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.
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!”
- Documentary ‘Gen Silent’ raises question: Do LGBT seniors need to go back in the closet (miamiherald.typepad.com)
- The Silent Generation: Long-term care is a landmine for LGBT seniors (pattidudek.typepad.com)
- HRC: Paul Ryan voted against hate-crimes law, end of military ban, letting gay couples marry adopt (miamiherald.typepad.com)
- Communities of One? (thepurplejacket.com)