LGBT Aging through the lens of Gen Silent

It’s never too late to give up our prejudices.Henry David Thoreau

You might remember an earlier blog post where I talked about a question that was posed to me by a good (straight) friend of mine, his question was simple: ‘What’s different about LGBT Caregiving.  In that blog post, I wrote  “ A very profound question that is easy to answer, yet difficult to explain.   “Caregiving in and of itself is the same for every couple, you simply care for the one you love.   The difference for the LGBT caregiver is when we have to interact with systems outside of our home that are out of our control.”

As an LGBT caregiver and advocate, my response to that important question pales in comparisons to the magnificent and gut wrenching documentary, Gen Silent.     The real life stories of love, commitment, discernment, hope, happiness and despair told through the lens of “Gen Silent” are gut wrenching, yet important for all audiences in order to understand the plight of LGBT seniors in America. Producer/Director Stu Maddux does a splendid job in piecing together these LGBT pioneers who helped paved the way for what we know today as Gay Pride.

We should all be indebted to them.  

Throughout their life, LGBT seniors have experienced discrimination solely for being ‘different’. LGBT Seniors are one of the most underserved communities in our nation.  Today’s LGBT seniors grew up in a time where they were told that homosexuality was not only a mental illness, but also a crime!

Systems can be unfair, yet pioneers like those in this marvelous film are the ones who help foster change.   Out of the shadows and into our hearts, this documentary provides  viewers with critical examples of why NO senior should be left behind.  This issue is not a local issue, it is a universal issue.  Somewhere along the line in our discussion about critical issues that face our society, we have lost the ability to look and talk about these issues empathically.

No matter what side of the fence you are on in regards to gay marriage; Equality in not a privilege, it is a basic human right.  Through the lens of Gen Silent” you will see the true meaning of love and why equality and equal rights are so important in our society today because everyone deserves a perfect sunset to their life.

Kudo’s to Stu Maddux and the staff at the LGBT Aging Project for a job well done.   Thank You to Ellen Wender of Creative Arts Enterprises and Treece Financial Group for taking the initiative to bring this documentary to South Florida.  Thank You to Diane Lade of the Sun-Sentinel for writing such a superb article on “Gen Silent” how nursing homes can push gay seniors back into the closet.

For information on how you can bring “Gen Silent” to your community, click here to visit the films website and ‘like’ them on Facebook, too!

To learn how your agency can develop LGBT-sensitive policies, train staff,  create welcoming environments, and receive CEU’s visit SunServe Social Services.

“We might have cancer…but cancer does not have us!”

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5 Comments

  1. Stu Maddux, Director Gen Silent on August 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    And thank-YOU for the wonderful article and all that YOU have done to make life better for LGBT older people!



  2. Chris MacLellan "The Bow-Tie-Guy" on August 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    That is very kind of you Stu; thank you for all that you do too!



  3. Assisted Living Directory on August 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I have been really discouraged that, on my site, Assisted Living Directory, that there aren’t more LGBT facilities that want to list their facility with us (for free), and share what they do. I had one facility who had their information on my site, but asked me to take it down, since it was ‘turning off ‘ potential ‘straight’ residents. Unfortunate that there is still obvious discrimination and fear out there…



  4. Chris MacLellan "The Bow-Tie-Guy" on August 20, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    David:
    Thank you for your note and you are correct, it is unfortunate that there is ‘obvious discrimination and fear out there’…it’s shameful! There are LGBT ALF’s preparing to open in South Florida; I will be happy to send them information on your directory. I appreciate your message…Thanks!



  5. Assisted Living Directory on August 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Chris, thank you too! I would be honored and grateful if you would send me the facilities – I would be happy to add them!
    Much appreciated!
    David



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