Profile of Colorado Elders

In one of the most interesting such human-interest stories I’ve seen, OutFront Colorado this month published a front-cover article profiling four Colorado elders: Pat Barrington, 77; Dennis Dougherty, 69; Bobby Gates, 71; and Corky Blankenship, 67.

The article, which includes both solo and group pictures of all the elders, also interviews Shari Wilkins, program coordinator for SAGE of the Rockies, who tells about another 86-year-old man who approached her shortly after his wife of 67 years passed away.  “He came here to The Center and told me, ‘I’m pretty sure I’m gay and I don’t know what to do about it.’”  With SAGE’s help, the now 87-year-old “has since then blossomed into a confident artist, marching in the Veterans Contingent at the front of last summer’s Pride parade.”

The four people profiled tell stories that illustrate a range of experiences of what it was like being lesbian, gay, or bisexual decades ago.  When Pat came out to her mom, her mom came out to her.  Bobby was a Jehovah’s Witness and married to a woman until a fellow Jehovah’s Witness outed him and ended both his marriage and his community membership.  Corky was married to a lesbian until they moved to San Francisco and found a gayer scene.  Pat tells about (heterosexually) married women meeting in women’s bars, which were frequently raided.  Corky speaks to his great love – dancing – and Bobby lists some of the many activities local LGBT older adults are engaged in today.  Dennis talks of his lifelong activism.

You can read this lovely story for yourself at

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