Successful aging requires access to approximate housing, quality health care, and supportive services – needs that will challenge and transform the system entrusted with providing these services for a rapidly expanding aging population. At the same time, the growing numbers of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) seniors and their increasing degree of openness and demands for fair and equal treatment are further challenging the elder care system to meet the needs of all seniors. This shift signals the urgent need to radically transform and redesign gerontological and geriatric health care paradigms.
Older Americans are also growing more radically and ethnically diverse. In 2000, an estimated 84 percent of persons aging 65 and older were non-Hispanic white, 8 percent were Hispanic, 2 percent were Asian/Pacific Islanders, and less than 1 percent was Native American/Alaska Native.
By 2050, estimates indicate that approximately 64 percent of persons age 65 or older will be non-Hispanic white, 16 percent will be Hispanic, 12 percent will be non-Hispanic black, and 7 percent will be Asian/Pacific Islanders. Service providers must take this growing diversity into account as they strive to provide quality services that genuinely meet seniors needs.
All elders contend with many of the same aging-related issues, however, LGBT seniors and people of color (POC) LGBT in particular face many unique challenges. These seniors are “thrice-Hidden” due to social discrimination on levels: ageism, racism, homophobia and heteroism.
LGBT seniors often face anti-gay to gender discrimination by mainstream elders care providers that renders them “invisible” and impedes their access to vital services. At the same time, LGBT elders frequently confront ageism within the LGBT community and the organizations created to serve the community’s needs.
This First National Convening on POC LGBT Aging is a collective declaration of the urgent need to reframe and transform the conventional “aging” health care landscape as it directly impacts POC LGBT elders. We must move beyond problem solving in isolation to forging sustainable and innovative collaboration among aging, health and LGBT network.
It is essential to collectively advocate for the integration of both ethno-geriatrics and adult transformational learning into all aspects of health care delivery for POC LGBT elders. This is a crucial time for advocates to communicate, hold each other accountable and present a untied front, especially during this period of national debate over the future of federal programs critical to the well-being of seniors.
VP, Talent Management, Diversity & Inclusion
Chief Diversity Officer, HR Group
Speaker Christine C. Quinn
LGBT and HIV/AIDS Community Report
Dear New Yorker,
After nearly two decades of advocacy, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is officially over.
No longer will LGBT Americans be denied the right to serve this great country of ours, nor will they be forced to hide a part of themselves in order to continue their service.
I’d like to thank President Obama, Senator Gillibrand, Congress Member Nadler, and the other members of Congress for ending this discriminatory policy once and for all. Special thanks as well to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, the Human Rights Campaign, and all the other advocacy organizations for their incredible work in gaining equality in the military.
The end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell sends a simple, but powerful, message that we all deserve respect, regardless of who we love. This is an historic step for equality and the security of our nation and world.
What’s all the hype about over iconic actor Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover doing some public lip-locking as a show of congratulations and support, from one brother to another?
The first radar-grabbing affectionate encounter happened at a BET Awards event a few moons ago. Mr. Belafonte was a BET achievement honoree when Mr. Glover passionately pressed flesh with Mr. Belafonte for a brow-raising photo-opp that still has ‘straight’ Black bloggers up in arms. Recently, the elder entertainers were caught on camera in another no-tongue dry kiss. At a dinner party for Mr. Belafonte’s “Sing Your Song,” hosted at Bing Bar, Mr. Glover dropped by to show support and slipped another lip-tingling congratulatory kiss on Mr. Belafonte.
The blogosphere continues to use the rare show of brotherly love as a catalyst to urge an outing of these seniors. Who mandates that Black men must confine displays of support and admiration to knuckle-bumps and sideways-V finger gestures?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?: Are such public figures using their senior years to shatter age-old barriers, or just seeking space in news headline? Do you believe a public same-sex kiss reveals one’s sexual orientation? And, are these hot gents sparking a movement to get Black seniors to be more OUT with their affection?