Celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month
The LGBTQ movement has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few decades. On June 26, 2015, same sex marriage became legal nationwide, ruling state bans on these marriages unconstitutional. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals have suffered much discrimination for a very long time, particularly in the senior community. LGBT discrimination is a struggle in itself, but LGBT older adults have their own unique challenges.
Although same sex marriages are now legal in the U.S. and more people in general are accepting of LGBT individuals, older adults can feel very isolated. It is more common and acceptable for youth to come out, talk about their sexuality and gender identity, and have gatherings of people like themselves. Older adults, however, may have felt isolated since childhood regarding their sexuality or gender identity, and stay in the closet, or don’t socialize with other LGBT older adults because they don’t know where to meet them (or don’t fit in in places like bars). Senior centers often don’t have programs geared toward LGBT older adults, and senior housing and home care agencies often aren’t trained in LGBT cultural competence.
This month, we celebrate LGBT Pride Month, and especially our LGBT older adults, who have so much to offer the community. We celebrate those senior centers that have daytime social gatherings, lunches, and support groups, to make older LGBT adults feel more welcome. We are grateful to resource centers, helplines, ombudsmen, and lawyers who advocate for this population every day. We also join in the national mourning of the attacks on the LGBTQ community at the Pulse club in Orlando in the early morning hours of June 12.
If you are a LGBT senior who feels isolated and alone, we offer social engagement and life enrichment activities utilizing one of caring compassionate Debbie Angels. For those LGBT WellSeniors who are single, or whose family lives out of town or have no family support and want to be ready when a medical crisis occurs, we offer the trusted support of a caring and knowledgeable Aging Life Care Manager. Our professional care managers are nurses and social workers with advanced education and extensive experience in working with home health care, hospitals, assisted living, nursing and other housing communities.
We stand with the LGBT community in the struggle to help remove the barriers and prejudice that exist in this and all underserved communities and we celebrate our diversity and embrace all people. For a look at the many resources available in our area to support LGBT older adults, visit the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. Happy Pride Month!
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