LGBTQ elders face a number of challenges beyond those of the general elder population.
They are more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to:
lack support networks
live in poverty
experience discrimination in housing and health care delivery
Whether because of first-hand experience or anecdotal knowledge they hear, many LGBTQ seniors go back in the closet when it is time to access senior services. This prevents them from realizing their full elder potential, does not allow them to share their grief for lost partners and spouses, prevents them from having a robust support network and may compromise their medical care.
A recent controlled study in 10 states uncovered a 48% discrimination rate against same sex couples in housing inquiries. We need affordable and supportive housing to provide a safe environment for our LGBTQ elders and the only way to ensure that is to be in charge and create the opportunities ourselves.
To the right is a list of links that lead to resources with information on the depth and breadth of the problem.
1. Opening Doors: An Investigation of Barriers to Senior Housing for Same-Sex Couples. Equal Rights Center/SAGE. 2014. May 28, 2014
2. Rainbow-Hued Housing for Gays in Golden Years by Michael Winerip. NY Times. Posted March 12, 2014. May 28, 2014
3. Gay seniors get an affordable home of their own by Drew Katchen. MSNBC. May 28, 2014
4. LGBT People: Our Longing for Home, Our Right to Housing by Robert Espinoza, Huffington Post. May 28, 2014