Another important challenge for these communities is to change their youth-focused image, which makes it troublesome for groups to reach out to its aging members and, more importantly, makes it difficult for seniors to reach out to gay and lesbian organizations. Whereas many focus group participants acknowledged that attitudes had changed in recent years for gays and lesbians living in Canada, many reported incidences of overt homophobia directed toward the elderly lesbian and gay male populations. First, there is the profound invisibility of gay and lesbian seniors, both within gay and lesbian communities and mainstream long-term care services. Then, each transcript was analyzed section by section, maintaining the integrity of the speakers' comments to code the data. At each phase, at least two members of the research team reviewed transcripts and data coding. The film was made by two of Blank's grandsons, Brandon and Skyler Gross. To view your reading history, you must be logged in.
This suggests some openness to rethinking their particular positions.
Florida's most famous gayborhood invests in homes for gay seniors
But coming out late can come with dire consequences. The documentary, which premieres Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival, follows Blank and his wife, Ruth — both Holocaust survivors — through the fraught revelation that he's been in the closet all his life in order to survive. The high degree of invisibility that currently characterizes these populations makes the challenge even greater. Educating health care professionals has also been identified as an important way of raising awareness and improving services for aging gays and lesbians. Even though gay and lesbian organizations are well positioned to develop and provide advocacy and support services for their aging members, the needs of seniors are poorly understood within these networks and are now only beginning to be addressed. Although gay and lesbian seniors are deeply affected by their historical experiences of discrimination, they continue to be victims of discrimination within their present social environments. The painful wounds of being socially marginalized and the deep scarring that resulted from these experiences remind older gays and lesbians that it is unwise to place trust in individuals and social systems that have historically persecuted them, particularly as they confront the potential of becoming physically dependent on others as they grow older.
After all, if gay and lesbian employees and volunteers are not visible, it is more likely that elders will not be comfortable in being visible. This ensured consistency and reliability. Making room for older gay mens' and lesbians' voices to be heard in elder care sectors will require beginning the change process from within, sometimes without their inclusion, as a beginning phase. Seniors who require care need to be assured that the values of agencies, institutions, and professionals respect and reflect who they are and their unique needs. This is, of course, more likely in larger urban centers, in which a critical mass of gay and lesbian people have been able to come together.