, 2013

Gay Seniors Never Comfortable Being OUt Now Are Going Back to The Closet

In terms of academic research, LGBT seniors largely remain in the closet. Only a few studies have attempted to shed light on the needs of aging LGBT adults.
Experts in the field of gerontology point to several factors behind the lack of scientific data on this age group. LGBT people were not considered part of the senior population, they said, so questions about sexual orientation or gender identity weren't asked.
The onslaught of AIDS in the 1980s not only devastated a generation of gay and bisexual men, it also diverted the LGBT community's attention and scarce research funding toward combating the deadly disease.
"The money for it simply dried up in the 1990s and didn't come back until the end of that decade," said Marcy Adelman, Ph.D., who has focused on LGBT aging since the 1970s. "The community wasn't in a position to focus on aging when struggling so hard to keep everybody alive. I don't think Washington was particularly friendly to LGBT aging research."
Now, due to treatment advances, people with HIV are living well past their 50s. They are aging alongside other LGBT baby boomers, many of whom have been out of the closet for decades and are demanding services as they enter retirement age.
The result is an increased attention on studying LGBT seniors and addressing their concerns. Entities from the National Institutes of Health to AARP have funneled resources toward LGBT adults.
"We are finally starting to talk about these issues from a research position," said Brian de Vries, a gay man who is a professor of gerontology at San Francisco State University. "AIDS happened and researchers were just siphoned away and turned their attention to the experiences of people living with, and at that time dying from, HIV. I think it has only been in the last 10 years or so that we have found our way back to an appreciation of aging within the LGBT community."
He recalled attending a lecture in the mid 1980s about gay men and aging where an audience member asked if "those terms are mutually incompatible 'gay' and 'aging.' It really struck me that somebody would make a comment like that.
"So many of us were dying during that time, so the idea of aging seemed luxurious," he added. "Given what the circumstances were, people thought it was almost not possible. I think that is part of the issue for why we were late to the game."
Early last decade de Vries, 56, helped establish and co-chaired Rainbow Research, an LGBT interest group within the Gerontological Society of America. He also took part in 2006 and 2010 in a Met Life study focused on LGBT seniors.
Called "Still Out, Still Aging," "it was one of the only national representative studies of LGBT boomers," said de Vries.
It first looked at the needs of 1,000 LGBT baby boomers. A follow-up study then compared 1,200 LGBT boomers against 1,200 from the general population.
"It was one of the very few studies that allowed us to compare LGBT people with heterosexuals," de Vries said.

One of the lead authors of the Met Life study, and a co-founder of the Rainbow Research group, was Karen I. Fredriksen-Goldsen, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Washington and director of the Institute for Multigenerational Health.

More than a third of the two million LGBT seniors in our nation are clinically depressed, according More than a third of the two million LGBT seniors in our nation report depression and one half have a known disability, according to the recent federally funded Aging and Health Report: Disparities and Resilience among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Older Adults. 

Fredriksen-Goldsen, 55, an out lesbian, also received funding in 2009 from the NIH and the National Institute on Aging to conduct a national survey on the needs of LGBT seniors. More than 2,500 LGBT adults ranging in age from 50 to 95 took part.
The findings were published in 2010, and that same year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded the creation of the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging.
As for why there had been relatively little LGBT aging research done in the past, Fredriksen-Goldsen said, "A lot of it has been just very rampant invisibility colliding with the stereotype that LGBT people aren't seniors."
Her latest project is to study the specific needs of LGBT seniors in San Francisco. As the B.A.R. noted in October, the recently formed LGBT Aging Policy Task Force hired her to oversee the creation of an online survey and analyze the data. A variety of government and private sources have provided $60,000 to fund the work, and an advisory committee of local leaders is assisting with it.
"I am really excited to be working with the city of San Francisco and excited to move the research forward and identify what some of the needs are for some of the most under-represented groups in our community," she said.
Her first task was to study the responses from 295 San Francisco residents who took part in the federally funded Caring and Aging with Pride research project. She was in San Francisco last week to present her findings, and a report based on her work can be downloaded from the task force's website at .
Most of the respondents, 85 percent, were white, and 70 percent were male. The majority lived alone, didn't have children, and were renters.


Dr. Huysman, a psychologist and one of the country’s leading authorities on senior care issues, says that the landmark Health and Aging study underscores the needs of the LGBT senior and boomer population, many of them facing severe situations and, fearing discrimination, are actually being forced back into the closet.

The results are an "initial snapshot," and more information is needed on LGBT seniors of color and transgender people, said Fredriksen-Goldsen.
The task force plans to put particular focus on reaching LGBT adults in those communities when it launches the online survey, which will be in English, Spanish, and Chinese, in late February. It has asked for final analysis by July.
"I haven't had an opportunity before to work as closely and go into the kind of depth as we are going to go in San Francisco," said Fredriksen-Goldsen. "We really want to understand what is happening within very specific communities among LGBT adults."

October 4, 2012

BK: Gay Elderly Facing Homophobia and Abuse in Nursing Homes

(Click to see Video Report at BBC Site)

Elderly gay and lesbian people are suffering homophobic bullying from care staff across the UK, according to campaigners.

Charities, including Stonewall, believe that many victims are too scared to speak out because of fear of repercussions. But they have gathered substantial anecdotal evidence that vulnerable pensioners are being bullied because of their sexuality.
Researchers believe that one factor may be the care sector's reliance on foreign labour, including staff from strongly religious backgrounds, where homosexuality is taboo.
Sima Kotecha reports.

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