Could This Troubling Practice Affect How Our Parents Are Cared For?

July 29, 2019

Seniors of the Black community face a darker reality than many see. 

While our elders grow increasingly dependent on outside care as their bodies and minds deteriorate, one troubling practice remains.

Black aging members identifying as LGBTQ are more likely to face senior abuse and neglect than other groups.

Despite society’s evolving acceptance of queer and trans individuals, many seniors still recall what life used to be like and worry they will have to once again fight.

Susan Sommer of Lambda Legal reminded the Washington Post that “[Seniors] risked losing employment, losing family, losing friends, and even violence [over their sexual orientation]. They became habituated to a closeted existence.”

So imagine the HORROR of having to lie about who you are and detach from a partner you’ve loved for decades just to protect yourself from caseworkers or caregivers who use lifestyle hatred as justification to make you suffer in the twilight of your life. 

Few can afford expensive LGBTQ-friendly facilities due to lifelong income inequality.

But some do contribute to multi-unit homes where other seniors (queer or not) combat loneliness, medical crises, and elder discrimination together. 

Still, more help is needed. 

It is imperative that we embrace and support Black elders for their wisdom, bravery, and gracious contributions to our world, including those who society still ostracizes out of vengeful spite.

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