Tag Archives: Gay pride

LGBT Aging Through the Lens of Gen Silent on ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ on Blog Talk Radio


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On Tuesday, March 19th at 1:00 pm (est) we are thrilled to welcome Stu Maddux, Director & Producer of the critically acclaimed film, Gen Silent to our Be A Healthy Caregiver’ show on Blog Talk Radio.

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Stu Maddux receiving an award

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.

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As the Huffington Post said: “The film is heartbreaking, personal and the issues are real.”

Our conversation with Stu will not only focus on the film itself, but how Gen Silent has brought awareness to LGBT Aging issues in today’s society.   Through our conversation, Stu will help us all learn how to ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver.’  

To listen to our show live on Tuesday at 1:00 pm (est), simply click here.

Cannot listen live on Tuesday, NO WORRIES! Each one of our shows is archived for your listening convenience by clicking here.

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It is an honor to have ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ selected as a ‘Featured Show’ by the folks at Blog Talk Radio for Tuesday, March 19th!

Visit  Blog Talk Radio’s front page on Tuesday March 19th for details by clicking here

 

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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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A Night with ‘Harriet Craig’


This past weekend, we took the opportunity to motor  to Mount Dora, Florida.  Funny how the last two weekends have developed for us; two weekends ago we were on the verge of heading to the hospital, this past weekend, we are traveling to Mount Dora.  It is difficult to know just what to expect when you are dealing with cancer.

Photo Credit: The Bow-Tie-Guy

Why Mount Dora, Florida you ask?  Going back to their days in Manhattan, ‘The Little One’ has a friend of 60+ years living in Mount Dora.    Mount Dora is a little town just north of Orlando, known for its quaint antique shops.   It is a beautiful town and surprisingly, has plenty of things to do.  But this was not a  weekend for tourism, this was a weekend of storytelling and laughter!

With over 60 years of friendship behind them, the conversation was unrestrained.  Names from the past,  (celebrities to boot!) stories that never ended.  To them, yesterday was today and tomorrow will come: it was a beautiful experience.   Finally the name…’Harriet Craig’ was blurted out and the laughter got more pronounced.   Harriet Craig was a nickname  given to ‘The Little Ones’ friend years ago because of his constant need to clean the apartment he shared in Manhattan with his partner of over 40 years.  Apparently, ‘Harriet’ just could not stand a dirty ashtray, one flick of the ash and up Harriet would go to clean the tray; always in constant motion, always on top of the conversation.  Once I learned why Harriet Craig, I understood the connection to the character in the movie as the villa was in impeccable condition!   As we moved on to dinner, it was easy to see who was in charge…Harriet Craig!     

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Harriet Craig is a 1950 movie played by the legendary Joan Crawford.  The movie credits go like this… ‘Domineering Harriet Craig holds more regard for her home and its possessions than she does for any person in her life. Neurotic perfectionist Harriet Craig (Crawford) makes life miserable for everyone around her.’  While the description of the character in the movie does not accurately depict ‘The Little Ones’ friend, the metaphor is there in order to create the ‘sting.’

I was told that I was not old enough and privileged enough to call him ‘Harriet Craig!’

Their stories sounded quite familiar to that what you would hear today. If you are a ‘Sister’ you know what I mean. Long standing friends reminiscing about their past, grateful for their partners, their friendship and their freedom to be who they are.  Gay Marriage, Equal Rights and the sorts, all talked about in their day, just not in the volume that we hear today.   

Yet…Who Are They?

They are two close friends, in separate (gay) relationships, lasting over 40 years each, which is quite the accomplishment, no matter what side of the fence you are on!  Yet these accomplishments often go unnoticed in our society as we here more about what’s wrong with gay relationships than what’s right about gay relationships.  They are your uncles, cousins,  they are your friends…

Who Are They? 

Photo Credit: Unknown

They are your neighbor right next door.  We have all heard the phrase…’home is where the heart is.’  That phrase applies to everyone’s home, not just a selected few.

Our friend in Mount Dora is just a few years older than ‘The Little One’, leads an active life, accepted by his cohorts, active in his neighborhood, has dinner with his neighbors and volunteers at hospice.   He is your neighbor. 

Who Are They? 

Stonewall Inn 1969 Photo Credit Diane Davies

They are two men who lived not only during the time of the Stonewall Riots, they lived in the mist of the Stonewall Riots where  friends of them were killed just for being who they are.  The riots inspired LGBT people throughout the country to organize in support of gay rights, and within two years after the riots, gay rights groups had been started in nearly every major city in the United States.   They are your pioneers…

This weekend, when you see all the stores on the news about Gay Pride weekend, remember those Gay Seniors who live alone and cannot get to the parade.  Remember those Gay Seniors who still live in fear; Remember those gay seniors who lived and worked in the trenches in order to bring LGBT equality issues of today to the forefront.

And finally, remember the thousand upon thousand of Gay Seniors who have lived their life in committed and long lasting relationships only to be denied their equal rights.

 Who Are They?   

They are your American Seniors, who just happen to be Gay.

Photo Credit: Webshots

You See…We might have Cancer; but Cancer does not have us!’

Photo Credit: The Bow-Tie-Guy

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