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Last week I prepared an essay about LGBT aging, entitled Avoiding becoming part of Gen Silent.  Tonight's dairy continues on that theme.

Interspersed with some other news about LGBT seniors will be some videos of some of us.  History has proved that the way to get people interested in a cause is to put faces on the cause.

So the diary is video-heavy.  Be forewarned.  I divided the different stories, which come from Portland, New York City, San Diego, Philadelphia and Iowa City, from each other by use of the videos.

On Saturday, May 21, will be the Gay and Grey Expo in Portland, OR, sponsored by the Friendly House and the QCenter, featuring no-cost health consultations and fitness evaluations, with breakout sessions about gay-friendly social activities, housing resources, and financial issues, a trade fair, music, and food.  There will be a Pre-Expo "Senior Prom" and party on Friday, preceding Saturday's Gay and Grey Day, as declared by Oregon Gov, John Kitzhaber.

Meanwhile in New York City, where advocates estimate there are more than 100,000 LGBT people over the age of 65, who are twice as likely to be living alone and also more likely to be childless and disconnected from their families, there are plans for a senior center directed for this community.  Mayor Bloomberg set aside $3 million to $5 million in the city budget to fund 10 "innovative" centers for aging New Yorkers and the one focusing on LGBT seniors will be one of them.
In San Diego, there is a new initiative by the Human Dignity Foundation, called Aging with Dignity targeted at improving the quality of life for LGBT seniors.
Connecting People Who Care with Causes that Matter
They also include a quote by one of my favorite people out of the past, Miss Lillian:
Sure I'm for helping the elderly. I'm going to be old myself some day."

-- Lillian Carter, in her 80s

Just a week or so ago the 19th annual Equality Forum for LGBT Seniors in Philadelphia which took up the issue of aging LGBT seniors as well as other subjects.  Plans are underway in Philadelphia for an LGBT-friendly affordable housing facility near the William Way Community Center.  Older lesbians are 12 times more likely than other people to live below the poverty line.  It is, of course, worse for aging lesbians of color.
Even in Iowa City there is a group called the Visibility Action Team taking on the issues LGBT seniors face.
I'd like to point out, as indicated in the above video, that you don't have to be an LGBT senior to volunteer with SAGE.  
For those of us who are transgender, elroi waszkiewicz has compiled an annotated bibliography, which might prove to be of interest.

Also, you could download a pdf of an article by Diane L. Persson, entitled Unique Challenges of Transgender Aging: Implications from the Literature

Transgender persons face a number of particular concerns as they age. They often do not access adequate health care, affordable housing, and other social services that they need. Social isolation, ageism, transphobia, homophobia, and existing regulations act as barriers to further segregate this often invisible minority. As they grow older, they enter a world of services that may not be familiar with transgendered people.

Originally posted to Milk Men And Women on Fri May 13, 2011 at 04:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by TransAction.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Someone contacted me within the past week or so... (33+ / 0-)

    ...about a search underway looking for fiction about transgender characters...or something like that.  I cannot locate the comment...or message...or response...or email that contained the link.

    If you were the person who contacted me, could you resend?

  •  Well, obviously, Governor Kitz (8+ / 0-)

    doesn't believe anyone is going anywhere that day.

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine

    by blueoregon on Fri May 13, 2011 at 04:04:03 PM PDT

  •  of interest is the pronoun problem mentioned (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, rserven

    in the Chaz Bono program

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Fri May 13, 2011 at 04:49:45 PM PDT

    •  Can you elaborate? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rserven, annieli, musing85

      I haven't been able to find the show up online anywhere yet, so haven't seen it.

      TooFolk, "rectums" my thesis is on rectums. The medical, psychological, sociological, and legal consequences. -Aidos

      by kyril on Fri May 13, 2011 at 04:56:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is always of interest... (6+ / 0-)

      ...and I imagine it will still be there in any assisted living facility, just like I encountered it last time I was in a hospital.

      •  Hospitals... (8+ / 0-)

        I unfortunately had to go to an ER last Friday for a kidney infection. My legal name is still female, and I haven't had my gender marker changed on my ID, and I'm still relatively early in physical transition, so I figured they would just treat me as a gender-nonconforming female. I didn't really care, honestly, names and pronouns are by far the least of your worries when you have a kidney infection, I just wanted decent medical care concordant with my anatomy, and fast.

        So I outed myself as trans to the triage nurse and told her I was on testosterone. From that point forward, I was pronouned correctly, which I found slightly surprising, but chalked it up to being in an enlightened urban university hospital. That is, until I spoke with my doctor. We were discussing symptoms, risk factors, history, etc, I was answering as if she knew I had female anatomy, and she started looking at me funny. Really funny. And then she stopped me.

        "So, you've had surgery?"
        "No."
        "No sex reassignment?"
        "No, not yet."
        "So you still have a penis, right?"
        "...I'm female to male."
        "Ohhhh." (looks slightly taken aback.)

        They were all very nice the whole time, I had no complaints, I figured it was a one-time mistake, and probably understandable. I guess.

        So I went home for the weekend with my antibiotics. They didn't work. I suffered through until Monday so I could go to a clinic instead of back to the ER. Completely different doctor, completely different place. This one was...much less nice. I outed myself again, explained symptoms. She was rather haughty and showed a quite telling lack of concern, left the room...a few minutes later I overheard her in the hallway. I don't particularly care to repeat hate speech, but she made it painfully clear she thought I was a trans woman. Or rather, in her mind, she though I was a man. But...not in the way I'd like. Her nurse then came in, told me to keep taking the antibiotics that weren't working, and sent me home.

        The third doctor I went to was actually trans literate and not a bigot. So he too gendered me correctly (but in the good way, not in the "I'm trying to misgender you but I'm an idiot" way.) He also actually prescribed something that worked.

        So basically, three different medical experiences, not one wrong pronoun...but it seems people at both of the first to were trying their damnedest to misgender me and failing.

        (The pharmacist, meanwhile, thought I was filling a prescription for someone else, and kept talking about me in the third person.)

        TooFolk, "rectums" my thesis is on rectums. The medical, psychological, sociological, and legal consequences. -Aidos

        by kyril on Fri May 13, 2011 at 05:30:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  (well, not one female pronoun... (7+ / 0-)

        the doctor at the second used a wrong pronoun, but not of the female variety.)

        TooFolk, "rectums" my thesis is on rectums. The medical, psychological, sociological, and legal consequences. -Aidos

        by kyril on Fri May 13, 2011 at 05:35:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  As a fairly new resident of Oregon (5+ / 0-)

    and a pretty old Gay man, I have a question:

    Why is he doing this on Rapture Day?
    Hmmmm?
    You know, I voted for him, too.

    Bring them home now. It's long past time

    by llbear on Fri May 13, 2011 at 06:03:05 PM PDT

  •  Robin, off topic, but FYI (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rserven, kyril, wyldraven, EdSF

    The Texas Senate has put SB 723 back on the Intent Calendar for debate on Monday. That's the bill that would strip transgendered persons from using their legally valid court ordered correction of their state listed sex as a valid document for obtaining a marriage license thereby barring many transgendered people from marrying the person they love. I've already called my state senator again to oppose its passage. Any Texans out there should do the same.

    "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

    by craigkg on Fri May 13, 2011 at 08:41:58 PM PDT

    •  This has been going on for over a month! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, craigkg, wyldraven

      :-<

      •  I know... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, wyldraven, EdSF, rserven

        ...The Republicans are being very persistent in trying to push it through. It is on the Intent Calendar this time, not the Consent Calendar meaning it will be harder to kill if it gets to the floor, but it will take a two thirds vote of the senate to get to the floor. That means we need 11 senators to vote against opening debate. There are 12 Democrats in the chamber and one of those is fairly nominally a Dem by comparison.

        "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

        by craigkg on Fri May 13, 2011 at 09:00:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's not easy (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, wyldraven, EdSF, jessical, rserven, triv33

    My partner and I live in a large senior apartment building in a large city. I'm 70, she is 65, and as far as most of our neighbors know, we are sisters, related by blood.

    It was not safe to apply as partnered lesbians, because this place, like most affordable senior housing is filled with folks who are staunch lifelong Christians who tend toward fundamentalist beliefs.  So yes, we went back into the closet in order to be able to live here in a decent place we could afford,  with some measure of peace. And  I hate it. A lot.

    It was hard enough to live here once it got out that I was not a Christian: apparently that alone was enough of a threat to cause a pretty serious backlash, once I become active (visible)  by running a singers group. (I was leading these good christian women astray, so went the complaint lodged with management!)  

    Plus, I have a little grand daughter who has two moms, and when that became obvious, more than a few folks here about swallowed their dentures. I don't have to guess how they would react to knowing there are two living lesbians in their very midst.

    And so it just is. For one precious decade and a half, ( from the time I came out until I got disabled and old,)  I  was free to finally be who I always was, and could live where this was accepted and even celebrated. I am so glad I had those years, because from here on, it's closet time again.
    We simply don't have the energy or strength or good enough health to take on the kind of daily war we'd face if we tried to be out in this kind of place.

    I can only hope that by the time my gay daughter, and gay grown up grand daughter, need this kind of place, things will have changed enough so they can live out their whole life in the open, and never have to see the inside of this damnable closet.    

  •  I love that Lilian Carter quote n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rserven, jessical

    Founder Math and Statistics Geeks . Statistics for progressives

    by plf515 on Sat May 14, 2011 at 04:10:56 AM PDT

  •  My issue with housing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rserven

    The word is that since my ID and birth certificate do not match that is reason enough for them to assume I am not a citizen.

    Thus ineligible for HUD housing without getting $300.00 worth of documents. I'm in the process of doing so but it still places a financial burden on those of us that are historically the lowest wage earners and most likely to need subsidized housing.

    How do we fix this loophole that enables them to disregard our rights as citizens?

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat May 14, 2011 at 07:38:40 AM PDT

    •  I will diary on this after I research (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rserven

      the ins and outs.

      One of my questions will be how do they handle marriage name changes and how much would that cost in comparison to the hoops we must jump through.

      BTW the HUD compliance person with this property management group sees nothing wrong with their placing these added hurdles upon Transgender renters- thus not a discrimination issue.

      I. Do. Not. Agree.

      Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat May 14, 2011 at 07:45:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I carry a copy of my divorce decree... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III

        ...which lists me as both my former name and my new name.  I've not had this paper trail questioned.

        The problem is that so many of us don't want a paper trail...but are probably going to eventually need one...as you are finding or to collect social security, use medicare, etc.

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