Did you know May 16, 2018 is National Honor our LGBT Elders Day? Created by the LGBT Heath Resource Center of Chase Brexton Health Care, this day is a chance to bring awareness and appreciation to the lives and contributions of LGBT older adults.
Although LGBT older adults face the same challenges of aging as everyone else, these challenges are compounded by issues specific to their LGBT status. Due to facing lifelong legal and social discrimination, many LGBT older adults experience economic insecurity, lack of housing, lack of healthcare, lack of legal family ties and informal support networks, social isolation, pressure to re-closet in order to access services, and varied other difficulties.
These experiences are not uniform throughout the LGBT older adult community, either.
Bisexual older adults may face increased social isolation and resulting health issues. Transgender older adults have specific medical needs and may lack care and financial support. And LGBT older adults of color, currently a fast-growing fifth of LGBT older adults, face unique challenges due to these intersecting identities, including higher risks of economic insecurity, poor physical and mental health, and discrimination.
For these reasons, though, LGBT older adults are incredibly strong and resilient. And many share a positive outlook on the status of LGBT equality today, having personally lived through and fought for the progress made over the last several decades.
Do you have an important LGBT older adult in your life? Take a moment on May 16 to talk to them – whether to honor their contributions, listen to their experiences, or just to check in and spend time together.
If you are an LGBT older adult, consider coming to Silver Pride – an information and socializing event for LGBTQ people over 60! The event is Wednesday, May 30 from 2-7:30 PM at the Human Rights Campaign building. More information and registration is available here on the Iona website!
By Indy Weinstein.
Indy Weinstein is an intern at Iona. They graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland last year with a BA in History, and are excited to learn about nonprofit management and aging.