Apr 4, 2011

THE OPPRESSION OF SEXUAL MINORITIES WARPS LIVES: ¨...older gay men and lesbians came of age at a time when homophobia and discrimination were much more toxic and pervasive...¨

NYC - West Village: Christopher Park - Gay Liberation*
¨Older lesbian, gay and bisexual adults in California are more likely to suffer from chronic physical and mental health problems than their heterosexual counterparts, a new analysis has found. They also are less likely to have live-in partners or adult children who can help care for them.¨ HERE

Older Gays and Lesbians More Likely to Live Alone, More Likely to Have Health Problems

Now maybe the problem is that "gay culture tends to be youth-driven," as one of the researchers theorizes, because you know gay men are crazy for hot college boys. Or it could be that older gay men and lesbians came of age at a time when homophobia and discrimination were much more toxic and pervasive, when there was no support whatsoever—no marriage rights, no domestic partnership benefits—for same-sex couples, when our families-of-origin were much more likely to be extremely hostile, and when it was much more difficult for out gay men and lesbians to start their own families (we couldn't adopt, undergo artificial insemination, hire surrogates, etc.). And childless gay men and lesbians who were cast out or cut off by families-of-origin decades ago are less likely to know, much less have relationships with, the same nieces, nephews, and cousins that their older, single, childless straight relatives rely on for support. And in the case of gay men over 50, it could be that they lost many of their peers, friends, lovers, and partners to a deadly epidemic.

In short, there are a lot of reasons why the first generation of gays and lesbians to live openly might not have the same kind of support in old age that their straight peers do. Blaming the fact that gay people, like straight people, find the young and hot to be young and hot shifts the blame.

The oppression of sexual minorities warps lives.¨ HERE

* In 1979, pop sculptor George Segal was commissioned by the Mildred Andrews Fund, a private Cleveland-based foundation that supports public art, to create a work that would commemorate New York City's Stonewall Rebellion, the 1969 riot that marks the beginning of the modern gay liberation movement. The result was the first piece of public art commemorating the struggle of GLBTG people for equality, predating Amsterdam's "Homomonument" by some seven years. HERE

·  Thanks to Dan Savage
·  Thanks to SLOG, sidebar
·  Thanks to The Stranger, sidebar
·  Thanks to The New York Times, sidebar
·  Thanks to Roni Caryn Rabin
·  Thanks to Flickr Photo Sharing, Wally Gobetz
·  Thanks to George Segal
·  Thanks to Mildred Andrews Fund, Cleveland

1 comment:

Josh said...

You're right, and it's good of you to point out the bias in that NYT story, which was really not much more than a headline. But I would add one point to those you made: the toxic influence of internalized homophobia and self-oppression. It's what we learned growing up, a whole constellation of negative attitudes; and while the rational adult mind learned to reject anti-Gay stereotypes as untrue and vicious, it retained the emotional lessons of childhood, from age 8 and 10 and 12.

It takes a lifetime of thinking and feeling, and a very strong personality, to overcome child abuse. It can be done, just as age can bring wisdom, but for most of us it isn't easy.

Many of the disorders the article refers to are to some degree self-inflicted - which was always part of the deadly programming. Then they blamed us for having symptoms!

But living well is the best revenge, and the surest route to healing is forgiveness.