Are you an LGBT nursing home resident? The friend, partner, or advocate of such? If so, you should take a look at the new publication, “Residents’ Rights and the LGBT Community: Know YOUR Rights as a Nursing Home Resident.”
The new 4-page publication was produced by the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center, and Lambda Legal, and is available at http://issuu.com/lgbtagingcenter/docs/lgbtrrfactsheet-final
There are not many LGBT-specific rights; rather, there are rights that all nursing home residents are guaranteed by the federal government, and many of these — the right to be free from abuse, the right to privacy, the right to be treated with respect, for example — may be of particular interest to LGBT residents. This document highlights some of these rights, plus gives a short bulleted list of your options if you think a right has been violated. There is also a page of LGBT-specific resources that may be of particular interest to LGBT older adults.
This week California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill mandating that 5 hours of LGBT cultural competency training be integrated into the training received by residential care facility administrators before they can be certified. The bill was Assembly Bill 663, authored by Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez.
SAGE wants your story!
You have until 5:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 6, 2013, to submit your answers to these questions: What does ‘community’ mean to you? How do you stay connected to the people who matter most to you?
You can submit your answers in writing (300-500 words), as a video, as a photograph (up to 3 MB), or as a podcast.
Although copyright will remain with you, your submission gives SAGE the right to share your submission on their website. SAGE will select and post the top entries, and visitors will vote on their favorite (between November 7-21, 2013) to determine the winner of a $50 Amazon gift certificate.
For more information and to enter, go to http://www.sageusa.org/programs/sagestory-share.cfm
One of the joys of growing old is that your memories increasingly consist of what others label “history.”
That is one of the reasons older LGBT people and those who serve them may be very interested in a new website (www.OurFamilyAlbum.org) that features early photographs of people who may or may not have been LGBT.
The new website was put together by Stu Maddux, the creator of the much-lauded documentary on LGBT aging, Gen Silent. His in-progress work, “Reel in the Closet,” features home videos from LGBT people. The complementary website features more than 100 personal photos spanning more than 120 years and is designed to provoke conversation about identity and cultural context. Users are encouraged to post comments and questions, which are often answered by Stu Maddux.
The site also features a store that offers a 2014 desk calendar, cards, posters, wall clocks, and mugs. You can ask to be notified when new photographs are added to the site.
For Coming Out Day 2013, Ebony magazine published a profile of Ty Martin, a 65-year-old Black gay man who serves as SAGE’s Harlem Community Liaison.
Ty is also one of three older LGBT people featured in the new documentary, Before You Know It, which is currently raising funds for distribution (see http://beforeyouknowitfilm.com/). In the Ebony profile, he talks about how Harlem has changed for LGBT people, and then concludes,
“I wish I could say something profound about being Black, gay and a senior in Harlem but my story is pretty much the same as anyone else. We all want to be connected to somebody.
“Why do you think churches are full on Sunday? People want to find some connection. Or else, why do they go? I think it’s the same reason why clubs are packed on Saturday. [Laughs.]
“At the end of the day everyone wants someone to talk to and feel connected to.”
The full article is available at http://www.ebony.com/news-views/national-coming-out-day-a-seniors-story-304#axzz2hQy611wH
This past week, the Los Angeles Times ran a long feature on Sissy Goodwin, a heterosexual, 67-year-old, college science instructor and cross-dresser in Wyoming with two grown children, one of whom says that he has only seen him dressed in men’s clothing twice, including once at his sister’s wedding. “You could see him squirming to get out of that dress shirt,” Travis said, “and get back into his dress.” Continue reading
The Chula Vista (California) Veterans Home hosted its first gay marriage this past week.
John Banvard, 95 and a World War II veteran, married his partner of 20 years, Gerard Nadeau, 67, who served in Vietnam, at their home of three years, the Chula Vista Veterans Home.
Fox 5 reported, “Many of the couple’s friends who live at the veteran’s home attended the small and simple ceremony.” However, the facility also held a town hall meeting prior to the ceremony “to address concerns from other residents.”
You can read the article and see a short video at http://fox5sandiego.com/2013/09/12/senior-facility-holds-first-ever-gay-wedding/#axzz2f53QhYTe
Yet another aging-related piece in this week’s Advocate is “Op-ed: 72, Transgender, and Finally Myself,” a profile of Rosie Del Mar.
Del Mar’s story is similar to some others of her age in that she describes multiple life phases in which she tried to live in different genders and sexual orientations, with corresponding changes in the ways she could make a living. What makes her story different from some other trans elders’ is the kinds and amounts of support she experienced, which included multiple church homes and, now, an affordable living complex for LGBT elders. Still, even with the support she’s found, she was surprised five years ago when she was asked to become a deacon at her latest church. “I never knew a transgender person could be looked upon as somewhat valuable within a church,” she said.
The article is available at http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2013/08/28/op-ed-72-transgender-and-finally-myself
And another one falls!
A California judge has ruled that the portion of the U.S. Code governing veterans benefits is unconstitutional and unenforceable in its definition of marriage, which excludes same-sex couples.
The ruling will enable same-sex military couples to access benefits available to other married couples.
The article is available at http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/federal-judge-strikes-down-law-barring-same-sex-couples-from
This week the Advocate has — count ‘em! — THREE articles on old LGBT people!
“Prime Timers: A New Age for Activism” profiles 25 LGBT people aged 65 and older, including large photos of each. The list is heavy on actors and authors, most of whom have been out as LGBT issues for decades, but also contains some long-time activists and a few who became out and/or active only after passing what’s thought of in the U.S. as “retirement age.”
“9 Tales of Young Love and Old Memories” interviews nine residents of Triangle Square, an LGBT-focused housing project in Los Angeles operated by Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing, all of whom discuss their “first love.” Some first loves were fleeting, but others lasted decades.
In the hard news category is “HHS Offers Benefits, Joint Placement to Married LGBT Seniors on Medicare.” This article reports on a new Department of Health and Human Services ruling that legally married LGBT elders on Medicare will be eligible for equal benefits and joint placement in nursing homes around the country, regardless of whether or not they are currently living in a state that recognizes their marriage.