Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Aging and the LGBT community: Canada and the USA
We've examined the aging of our population this season through our demographics project,SHIFT. A quick recap: By 2036, roughly a quarter of our population will be over the age of 65.
But here's one number we haven't hit on yet ... as many as one million of those seniors will be members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Trans-sexual (LGBT) community. If there's strength in numbers, then those people can look forward to retirement in senior facilities that address their needs, and make them feel at home.
But as of right now, long-term care is a scary place for a lot of LGBT seniors. And that's the focus of today's documentary by The Current's Jennifer Moroz.
Director Carolyn Coal and producers Cynthia Childs, Noam Dromi and Susan Munro followed the journey of seven older adults as they attempted to secure a home inTriangle Square, the US nation's first affordable housing facility for LGBT seniors. The resulting documentary, A Place to Live: The Story of Triangle Square, is a moving portrait of both gay and lesbian seniors on the fringe of our community and the triumph of the opening of this historic building.
A PLACE TO LIVE (USA) "It's a perfect storm of high land value and low median income. We're in the midst of one of the worst housing crises in modern history." So says talking-head Councilman Eric Garcetti in this documentary about the struggle by queer senior citizens to find housing in Los Angeles. The film follows seven elderly gays and lesbians from the time they first hear about the building of a housing complex for senior LGBT folk in early 2006, through the excruciating wait a year later to hear if they've won the lottery for admittance. As the seniors share their stories of illness, poverty and homophobia, they prove themselves heroes and heroines whose humor and resilience are as inspiring as their hardships are heart piercing.
"We have to be strong to stand up and be who we are. This is what the home is about. We are able to be ourselves."
Such a shame that the biases of the community exists in such hurtful ways.