Where are the gay seniors?

September 24, 2008 at 4:33 pm 11 comments

Gay oldies? That goes against nearly every media stereotype of how fabulous we are; being trendy, well-groomed, brand conscious and YOUNG, therefore forever beautiful. Gay people don’t age, they just disappear into faerieland, don’t they?

This article from Newsweek (thanks, Anni) pays lip service to the presence of our senior members. I’m sorry but this line just burns me, “The good news, of course, is that attitudes are changing.”

Whose attitude? The government, legislation, the LGBT community, the senior population … who? And what are we doing about it?

I have very dear gay and lesbian and transgendered friends who are in or approaching their senior years. When I talk to them about being out – for those who aren’t –  I get basically two responses: they’d rather stay in with their families as they are treated as respected elders, or they withdraw from the gay community because they feel invisible. This is a loss to LGBT society that needs its elders and needs to remember those that were activists before Gen Y was born.

Frankly, there are issues that affect mature LGBT more severely than the rest of us working adults – health care, succession, pensions and benefits, taxes and more. Some may have an easier time working out legalities because of generic public policies. Others will have no chance of having their partnerships recognised, of receiving fair treatment in hospitals, or getting tax breaks, of not worrying about their kin vs their partner, of being questioned about their resident status, of losing their pensions and their jobs, of surviving.

Between a spineless government and an apathetic community, what can they do?

Ageism is a real issue for the LGBTQ world – young or old, within and without.

By the way, I’m not ignoring the needs of LGBTQ youth. That’s another issue worth pursuing. Suffice to say that I love meeting young women who are as alternative as all get out.

As I write this, there is a bill going through the New South Wales Parliament seeking to repeal or redress the 58 laws and regulations that still discriminate against us. New South Wales is home to the largest gay and lesbian population in Australia. We have the largest pride celebration in the southern hemisphere – Mardi Gras in February brings in millions of dollars revenue for the state, not to mention the constant club circuit. We spend our pink dollars on travel and entertainment by the bucketloads. We vote, we organise, we party.

The bill has just passed the lower House.

Links to link resources for mature aged lesbians and gays:

http://www.olderdykes.org/

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~jamms/

http://www.sageusa.org/index.cfm

http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/adb/ll_adb.nsf/pages/adb_glbti_consultation

Oh dear, not enough sites for lesbians, again.

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Opinion, Queer. Tags: , , .

Run, pig, run Rock of ages

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. bentcrude  |  September 25, 2008 at 5:03 am

    thanks for the links!!! i wrote a column for a south african newspaper about that topic years back and got feedback from lesbians saying yeh there’s nothing for us 😦

    new zealand: http://lesbianeldersvillage.org.nz/

    Reply
  • 2. bentcrude  |  September 25, 2008 at 5:05 am

    ps would be delighted if you’d come and do the interview on my blog …

    Reply
  • 3. evecho  |  September 25, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Thanks for the link. We need more information like that.

    I’d be delighted to do the interview on your site.

    Reply
  • 4. bentcrude  |  September 29, 2008 at 4:22 am

    thanks! it’s up and you’re linked too

    Reply
  • 5. evecho  |  September 29, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Kewl!

    Reply
  • 6. ulla  |  November 5, 2008 at 9:50 am

    check out http://queerskies.wordpress.com pliz….

    Reply
  • 7. evecho  |  November 6, 2008 at 12:28 am

    Thanks, I did, and I’ll pass on the site to friends.

    Reply
  • 8. followthatmouse  |  November 6, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Hello, many older gay men and lesbians in the UK find themselves living in boarding houses. You may like my personal story from the UK

    http://gactupdate.wordpress.com/2008/10/08/remembering-mr-eames/

    Reply
  • 9. evecho  |  November 6, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    That was a rather sad story albeit truer than fiction. Question, living in a boarding house, isn’t that similar to living in a retirement home in that there are other lodgers to hang out with?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Evecho’s newsy bits

News, updates and links from the lesbian and publishing ‘verse that interest me, my current projects, keeping up with authors and sharing musings on middle-class life, gourmet adventures and comparisons between East/West perspectives. My opinions will likely be linearly logical and gayly bent, as they tend to be.