At a recent senior services visioning meeting for the City of Thousand Oaks, our table group came up with our future vision: “A community that provides easy-to-navigate and ongoing support of quality of life throughout the aging process.”

I think about this vision a lot as it pertains to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors.

Today’s LGBT elders are the last generation to have lived their childhood and young adulthood in hiding. They grew up at a time when there was no concept of “coming out” to family and friends because the disclosure could lead to institutionalization. I know this from observational experience.

One high school summer in the early ’70s, I had a job at a private mental health facility doing administrative work with my mom. I remember asking my mother what might be wrong with this nice young man I’d seen around the facility. She told me he was homosexual and his parents placed him in the facility to “fix him.”  Read more –>