Category Archives: My Gay Lifestyle

CRITICAL ESSAYS ON AGING LGBT ELDERS OF COLOR

Good day all,

What a wonderful way for us to celebrate this day that is all too often overshadowed by consumer purchases of messages of love.

Here, we have added to the literature and resources concerning the lives of those who are often not considered within prevailing hegemonic notions of who we love.  (For all Morganites: Tiffany Rice, one of our doctoral candidates, contributed to this suite of articles I had the pleasure of curating.)

Our work has been posted to American Society on Agings website.

Yes we did.

I trust that this small contribution, viewable via the following links, will add dimension to the stories of People of Color Lesbian Gay Trangender and Bisexual elders in  communities.

We are part of the task of dismantling the master’s house (see Audre Lorde):

>>  Dying with Dignity: Considerations for Treating Elder Transgender People of Color

>>  Cervical Cancer in Elder Black Lesbian and Bisexual Women

>>  Reducing Isolation: A Community Engagement Service Model

>>  Reticence and Necessity: Power of Attorney and LGBT Aging Issues

>>  (Dis)parities and (In)visibilities: Shifting Perception of the Life Course of LGBT Elders of Color

Thanks All!!

Laurens

LGBT VOTE FOR EQUALITY MATTERS

 

Dear Friends,

With Election Day around the corner, the LGBT Progress team has been working hard to produce research and policy analysis that matters as we look to 2013. This update highlights some of the work we think is most relevant.

Of course, the number one issue this year is the economy, and economic security is especially important for LGBT people. We have included an infographic (to see infographic visit LGBT Progress on Facebook) highlighting some of the harmful impacts of discrimination on LGBT employees and their families, but we’ve also shown how these antiquated policies compromise the efficiency and effectiveness of public and private workplaces. In the midst of a recovering economy, ending workplace discrimination against LGBT people is crucial for the economic security of all Americans.

This election cycle is a decisive year for marriage equality. With marriage on the ballot in four states this November, it is more important than ever for the public to understand that marriage equality laws are perfectly compatible with existing laws that guarantee religious freedom. Our research has shown that a majority of Americans believe gay couples should have the freedom to marry, and we hope to keep the momentum growing in favor of equality.

This November will also determine the future of the U.S. health care system. With LGBT people facing numerous barriers to health, from difficulty obtaining health insurance through their spouses to finding physicians who understand their unique health needs, we’re working to make sure that Obamacare is implemented in the states in a fully LGBT-inclusive way no matter who wins the election.

We believe in a country where employees are only judged by their job performance, where religious freedom is preserved and the freedom to marry is expanded, and where every American is given an equal opportunity to take care of themselves and their families, free of discrimination. Thank you for your commitment to building a just America through your interest in and support of the work we do.

Please consider making a donation today.

Best regards,
Jeff
@jeffkrehely

New SAGE Center Honors Elders

 

Black Pride New York City honored its Elders on August 16th, 2012 at the new Sage Center on 305 7th Avenue.

The  assembly of speakers came for across the city to honor the LGBT POC Elder community.  Over 75 seniors came to­gether for an evening of community, live entertainment and lunch, all generously donated.

A special tribute was paid to GRIOT Circle and its executive director, Glen-Michael Francis, who was also the keynote speaker. Glen spoke about community and the work that went into creating the Sage Innovative Center, the first city-funded LGBT Center in New York City. 

Glen also spoke to why this community center belongs to all of us, and why we as people of color should come and enjoy the activities, make sug­gestions to create programs and services that are reflective of our values and traditions, bring friends and take computer classes

Alyce Emory, the evening’s MC and program coordina­tor, said, “I am humbled and grateful to all who participated and supported!”  Minister Renair Amin was the officiant and gave the opening remarks and blessings!

 

OBAMA SUPPORTS MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Washington, D.C. – May 9, 2012 – Today, President Obama affirmed his support of marriage equality, the loving and commitment of same-sex couples.  GRIOT Circle, the nation’s leading People of Color LGBT Aging organization, applauds the President for this historic endorsement of the freedom to marry.  “I continue to be proud of this president who remains strong and steadfast in his comment to Social Justice of lesbian and gay couples and their right to marry,” said Glen-Michael Francis, Executive Director of GRIOT Circle, Inc.  “We thank the president for his continued support and vision for greater equality and inclusion in America.”

The President’s record for advancing protections for the LGBT community remains unequaled.  But as he stated, his position on marriage equality had been changing and had not explicitly proclaimed his support of extending marriage to gay and lesbian couples until now.  Despite the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” ending the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), endorsing the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) and the Department of HHS new policy for inclusion, all during increasing pressure from the fight to a position of non-movement.

“This is a president who understands that to be the most powerful nation in the world, you need the full engagement of all your citizens,” added Francis.  “Congratulations and thank you Mr. President!  Our 1237 members, their family and friends appreciate your commitment and hard work.”

Black, Latino Seniors More Likely to be in Poverty in Retirement

 

 

Black and Latino seniors in the U.S. are facing a tougher time in retirement: Elder poverty rates are twice as high among these groups compared to the U.S. population as a whole, according to a new study by the University of California, Berkeley.

Some 19.4 percent of black and 19.0 percent of Latino seniors have incomes below the federal poverty line, compared to 9.4 percent for the senior population overall, according to the analysis, which is based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey and U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey.

“Recent household surveys show that retirees of color, especially blacks and Latinos, rely more heavily on Social Security and have less access to other types of retirement income than their white counterparts,” researcher Nari Rhee of UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education, said in a statement.

Less than one-third of employed Latinos and less than half of black workers are covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan, a key resource in ensuring adequate retirement income.  As a result, they are disproportionately reliant on the limited income provided by Social Security, the report found.

Among retirees age 60 and older, people of color are disproportionately likely to be low-income:  For 2007-2009, 31.6 percent of blacks and 46.5 percent of Latinos were in the bottom 25 percent income group.  The “other” race category of the Census, which includes Asian/Pacific Islander and Native American populations, is also more likely to be low-income (38 percent), the report noted.

“It is critical to improve both job access and job quality — in terms of wages and benefits, including pension benefits — to improve retirement prospects for current workers,” Rhee stated.

http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/research/retirement_in_security2012.pdf

PROP 8 VICTORY!

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional! We knew all along that Prop 8 was wrong, and this ruling affirms what millions of people all across the country already know — loving, committed same-sex couples and their families should be able to share in the celebration and obligations of marriage.

This is a huge victory in the battle for marriage equality, but this fight is far from over.

The federal government still refuses to recognize our families. The so-called Defense of Marriage Act remains the law of the land, and thousands of loving families are denied the protections, rights, and responsibilities that other married couples take for granted.

The Obama Administration has refused to defend DOMA. It’s time for Congress to repeal it.

Take Action now: Tell your senators to pass the Respect for Marriage Act and repeal DOMA.

Let’s use this historic ruling as a catalyst in our fight for equality, and demand that the federal government recognize our relationships.

Repeal DOMA now!

BLACK HISTORY MONTH AT GRIOT CIRCLE

TO ENLARGE THE CALENDAR, JUST CLICK ON THE IMAGE.

10 Tips For Finding The Right Doctor

By Lissa Rankin

If you weren’t getting what you needed from your massage therapist, hairdresser, or yoga instructor, you would find someone else, right?  Why should your doctor be any different?  And yet, your doctor is even more important.  This is serious stuff we’re talking about here.

Plus, medicine is, after all, a spiritual practice.  At least it should be, and if your doctor doesn’t believe that, do you really want to put your body and your life in his or her hands?  If you didn’t like your priest, minister, guru, or shaman, you would go elsewhere, right?  It’s your body.  Your health. Your life. Your choice.

Ms. Rankin suggests you: Seek someone who shares your beliefs … Be willing to get what you pay for… Demand what you deserve … Listen to your intuition … Feel the love … Know that you deserve the best care possible.

TO READ LIST OF TIPS, JUST CLICK THIS LINK –> 10 Tips To Help You Find The Right Doctor | Care2 Healthy Living.

TRUTH & CONSEQUENCE: Testimonials on Living with HIV

In commemoration of World AIDS Day, GRIOT Circle honors the lives of loving, inspirational and courageous souls who transitioned too soon, by passing forward the wisdom they imparted from their battle with HIV and AIDS.   Here, in their own words, we share an excerpt from the oral history project Without the Burden of this Secret The conversations on HIV/AIDS in the POC LGBT elder community today, bear many common threads to the sentiments and experiences in these interviews which occurred 20 years ago in New York City.

________________________________________________________

LOUIS GRANT  ::  OPEN & OUT

I have lost a lot of friends to AIDS.  Too often I have thought that some unnecessarily allowed themselves to succumb to the disease.  They did not fight, they were not positive [minded] they accepted the diagnosis as a statement of impeding doom.  It seems to me that we black folk have moved slower in acknowledging the impact of this disease on our community.  Our people are suffering and dying because too often we are afraid to come out to our family…to our friends at a time when we need them most.  I think it’s very important to be out in terms of being a homosexual man and as a person with AIDS.  I’m out in every context: in my home, in my work situation.  I think carrying the burden of this secret, as so many of us do, when one has AIDS it just contributes to the illness.  It dos not make sense at this point in one’s life, when one needs to grasp all the life preserves one can, to not be open and out.  For me it’s another effective survival tool.”

Louis Grant

________________________________________________________

JOE LONG  ::  SURVIVING DEMON DOCTORS

I was diagnosed with the HIV virus in 1989.  I was tested when I discovered a parotid cyst in my right cheek.  I was putting all kinds of solutions and compresses on it and it wouldn’t go down.  I finally decided to get to a doctor at New York Ear Nose and Throat.  The first thing he said to me was, “This is typical of gay fellas, why don’t you go take the test?”  Swollen glands and parotid cysts were nothing unusual, so I said I didn’t want to take the [AIDS] Test, I didn’t think that that was necessary, I wanted to see what we could do about the swelling, but he insisted.  So I did.  When I came back ten days later he told me my results were positive and to go get on AZT—as simple as that.  I asked if there was something he could do about the cyst.  He said that, I needed to find somebody who could put me on AZT.  He conferred with his partner and just left it like that. [Were they caucasian doctors?] A Jewish doctor and an East Indian doctor.  There was no pre- nor post-test counseling.  And when I asked for my records so that I could follow-up on the cyst, they directed me to the records department and said that I could take them to any doctor I’d like.  They didn’t offer to treat me any further.  So I was like in the street.”

Joe Long

________________________________________________________

CDC Releases HIV Infection Study

Nearly 3 out of 4 Americans living with HIV do not have their infection under control, according to a Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The authors say the low percentage is because 1 in 5 people with HIV do not realize they are infected and, of those who are
aware, only 51 percent receive ongoing medical care and treatment.

Of the nearly 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States, only an estimated 28 percent have a suppressed viral load (defined as viral load less than 200 copies of the blood-borne virus per milliliter
of blood)–meaning that the virus is under control and at a level that helps keep them healthy and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

However, of those living with HIV who are in ongoing care and on antiretroviral treatment, 77 percent have suppressed levels of the virus.  Effective HIV treatment and care benefit infected individuals by improving their health, and are also important for HIV prevention.  Results from a recent study of heterosexual couples from the National Institutes of Health showed that consistently taking antiretroviral therapy, in combination with safer behaviors, can reduce the risk of spreading HIV by approximately 96 percent.

Men who have sex with men (MSM), the population most severely affected by HIV in the United States, are least likely to know they are infected and less likely to receive prevention counseling (39 percent, compared with 50 percent of men who have sex with women and women who have sex with men).

Study authors underscore that improvements are needed at each stage in the overall process of treatment and care. That means increasing the number of infected Americans who are tested, linked to care, remain in care, receive prevention counseling and are successfully treated – all to achieve viral suppression.

For more information on new statistics on viral suppression click here–>  Vital Signs Study.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.