Gay Men, Lesbians Struggle to Find Caregivers and Old-age Facilities That Don’t Discriminate

Older lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, including
those among the first to come out as a political and social force, are
increasingly apprehensive about encountering discrimination as they grow older
and more dependent on strangers for care. An estimated 2 million Americans 50
or older identify as LGBT, with that number expected to double by 2030,
according to the Institute for Multigenerational Health at the University of
Washington. About 15,000 are estimated to live in the Washington metropolitan
region. Those over 65 grew up in what their younger counterparts now see as a
dark age, when doctors viewed homosexuality as a disorder and gay men and
lesbians were sometimes committed to psychiatric wards. “They came of age and
lived through an era when it was particularly dangerous to be out,” said Susan
Sommer, Senior Counsel and Director of Constitutional Litigation at Lambda
Legal, an LGBT advocacy group. “They risked losing employment, losing family,
losing friends, and even violence. They became habituated to a closeted
existence.” Those in their 50s came of age during a more tolerant time.
Nevertheless, anti-LGBT attitudes are still common among people over 50, with
just 50 percent of baby boomers and 47 percent of the Silent Generation saying
they think homosexuality should be accepted by society, according to two Pew
Research Center polls conducted this year. Among Generation X, the number was
63 percent, and among millennials it was 71 percent.

Source/more: Washington Post

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