Category Archives: Discrimination

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

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!

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.

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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

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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

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GRIOT Supports QEJ Vigil for Elder Yvonne McNeal

On October 2nd, Yvonne McNeal, 57, a POC elder, community member and resident at the New Providence Women’s Shelter in midtown Manhattan was [allegedly]  murdered by NYPD outside of her shelter.  A regular at Queers for Economic Justice events and support groups, Yvonne was an elder and a kind, reserved member of our community.  She walked with a cane and marched with us at Pride this past June.  Yvonne was also a reliable source for other LGBT people at New Providence.  NYPD [allegedly] shot Yvonne five times.

In response to this violence, QEJ is partnering with New Providence to hold a vigil and silent march in Yvonne’s honor outside of the shelter. The vigil will be on Friday, November 18 from 5 – 7 pm at New Providence Women’s Shelter, 225 East 45th Street.

You can lend support by: Attending on behalf of your organization or yourself.  Volunteering to prepare dinner for people attending the vigil by going to QEJ’s office on Nov. 18th at 2pm.  Just call 212.564.3608 or email carlos1@q4cj.org or jay@q4ej.org.

Thanks for your support especially in these times of violence.  QEJ is very shocked and saddened by this brutal act, we are not silenced–we will continue to organize around low-income, working class queer issues in New York, and will not be stopped by police brutality.  Your love is what inspires us; your support is what empowers us.

Amber Holibaugh, Interim Exec. Dir

Queers for Economic Justice

GRATITUDE TO SUPPORTERS OF FIRST NATIONAL POC LGBT CONVENING

Dear Convening Attendees and Supporters,

It is with heartfelt gratitude I express THANKS to everyone for your presence, for your participation both during and after, for the beginning of a national movement/network, however you choose to define it, that will address issues pertaining to POC LGBT aging.  The First National Convening on POC LGBT Aging was a phenomenal gathering, please applaud yourselves for a job well done!!

Glen-Michael Francis, Exec. Dir., GRIOT Circle.

To all the staff of GRIOT Circle…Bonnie Harrison, Anthony McPhatter, Victor Pond and Daniella Noel who went beyond the call of duty and put their brightest foot forward to create an outstanding Convening.

To Brian de Vries for always being informative and supportive, a man of truth and clarity.  To Kyaien O. Conner for your brilliance and impressive level of research that opened so many people’s eyes to the disparate needs of LGBT POC aging.  Your presentation was amazing!  Thank you.

Chezia Carraway, my Elder Mentor Sister Friend, lots of love!  Thanks!  And to Helena Bushong for being the voice of our Trans-elder community that is far too often invisible at these important gatherings.  You rock!

Aisha Young for continuing to be the leader that you are!  Laurens Van Sluytman for always being in GRIOT’s–and my–corner, a guy you can count on!  Much Love!  Jay Blackwell you know how I feel about you and your support!  Louis Colbert for your kind words, as you know, we got work to do!!!! 

Carmelita Tursi for always being so very understanding and supportive, and for being available and open to the new kids on the block! Talk soon!?   Hutson Inniss for coming in and doing the work necessary, thanks man!  Jewelle Gomez for being a great elder and movement leader.  Nancy Bereano, your mentorship and love is felt!   Brendalynn Goodall, my SISTA friend, for always having my back and just being a great supporter friend!

To Michelle Alcedo, my SFAM, for your continued energy and support!  Hope Barrett great seeing you as always, thanks for your words of encouragement.  Rev. Jaynce Jackson thanks for your words and for keeping everyone focused on why we were there.  To Sharon Day for bringing our native brothers’ and sisters’ voices to the table!  Don’t forget to say hi to Jackie for me!

Pauline Park thank you, it’s always good to have your voice in the room!  Tony Sarmiento what can I say, let’s make some noise, your brother in the struggle!  Mr. Bryan Epps from the moment I reached out to you, you were on board and have remained consistent in the process.  Thank you.  Let’s have lunch soon!

Mario Tapia we have got to do some more work together, let’s present our own initiative to the City Council and get it funded.  Call me!  Carmen Vazquez thanks.  That’s all I can say, thank you!!   Dion Wong  you brought a new clarity to the meaning of working in POC communities, I am humbled.

Dr. Rawha Haile, who was scheduled to be at the convening, was unable to attend because her father passed away.  I want to take this time to send out special thoughts of comfort, and a blessing to you and your family in celebration of your father’s amazing life!

Cheryl Reese thank you for being that voice in the room!  We got your information.  Imam Daayiee Abdullah thanks for lending your expertise to  this conversation!  Tracy Cooper you hit this one out the ballpark!  I knew you would!  To Edwin L. Walker, Senator Benjamin Cruz, the ASA/LAIN and all the participants I met … WE THANK YOU ALL.

GRIOT Circle is committed to working within and with the systems/committees to develop structure and support for the network.  We are also here to help with whatever else we can to move this project forward.  As I said during the closing plenary, it was not designed for GRIOT to be in charge of the network, that power is yours, it has to be organic and coming from the members, much like how we run GRIOT Circle.  We were the vehicle to bring us all together, now let us all build a network we can all be proud of.

With warm regards,

Glen-Michael Francis

Executive Director

GRIOT Circle, Inc.

AARP ADDRESSES POC LGBT CONVENING

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.

Workshops on day one at the First National Convening of LGBT Aging Professionals.

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.

Brendalynn Goodall, MSW and Carmen Vazquez, Coordinator, AIDS Institute.

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.

Curtis Lipscomb, Executive Dir., KICK--The Agency for LGBT African Americans.

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.

Benjamin J. F. Cruz, Chairman Committee on Youth, Cultural Affairs, Procurement, General Governmental Operations, and Public Broadcasting.

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.

Jewelle Gomez and Christopher Bates, CEO, PACHA.

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.

Nancy K. Bereano (center).

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.

Elita Rosillo-Christiansen

VP, Talent Management, Diversity & Inclusion

Chief Diversity Officer, HR Group

NATIONAL POC LGBT CONVENING: DAY ONE HIGHLIGHT

Today was the first day of sessions for the National Convening of POC LGBT Aging Professionals, as someone said, “is a very historic day, an idea that was a dream, today was realized.”  From around 8am guests and panelists began arriving at Brickfield Convention Center, AARP’s hi-tech conference facility in the heart of the nation’s capital.  Carmelita Tursi, Senior Diversity Advisor HR Group at AARP, provided the opening greetings, while Clarence Fluker, Program Manager, Office of GLBT Affairs, District of Columbia Mayor’s Office, delivered a warm welcome to Washington, D.C.  In the absence of Cathy Greenley, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services at AOA, Edwin L. Walker, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Programs Dept. of Health and Human Services, AOA delivered a message form the Assistant Secretary.

Carmelita Tursi, Senior Diversity Officer, AARP.

The opening panel, facilitated by Chezia Carraway, LCSW, PHE Center for Disease Control and Prevention, was comprised of Jay Blackwell, Director,  Capacity Building Division OMH-RC, Sharon M. Day, E.D., Indigenous People Task Force, Mandy Carter, Co-Founder, NBJC and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Tony Sarmiento, E.D., Senior Services America, Inc., Jewelle Gomez, Grants and Community Initiatives, Horizons Foundation and Christopher Bates, CEO, PACHA.

Sharon M. Day, Mandy Carter and Tony Sarmiento.

Jewelle Gomez (2nd from right).

This lively panel drew from the history of struggles to address core issues and philosophy including strategy for the creation of a network that truly defines and represents the POC LGBT aging community.  While Bryan Epps, Senior Policy Analyst, NYC Mayor’s Office laid out the fundamentals of policy creation and the benefits in support of issue advocacy.  Chair Elect, ASA, Louis Colbert was the Keynote Speaker who spoke on the importance of this convening on the national landscape of aging.

Bryan Epps, Senior Policy Analyst, NYC Mayor’s Office

Panelist Christopher Bates and facilitator Chezia Carraway, LCSW, PHE.

The workshop component was structured into six discussion groups that allowed for an intimate and comprehensive discourse.  Each group tackled a subject area: Elder abuse, Mental Health, Immigration, Housing, Health Care and Spirituality.  Facilitator Victor Pond, Director of Policy, Research and Community Health, GRIOT Circle, coordinated the questions and group feedback.  The first day of the Convening closed with a dialogue facilitated by Carmen Vazquez, coordinator NYS LGBT Health and Human Services Unit of the AIDS Institute, on the challenges and opportunities for the creation of a professional network.

Helena Bushong, Trans-elder Community Advocate/Activist.

Jay Blackwell, Sharon M. Day, Mandy Carter, Tony Sarmiento and Jewelle Gomez.

Glen Francis, E.D., GRIOT Circle, Brian de Vries, PhD, San Francisco State Univ., Carmelita Tursi, Senior Diversity Advisor, AARP and Clarence Fluker, Office of GLBT Affairs, D.C. Mayor's Office.

Workshops: Cheryl D. Reese and Bonnie Harrison.

 

Convening Coordinator Victor Pond is flanked by Chezia Carraway and Christopher Bates at end of first panel discussion.

 

 

 

Military Ends ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Speaker Christine C. Quinn

September 2011

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.

Best,

Chris Quinn
Speaker