When Danyal Lawson’s husband, gay activist Lou Rispoli, was brutally beaten and lay dying in a New York Hospital last year, there was one thing for which Lawson was profoundly grateful: his husband did not die alone. As he took his last breath, Lawson was by his partner of 32 years’ side, as were 30 beloved friends.
But Lawson and Rispoli’s poetically tragic story stands in contrast to that of too many members of the LGBT community, especially seniors who face or fear discrimination in their final days. That fear is often founded in reality, and can result in those seniors receiving inferior care, delaying the initial effort to seek out care, or feeling the need cover up who they are and whom they love — by referring to a spouse or partner as a friend or sibling, for instance. At the end of their life, many men and women go back in the closet for fear of being mistreated by health care and other professionals. Click here for more information