There is no doubt that seniors in the LGBT community are isolated or discriminated. How may times have I heard men at a bar or event say "he's so old", "that man is a creep", "I would never dare be with someone that old", or even worse "he should be dead by now", "He props the bar up." No matter what is said there is this level of disrespect for seniors in the LGBT community. I've heard this 100's of time how this community is suppose to be inclusive, love one another, be there for each other, etc... And as I always say "this community is full of bullshit".
To assume that when someone reaches a certain age their no longer valuable to the community. Maybe the younger generation doesn't care to remember the past. The struggles that many in the senior community had to fight for or sacrifice. We as a community owe it to them to make sure they are taking care of, accepted, and loved. I mean when did you decide to just throw someone away because they have reached a certain age?
I came across an article Address Discrimination in Healthcare Against LGBT Elders from Within the Community, by Robert Vestees. It's an in depth look at the stigmatization LGBT seniors face in healthcare. But it's more than just health care issues that need to be addressed within the community. We have to take a hard look at care-giving issues, financial insecurity, social isolation and access to aging services.
To discard the legacy and history of LGBT seniors would be a disaster to our community. There has to be a proactive move to include senior's in our daily lives. To prove that we are more than the sum of who we are, and that we as a community take care of our own. That regardless of our age we belong, and we have value.
New Orleans is fortunate to have an organization to assist LGBT seniors. For more information contact New Orleans Advocates for LGBT Elders at noagenola.org or call (504) 517-2345.
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