May 2, 2011

¨A lifetime of employment discrimination means that LGBT older people as a group are poorer and less financially secure than the broader elder populations.¨

¨Nearly every day, I am reminded of the many ways in which LGBT older people are more vulnerable than their heterosexual counterparts.

They have faced historical prejudice that has disrupted their lives and hurt their opportunities to earn a living and save for retirement. A lifetime of employment discrimination means that LGBT older people as a group are poorer and less financially secure than the broader elder populations. It also means that LGBT elders are highly dependent on programs such as Social Security.

Social Security is the single most important financial safety net program for older people and makes the difference between poverty and a living wage retirement for a significant portion of older Americans. It was implemented in 1935 to help those who were either unable to work or find a job by helping to pay for basic costs of living. One of the specific populations targeted for support under the new Act were older people, as they were less likely to find employment as they aged, partly based on workplace discrimination that continues to this day.

But despite its intention to aid the country's most vulnerable, the Social Security Act's parameters have let many LGBT elders slip through the cracks. Despite paying into Social Security just like everybody else, LGBT older people are denied three of its key benefits: the spousal benefit, the survivor benefit and the death benefit...¨
National Resource Center on LGBT Aging

The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging is the country's first and only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and supports offered to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Established in 2010 through a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging provides training, technical assistance and educational resources to aging providers, LGBT organizations and LGBT older adults. The center is led by Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) in partnership with 10 leading organizations from around the country. So that knowledge gets better with age. HERE

I am reminded of the ongoing shameful loss to society because of LGBTI discrimination at most levels of society. 

Imagine the clergy at many provinces of The Anglican Communion who are damned, demonized and cast out and risk total ruin/person injury if discovered to be LGBT-- don´t forget there is only one Gay man and one Lesbian who have reached the level of Bishop at the Anglican Communion (Thanks to TEC) and heterosexual women are in the same, discriminated against, boat too...not only is the World around us failing to have the great benefit of our talented and skilled brothers and sisters in most areas of life BUT there is also a great loss of taxable income (especially since most are single status because of further discrimination) that could have/should have been reaped and added to the ¨community¨ treasury!  The truth is that as long as LGBT people aren´t  recognized as full fledged citizens (and full fledged human beings) we all need PAY the price (in many ways).  Even the blockheaded oppressors of people like me and some of you fail to keep the big mouthed big boys temporarily happy because thieves, cowards, bullies and GREEDSTERS  can´t be happy-- not happy at all, not really, just scared and emotionally and spiritually sick as they lust for more and more of what they think they must have to stay secure in a life that hold few guarantees (for anyone)...addicts feeding off the sad lot of less fortunate, in some ways, fellow human beings.  Leonardo Ricardo

Please don´t be an accomplice to the fascilitating of self-righteous bigots and thieves who insist on living in a world of their own self-righteousness/deceptiveness and fear and hatedriven spiritual pretend.

·  Thanks to Bilerico Project, sidebar
·  Thanks to Michael Adams
·  Thanks to The LGBT Aging Center, sidebar


Brian said...

As I approach 50 and face unknown prospects for continuing in my job (I’m a teacher) due to draconian laws passed by my state legislature I am profoundly concerned about my future.

I try to remember the words of Jesus telling us not to worry, that God provides for His own. As things stand I will have little in the way of a pension and in my state we are prevented by law from collecting Social Security benefits because it is called “double dipping” when public employees accept the benefit.

Perhaps I should have chosen a different occupation than working with poor children of color but I wouldn’t trade that for anything. What I feel now is that all my life I played by the often unfair rules and now even those rules are being changed and the proverbial rug is being pulled out from under me.

I pray for us all.

Leonard said...

Dear Brian,

Thanks for sharing your personal story and concerns--like you, from time to time, I´ve been very concerned about my retirement years (now more than ever before since I´m now living in/enjoying them)-- I lost most of the pension (I still receive about $175) I had as President of a division of a Import company--I was looking forward to that money as my nest-egg part...I suspect really dirty dealing but I simply don´t have the energy or the resources for a lengthy review and claim--I do receive my monthly SS check which is the MOST WONDERFUL THING (of course as a single man for a working lifetime I always paid substantially higher taxes than my heterosexual friends)...but I feel so glad and grateful to FDR and ongoing Democrats who have the welfare of ALL Americans in the forefront of their political thinking/minds.

I have found, as you mentioned, that God does, in fact, provide avenues for keeping me safe as needed, I´m sound and secure to date after living/paying through five nasty eye surgeries last year-- I must say that I don´t know what the future holds for, living from day to day, me but I do know that I´ve had a very privileged and productive life--that, like you and your work, is very rewarding to me-- no one else knows the depth of my joy at being the authentic person that God created me to be...and in my retirement I´m painting again (I was a art major in college) and making a few sales along the way!

Love to you and yours,