Monthly Archives: August 2011

AARP Survey: Soft Economy Stimulates Less Sex

AARP commissioned a survey on sexual attitudes and practices among the 45+ population in August 2009, similar to earlier surveys conducted in 1999 and 2004.

Results show that the sexual revolution continues in the older population as Boomers continue to age.  Opposition to sex among those who are not married is down by half over the past 10 years, and belief that there is too much emphasis on sex in our culture today is down since 2004.

On the other hand, this push to a social environment that is more favorable to widespread sexual activity has run head on into an economic environment that is adding to stress and financial anxiety, factors which previous research has shown to be strongly related to sexual satisfaction.  Whether because of this environment or not, both the frequency of sexual intercourse and overall sexual satisfaction are down close to ten points since 2004, while the frequency of self-stimulation and sexual thoughts and fantasies have not changed.

Men continue to think about sex more often than women, see it as more important to their quality of life, engage in sexual activities more often, are less satisfied if without a partner, and are twice as likely as women (21% versus 11%) to admit to sexual activity outside their relationship.

TO READ MORE, CLICK HERE –> AARP Sex Survey, Erectile Dysfunction, Sexual Habits of Boomers, Condom Use

Bisexual People Do Exist, Duh!

The finding is not likely to surprise bisexuals, who have long asserted that attraction often is not limited to one sex.  But for many years the question of bisexuality has bedeviled scientists.  A widely publicized study published in 2005, also by researchers at Northwestern, reported that “with respect to sexual arousal and attraction, it remains to be shown that male bisexuality exists.”

That conclusion outraged bisexual men and women, who said it appeared to support a stereotype of bisexual men as closeted homosexuals.

In the new study, published online in the journal Biological Psychology, the researchers relied on more stringent criteria for selecting participants.  To improve their chances of finding men aroused by women as well as men, the researchers recruited subjects from online venues specifically catering to bisexuals.

They also required participants to have had sexual experiences with at least two people of each sex and a romantic relationship of at least three months with at least one person of each sex.

TO READ FULL STORY, CLICK HERE –> No Surprise for Bisexual Men – Report Indicates They Exist – NYTimes.com.

INSIGHTS ON CONVENING OF AGING PROFESSIONALS – Post 3

In effort to provide insights, address questions and foster clarity around the function, expectations and importance of the upcoming National Convening of Aging Professionals, GRIOT Circle provides post #3 in this Q&A series.

Please use the comment tab at the bottom of this post to expand the discussion on this topic and present your questions.

WHICH ORGANIZATIONS ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND THE CONVENING?

We have listed, to name a few: African Americans in Gerontology, Administration on Aging, Office of Minority Health (Capacity Building Division), OpenHouse, GRIOT Circle, Senior Service America Inc., Delaware County Office of Services, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and National Coalition for LGBT Health.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ISSUES SLATED TO BE ADDRESSED AT THE CONVENING?

We will have active conversations around older adult related topics such as: elder abuse, employment/retirement, housing, health literacy, immigration/migration, marriage equality, HIV/AIDS/STD prevention/care, religion/spirituality, etc.

IF I CAN’T BE IN WASHINGTON, DC, OCTOBER 12-13, HOW CAN I CONTRIBUTE TO THE CONVENING?

One of the intended outcomes of this Convening is the formation of a National Network of POC led organizations/providers and POC/LGBT elders.  At the Convening we will strategize mechanisms for inclusion/participation of all those who wish to be part of this historic movement.  It is likely we will rely greatly on social media, mass marketing, and other forms of outreach/communication to maximize inclusion, diversity and on going collaborations.

HOW IS THE US GOVERNMENT (MY TAX DOLLARS) INVOLVED IN THE CONVENING OF AGING PROFESSIONALS?

This Convening is being funded via the Atlantic Philanthropies Foundation and in-kind donations from AARP.

We continue this dialogue next week, please check back for more insights on the National Convening of Aging Professionals, or simply put your email address in the GET GRIOT BLOG UPDATES slot in the left column to receive alerts of new posts on the GRIOT Circle Blog.

Bed-Stuy Grandma Blocks Eviction

By Natasha Lennard

From inside Mary Lee Ward’s small and sparsely furnished living room in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, it sounded Friday as if a block party was in full swing in the street below.  Cars and trucks honked their horns as they passed and almost 200 voices could be heard cheering and chanting.

But this was no street party; it was not yet 9 a.m. and the crowd outside was there as a line of defense.

Ms. Ward — a tiny, soft-spoken 82-year-old — faced eviction by a city marshal on Friday morning, as the result of a subprime mortgage she took out in 1995. The lender, which filed for bankruptcy in 2007, had subsequently been investigated for predatory and discriminatory practices.  And so neighbors, friends, housing advocates and supporters formed a thick human wall outside Ms. Ward’s small, gray house on Tompkins Avenue.

If I’m evicted today, that’s it for anybody who’s a senior citizen,” Ms. Ward, who has lived in the house since 1967, said earlier in the morning, sitting in her living room next to a table covered with legal documents.  “It would show they can break up the community and do anything to us.”

Fifteen years ago, Ms. Ward says, she needed money for a lawyer to help keep her great-granddaughter from being put up for adoption.  Like many others in her neighborhood, she turned to a subprime lender.

She signed a contract with Delta Funding, a company she found advertised on a flier tucked in her mailbox. She borrowed $82,000 against her house, but claims she only ever received a payment of $1,000.

TO READ FULL STORY, CLICK HERE –> FALLOUT FROM A SUBPRIME MORTGAGE IN BROOKLYN – NYTimes.com.

Gays Are Us

Why LGBT Equality Is Not a “White” Issue

By Rev. Dr. Dennis W. Wiley

At last month’s 102nd annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a historic workshop focused on overcoming homophobia within the black community.  As an African American, heterosexual, male pastor of a traditionally black Baptist church in the inner city of Washington, D.C., I was glad to see this legendary organization take this small but important step in its increasingly inclusive perspective on civil rights.

There are some, however, including the Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr., an NAACP national board member, who see no parallel between gay rights and civil rights.  Expressing this conviction at a rally last May, he demanded that the gay community “stop hijacking the civil rights movement.”

This statement, subtly suggesting that “civil rights” is a black issue and “gay rights” is a white issue, implies that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, equality is not a priority for black people.  This sentiment, particularly prevalent regarding the issue of marriage equality, is often expressed in a variety of ways, including, “This is not our issue,” “This is not a priority for the black community,” and, “We have more critical matters to consider.”

TO READ FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE –> GAYS ARE US.

15 Minutes of Exercise May Add Years to Your Life

By Meredith Melnick

TIME

Only about a third of Americans currently meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines for physical health, which advise a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, plus additional strength-training.

Now here’s the good news for the rest of us: just 15 minutes of moderate exercise a day (or 92 minutes per week) was associated with a three-year increase in life expectancy and a 14% reduction in risk of death by any cause, compared with a sedentary lifestyle, according to a new study.

Each additional 15 minutes of daily exercise (up to 100 minutes a day) reduced the risk of death by an additional 4%, the study found, and people who got 30 minutes of activity a day added about four extra years to their life expectancy, compared with their sedentary peers.

The observational study involved more than 400,000 people in Taiwan, who were followed for an average of about eight years.  Researchers gave participants a questionnaire asking about their medical history and lifestyle habits, including how much leisure-time physical activity they got.  Based on the answers, researchers divided them into activity intensity groups: light (walking), moderate (brisk walking), vigorous (jogging) and very vigorous (running).

People were characterized as inactive if they got less than one hour of exercise per week.  Compared with this group, those who got even small amounts of moderate activity daily lived longer.

TO READ FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE –> LIVE LONGER WITH LIGHT EXERCISE.

INSIGHTS ON CONVENING OF AGING PROFESSIONALS – Post 2

In effort to provide insights, address questions and foster clarity around the function, expectations and importance of the upcoming National Convening of Aging Professionals, GRIOT Circle provides post #2 in this Q&A series.

Please use the comment tab at the bottom of this post to expand the discussion on this topic and present your questions.

HOW DOES THIS EVENT DIRECTLY EFFECT MY LIFE?

LGBT people of color elders remain on the fringes of society, marginalized, stigmatized and invisible.  This Convening is a public statement alerting the general public and health care officials of the urgency to allocate funding and resources to address the specific needs of LGBT POC elders.  This Convening also serves as a launch pad for a national network of people of color-led agencies that will more effectively advocate and rally for funding, write new policies and actively promote culturally competent practices as they relate to health care provision to the LGBT POC elder population.  This means you will have people championing for your needs.  You won’t have to wander aimlessly in search of safe, welcoming and affirming spaces.

HOW DO I ASSURE MY VOICE AND ISSUES ARE REPRESENTED AND ADDRESSED AT THE CONVENING?

Since this is not a town hall meeting, we are relying on the professionals and elders that are scheduled to attend the Convening to articulate the needs and issues of LGBT POC elders in this country.

In addition, the richness of the information that will be shared and discussed is due primarily to the ethnic, racial, gender, sexuality and diversity of both lay and professional participants.

HOW ARE THE ISSUES ADDRESSED AT THE CONVENING PRIORITIZED?

The issues addressed at the convening are directly rooted in the morbidity/mortality reality of the POC aging population.  They also directly coincide with federal health care priorities that have been identified by a cross section of public health care agencies (i.e., Office of Minority Health, Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services, American Society on Aging, etc.).

IS THIS AN INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE OR DO I HAVE TO BE IN WASHINGTON, DC TO PARTICIPATE?

The Convening is a two-day event that will be held in Washington, D.C. with the active participation of those invited to attend.

We continue this dialogue next week, please check back for more insights on the National Convening of Aging Professionals, or simply put your email address in the GET GRIOT BLOG UPDATES slot in the left column to receive alerts of new posts on the GRIOT Circle Blog.

TV Premiere: First Openly Gay Black Ballplayer

A documentary that traces the life journey of Glenn Burke, the first Black Major League Baseball player to publicly embrace his gay identity, will air on the Versus (VS) Network on Wed., August 17 @ 11pm EST.  Check your local cable TV schedule for OUT. The Glenn Burke Story on the Versus Network or NBC Sports.

Burke, who came out while he was still a Major League Baseball player, paved the way for LGBT pro athletes.  He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1977 World Series against the NY Yankees, and is credited with inventing the “high five” in 1977 when he congratulated Los Angeles Dodgers teammate Dusty Baker for hitting a home run in the last game of the regular season.  Burke was traded to the A’s out of Oakland and was compared to the legendary Willie Mays.

QUOTE FROM FILM — Vincent Trahan (Burke’s classmate):
On Dodger management and their suspicions: “Al Campanis and Walter O’Malley had called him into the office and offered him $75,000 to get married.  And Glenn, being his comic self, said, ‘I guess you mean to a woman?’”

The documentary navigates viewers through Burke’s career ascent from the streets of Oakland and moments around his coming out in 1982, then traces his heart-wrenching downfall due to drug addiction, and his diagnosis with AIDS in 1994.

Watch clip from film now, click here –> OUT. The Glenn Burke Story.

Actors Promoting Same-sex Public Kissing…Hmmm?

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?

Actors Glover (left) & Belafonte kiss at BET Awards.

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?

INSIGHTS ON CONVENING OF AGING PROFESSIONALS – Post 1

Since the upcoming National Convening of Aging Professionals is the first of its kind, the GRIOT Circle Blog will serve as a portal to provide insights, address questions and foster clarity around the function, expectations and importance of this event to the LGBT elders of color community.

So here we go, this is post #1 in the Q&A series. Please use the comment tab at the bottom of the post to expand the discussion on this topic.

WHAT ACTUALLY TAKES PLACE AT THE CONVENING AND WHAT’S
THE EXPECTED OUTCOME?

During the October 12-13, 2011 Convening in Washington, D.C., we will engage in very active discussions around identifying multiple variables that have contributed to the isolation, stigmatization, poor health outcomes and alienation of the LGBT POC elder community.  There will also be discussions and strategy-building for the implementation of best practices to ensure equal access to culturally competent care.  Out of this convening will emerge a policy research/writing committee and an operational structure for a National Network.

WHY IS THERE A CONVENING IN THE FIRST PLACE?

“Wisdom is knowing what to do next.  Virtue is doing it.” ~ David Starr Jordan.

This convening will mark the creation of an innovative National interagency LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) POC (People of Color) aging communication network.  The Convening is a public action statement to the urgency of addressing issues of chronic health disparities among this population.

Racial and ethnic minorities have higher morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases.  The consequences can range from greater financial burden to higher activity limitations.  Among older adults, a higher proportion of African Americans and Latinos, compared to Whites, report to have at least one of seven chronic conditions — asthma, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, or anxiety/depression.  These rank among the most costly medical conditions in America.  African Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives are more likely to be limited in an activity (e.g., work, walking, bathing, or dressing) due to chronic conditions.

Compounding matters is the fact that LGBT seniors face special difficulties as well.  These seniors are “twice-hidden” due to social discrimination on two levels: ageism and homophobia or heterosexism.  LGBT seniors of color have the additional burden of chronic environmental stressors rooted in racism that has been shown to be a major contributor to disabling health conditions.

IS THIS EVENT LIKE A TOWN HALL FORUM THAT’S OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC?

Not exactly.  Town hall meetings are an informal public meeting where everybody in a town community are invited to attend, not always to voice their opinions, but to hear the responses from public figures and (if applicable) elected officials about shared subjects of interest.

This Convening is an assembling of carefully selected/referred national POC professionals and elders all of whom have proven records of health care justice advocacy for the elderly and for the LGBT POC elderly in particular.  One of the principal goals is the exploration of adult transformational learning strategies and the collective discovery of new/innovative solutions to the health crisis faced by LGBT POC elders.

This Convening follows a definite structure intended to maximize the contributions of those experts who have confirmed their attendance and participation.  The whole experience is interactive and experiential.  There will be two panels, two workshops, but the heart of the Convening will center on small group work, each group assigned specific topics and specific  outcomes.

We continue this dialogue next week, please check back for more insights on the National Convening of Aging Professionals, or simply put your email address in the GET GRIOT BLOG UPDATES slot in the left column to receive alerts of new posts on the GRIOT Circle Blog.