It’s certainly not a topic of interest only to LGBT elders, but it does disproportionately affect the gay and bisexual men in our demographic: HIV/AIDS.
The Administration on Aging (AoA) is hosting an online seminar featuring five of our country’s top HIV and aging researchers and practitioners at 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. Online “spots” are limited, and preregistration is required. For more information and to sign up, go to http://www.aoa.gov/aoaroot/Press_Room/News/2012/2012_01_19.aspx AoA says they’ll make the webinar available for later viewing at http://www.aoa.gov
Researchers associated with the Williams Institute have just published more nuanced research on how older gay men are affected by minority stress, and what they use to counter these negative influences.
The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, examined 202 gay men between the ages of 44 and 75. They found that ”[b]oth sexual minority stress (perceived gay-related stigma, excessive HIV bereavements) and aging-related stress (independence and fiscal concerns) appeared to have been detrimental to mental health.” A sense of “mastery” helped mediate that stress, and being legally married helped more than simply being partnered. Counter to some assumptions, “[e]ducation, HIV status, and race/ethnicity had no significant effects.” To learn more about the study, go to http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2011.300384
The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging (NRC) has announced its second annual survey, available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NRC_LGBT_Aging2012
The survey, which should take about 10 minutes to answer, asks about what NRC services you’ve used, what LGBT aging services you’re involved in or know of, what preparations you’ve made for your own aging, and what work you’d like to see NRC do in the future. Survey respondents may separately add their name to a drawing for a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate.
In late December, a widely-syndicated article in mainstream newspapers talked about the need for more gay-friendly senior housing.
The article focuses particularly on Philadelphia’s proposed housing project for LGBT elders, including short profiles of two Philadelphians: an African-American gay male elder and a transwoman with HIV. The article also discusses the Triangle Square-Hollywood low-income housing development geared toward the LGBT older adult population, and includes national statistics and quotes from Michael Adams, executive director of the New York-based Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE). One copy of the article can be found at http://yourlife.usatoday.com/parenting-family/story/2011-12-30/Advocates-More-gay-friendly-senior-housing-needed/52285072/1
It’s true: a picture is worth a thousand words. You’ll undoubtedly agree if you web surf over to “Hidden in the Open: A Photographic Essay of Afro American Male Couples from the Distant Past,” at http://www.flickr.com/photos/hidden-in-the-open/sets/72157624480472079/with/6643176983/
The collection spans more than a century, with images from the mid 19th century to as late as the 1980s. Many are accompanied by essays that reveal how African-American gay men met each other and survived in a hostile world. A long introductory essay discusses early styles of photography (see the sixth paragraph) as well as a critique of modern images of African-American gay men.
LGBT history is important to people who are or serve LGBT elders now not just because many of us lived through these experiences, but also because it’s important to really get that LGBT people have existed in all eras and places. This stirring collection is an important piece of the puzzle.
Last month the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Administration on Aging held an historic all-day summit on housing for LGBT elders.
This summit is now available for online streaming at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=%2Fpress%2Fmultimedia%2Fvideos It is broken into three segments, with my presentation on the housing-related issues facing transgender elders in the second segment.
Everyone interested in LGBT aging issues needs to see the groundbreaking and heart-tugging documentary Gen Silent, and it’s available for online viewing at no cost this week only. Go to http://stumaddux.com/XDO_Viewer_2.html Don’t forget to tell the service providers you know!