This month, IN THE LIFE explores what it means to grow old as a gay person in America – how a generation once at the frontlines of establishing the modern LGBT movement finds, in what should be their golden years, new challenges living life openly gay. IT’S ABOUT TIME highlights the leaders spearheading a national effort to protect the rights of LGBT senior citizens and care for our elders.
AGING IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT
According to The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, over 3 million LBGT people are over age 65. While seniors are protected against age-based discrimination by “The Older Americans’ Act,” the lack of LGBT specific protections can drive our pioneers back into the closet when entering long-term care facilities. Disturbed by this trend, some activists and visionaries have taken matters into their own hands by creating safe spaces for our elders.
A CONVERSATION WITH… Jennie Chin Hansen and Michael Adams
AARP President Jennie Chin Hansen and SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders) Executive Director Michael Adams discuss the unique needs of LGBT seniors, and how their organizations build constituencies and communities dedicated to advocating for elders’ rights and quality of life.
REEL TO REEL: Edie and Thea; A Very Long Engagement
After a 42-year courtship, Edie and Thea are finally getting married. This tender documentary memorializes a life-long romance set against a backdrop of cultural change. Directed by Gréta Olafsdóttir and Susan Muska (The Brandon Teena Story), the film draws on a wealth of photographs, creating a touching mosaic of these two women’s lives—a tribute to the enduring power of love.