Door' spells freedom for gay senior citizens
Buenos Aires, Argentina
(CNN) -- Despite what has traditionally been regarded
as a macho culture, Argentina has been viewed in recent
years as a leader on gay rights issues in Latin America.
During the past year Argentina has also taken steps
to assist an often overlooked sector of the world's
gay population: senior citizens. Situated behind the
tall, wooden doors of a century-old building in Buenos
Aires, the Puerta Abierta ("Open Door") center is Latin
America's first community center for gay senior citizens.
Romance, and Relationships: AARP Survey of Midlife and
a survey on sexual attitudes and practices among the
45+ population in August 2009, similar to earlier surveys
conducted in 1999 and 2004. Results show that the sexual
revolution continues in the older population as Boomers
continue to age.
- 8% of men and 2% of women
have a same-sex partner.
- 29% of men want their
partners to initiate sex more often.
- 20% of men have oral
sex at least once a week.
- 45% of men think of sex
at least once a day.
- 64% have never discussed
their sexual fantasies with their partners.
- 73% of men in their 50s
say they have an orgasm every time they have sex.
the Needs of Gay Seniors
After years of being
ignored, gay seniors are getting a hearing at last.
On Wednesday, April 28, U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)
joined experts in geriatrics to discuss new legislation
to meet the unique needs of older LGBT Americans.
THE LIFE explores what it means to grow old as a gay
person in America - how a generation once at the frontlines
of establishing the modern LGBT movement finds, in what
should be their golden years, new challenges living
life openly gay. IT'S ABOUT TIME highlights the leaders
spearheading a national effort to protect the rights
of LGBT senior citizens and care for our elders.
Graying of Gay America
It’s the graying
of America. Millions of Baby Boomers, folks as young
as 50 or older, are retiring. They’re living longer
than their fathers and mothers. They’re still
healthy, active and involved .LGBT Baby Boomers are
having intense debates about the same issues facing
their straight peers. Their concerns for the future,
and especially for equitable treatment and care, are
increasingly getting respect and consideration from
national groups like the AARP and local groups as well.
Co. Separates Elderly Gay Couple, Auctions Their Possessions
Clay and his 88-year-old partner Harold lived in Sonoma
County, California and had been together 20 years. Although
they had wills, powers of attorney and medical directives,
none of that mattered once Harold was hospitalized.
County and health care workers refused to allow Clay
to see Harold in the hospital. The county then ultimately
went one step further by isolating the couple from each
other, placing the men in separate nursing homes. Ignoring
Clay’s significant role in Harold’s life,
the county continued to treat Harold like he had no
family and went to court seeking the power to make financial
decisions on his behalf. Then without authority..the
county took everything Harold and Clay owned and auctioned
off all of their belongings.
lot of the LGBT elder
As if arthritis and
profuse nose hair weren’t enough. Aging is already
loaded with physical and emotional challenges. Now we
hear that LGBT elders face a distinct set of burdens
in addition. It gives growing old all the appeal of
a colostomy bag. Called the first major collaboration
between LGBT groups and mainstream organizations for
the elderly, a report called “Improving the Lives
of LGBT Older Adults” lays out the problems LGBT
seniors face and offers recommendations.
into the closet: gays find few friends in aged care
David Urquhart would
rather ''swing from the ginkgo tree in the back yard''
than go into a nursing home. The scant acknowledgment
of the need for gay-friendly aged-care services worries
the 71-year-old photographer, who says he is scared
about what the future holds for him. Mr Urquhart lost
touch with his family after he came out in 1968, and,
without a partner, he wonders what will happen to him
if he needs to be cared for or to give someone power
of attorney.''Sometimes my mind does run to those things,''
he said. ''I think, here I am on my own, who would I
turn to?''He wants to see anti-homophobia training in
aged-care services, and advocacy services for gay seniors.
gives gay partners equal healthcare rights
US President Barack
Obama has ordered almost all hospitals to give gay partners
equal rights in visiting and making decisions for their
loved ones. He has instructed his Health and Human Services
secretary to draft rules requiring all hospitals which
receive Medicare and Medicaid payments to give patients
to the right to choose who can visit them and make decisions
for them if they are unable to. This means that gay
couples can be treated in the same way as a husband
and wife at such hospitals.
Springs Considers Senior Home Next to Gay Nude Resort
The Palm Springs Architectural Advisory Committee recommended
plans Monday to build an assisted living facility next
door to the Canyon Club Hotel, one of the Southern California
city's gay-owned and -operated clothing-optional resorts.According
to the Mercury-News,developers with Tappan Enterprises
say they hope to break ground this year on the 190-bed
facility. The building will include a public beauty
parlor and day spa.
seniors face futures that include discrimination
Dr. Loren Olson nervously
clutches a lectern at Des Moines University. It's lunchtime
at the osteopathic medicine school, and students filter
into the lecture hall to listen to Olson talk about
a book he's writing. The 66-year-old could almost be
a grandfather to these students: sweater vest and thinning
white hair, ample belly and friendly laugh. The book's
title is scrawled behind him: "Finally Out: Unlocking
the Closet in Mid-life and Beyond." It's filled
with psychiatric research on mature gay men who come
out later in life, a subject Olson - a semi-retired
psychiatrist who lives on a farm near St. Charles -
knows plenty about. The members of this group are increasingly
visible, but their situation is vastly different than
that of younger gays. Gay seniors, after all, didn't
grow up in a society at all accepting of homosexuality,
and some who have been out for decades are now encountering
discrimination when they move into nursing homes.
booklet for the ages
Getting older often
presents health complications, but for people ageing
with HIV there is now some help at hand. A new booklet,
Ahead of Time: A Practical Guide for Growing Older with
HIV, has been released by the National Association of
People Living with HIV/AIDS (NAPWA) and the Australian
Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) this month to
give some timely advice on the complex medical issues
older people living with HIV face. The booklet lists
service care providers aware of the issues, along with
easy-to-read information about new medical and social
challenges and the best ways to maintain ongoing health.
issues can be tougher on gays
Last Christmas, Missouri
State Highway Patrol Cpl. Dennis Engelhard was putting
flares near a minor accident on a snowy road in Eureka
when he was hit by a car and killed.
"I'd had a premonition about
it," said Kelly Glossip, 43, Engelhard's domestic
partner of 15 years. The openly gay couple had discussed
what might happen if Engelhard were to die in Missouri,
a state that does not recognize same-sex partnerships,
"He had faith in the system
and told me not to worry about it," Glossip said
from his home in suburban St. Louis. But now Glossip,
who works only part time in a billing office because
of back problems and who supports his 17-year-old son,
is worried and angry. The state would have given a pension
to the wife of any officer killed on the job but has
no such provision for domestic partners, Glossip said.
"I'm basically on my
own," he said.
in the Spotlight
It's been another big news
week for LGBT aging. An Associated Press story released
Monday on coming out late in life; the SAGE/Movement
Advancement Project report entitled "Improving
the Lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
(LGBT) Older Adults"; and a significant LGBT presence
at the National Council on Aging/American Society on
Aging's annual conference -- the largest conference
of aging professionals and policymakers in the country.
There's a reason for this attention. Our nation is aging,
and the LGBT community is aging along with it. The National
Gay and Lesbian Task Force estimates that between now
and the height of the aging boom, there will be between
2 and 7 million LGBT older adults in the United States.
and Social Security changes urged to help gay seniors
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender senior citizens face myriad social and financial
problems, and lawmakers could help them by altering
Social Security and Medicaid rules, according to a national
report being released Wednesday.
The report, prepared by Services
and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender
Elders, or SAGE, has been endorsed by major mainstream
aging groups, including AARP and the American Society
It calls on federal and
state lawmakers to consider ways to legally recognize
same-sex relationships so aging partners in a committed
relationship can have access to the same support systems
that benefit heterosexual seniors. That would include
Social Security survivor benefits and the rights of
same-sex partners to make medical decisions for each
seniors come out late, start second lifetime
Increased awareness and acceptance
of varied sexualities and gender identities has led
Americans to come out far younger, as early as middle
school. A less noticed but parallel shift is happening
at the other end of the age spectrum, with people in
their 60s, 70s and 80s coming to terms with the truth
that they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
While no one tracks the numbers
of the elderly who come out, those who work with older
adults say the trend is undeniable, and a resulting
network of support groups and services has cropped up.
Outing yourself late in
life can be complicated after having lived through times
when being openly gay could get you arrested, put in
an institution and given shock treatments. It's snarled
in a lifetime of trudging along through society's view
of normalcy and the resulting fear of being ostracized
by children and grandchildren. And it's marked by a
nagging doubt that all the heartache, all the potential
for it to go wrong, may not be worth it with one's years
life linked to elderly health
“If you want
good sex, you better get down the gym and tuck into
your fruit and veg,” says the Daily Mirror. The
newspaper reports that a “big-bang theory”
has found a link between sexual activity and general
The news is based on two
US surveys that looked at more than 6,000 people aged
25 to 85. It found that a satisfactory sex life is positively
associated with health in middle age and later life.
It also noted that between the ages of 75 to 85, 39%
of men were sexually active compared to just 17% of
for Gay Retirement Communities on the Rise
By Sarah Whyte,
Sydney Morning Herald, February 21, 2010
According to reports
by the US Census Bureau, there are an estimated three
million gay and lesbian seniors currently living in
the United States. Figures from the National Gay and
Lesbian Task Force indicate that this number is expected
to more than double over the next 25 years as the "gayby
boom" generation fully transitions into retirement.
Because many gay seniors find traditional retirement
communities unprepared or unwilling to meet the needs
of GLBT residents, the demand for gay retirement communities
is stronger than ever.
In response to this growing
need, Out Properties is proud to announce that lots
in their new gay retirement development, Marigold Creek,
are now available for advanced purchase. Located on
32 acres just outside of Phoenix, this upscale, retirement
resort for gays, lesbians and their friends and family,
is raising the bar on Arizona retirement communities.
seniors need to play it safe
By Sarah Whyte,
Sydney Morning Herald, February 21, 2010
SAFE-SEX workshops should
be held in aged-care facilities and staff trained to
manage promiscuous behaviour as a sexual revolution
breaks out among the elderly, experts say.
Health and aged-care professionals report
a jump in the number of over-65s leading an active sex
life, including having multiple partners. ''We are experiencing
an awareness of sexual relations in later life that
has not been previously seen,'' University of New England
faculty dean, Professor Victor Minichiello, said.
the younger cohort of older people who are moving into
retirement villages are healthy, in relationships, or
able to develop new relationships,'' Professor Minichiello
said. Council on the Ageing and aged-care associations
are calling for ''safe sex'' workshops and guideline
policies to be implemented in aged-care and retirement
facilities to help staff.