Gays.com's resident senior blogger, Martin D. Goodkin, explains why we all should take some time out to appreciate the older sections of the LGBT community; they deserve not to be forgotten. 

 

When was the last time you took a gay senior citizen out for a cup of a coffee? When was the last time you sat and talked to one? When was the last time you acknowledged to a gay senior citizen that you appreciate what they did so that you could enjoy what gay rights you have today?

Most gay senior citizens live in poverty and are not welcome to nursing homes or government-run facilities. Many gay senior citizens do not have health care and are alone because they have lost their lovers, friends and peers. In reality, most gay senior citizens are invisible. 
 

Ten More Good Years
 

I don't usually talk about or review documentaries, but the next time you wanna watch a film, instead of spending money on renting/buying a DVD or ordering a movie from NetFlix that you will forget an hour after you watch it, hire or purchase the film 10 More Good Years. The people featured are the gay people who set the stage for gay marriage. These are the people who marched, fought, petitioned, went to prison in order for gay magazines, newspapers and books to be published and distributed - they even fought the US postal service so you could get The Advocate.

They laid the foundation so that Will & Grace, Queer Eye, and The L Word could be seen on TV and Brokeback Mountain on the movie screen. These are the lesbians who were at the forefront of running to help the gay men with AIDS by setting up health centres and the people who started organizations like The Radical Faeries, The Mattachine Society and the Sisters of of Perpetual Indulgence, so that those who wanted to get married in California could.  These are the same people who are alone and lonely, cast aside just because they are old and, in most cases, poor.
 

 

Take time to learn about senior LGBTers


For those of you in your 20s and 30s, study the history of gay people from the 1930s onwards who have done so much for you so you could live the life you are living today. For those in your 40s who can stand out and proud today, acknowledge the debt you owe them. For those of you in your 50s, let them know you are grateful for their rebellion at Stonewall just when you were reaching maturity.

If you live where there is a gay community centre, go and spend time with a gay senior citizen - take them out for a cup of coffee and some conversation. Instead of buying yourself a $5 latte at Starbucks, get them a box of tea which will bring them many hours of enjoyment. If you rent a DVD, ask them over to watch it with you.

Yes, you owe them for what they have done in the past so you could have what you have today. They are poor and living on what little benefits they get because all they were concerned with was marching, petitioning, striking, having sit-ins, etc., and just working enough to have a roof over their heads and food in their stomach. They were more interested in fighting for a cause - your cause - then accumulating wealth and, consequently, they are suffering today.

Those in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s are part of another great generation and you in your 40s and 50s should know what they sacrificed for you - those in their 20s and 30s owe it to yourself to read their histories - all deserve to acknowledge them. An aside, 10 More Good Years is worth watching to see the twinkle in the eye of one man who says he was kicked out of the service as an 'undesirable' but they were wrong because, "I was always desirable!" 

 


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Guest

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I'm almost 50 and lonely. I would love to have a special woman in my life or even friends would be great. Someone to talk to, have a coffee or meal. Or just watch a movie.

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Guest

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Terrific article. Beautifully written!

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Being prejudiced on old people is like having an early judgment on yourself. That is what it says on the poster next to my desk. I work als a doctor in a nursing home. We have started a special project to improve the care of our lgbt patients. These times I feel lucky to live in The Netherlands. We van build our social progress on their foundations. It is so important, thank you for posting this.

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I saw a 20 something couple kissing in a cocktail bar and nobody paying much attention and it wasn't even a gay venue as such. The feelings were so strong because I couldn't have even contemplated that when I was that old even if I had had the space to find a boyfriend.

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Guest

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love the article. Thnx for being so open.

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I love being 63! I have a pretty good idea what young gays think of me and life after extreme youth because I had typically prejudicial attitudes at that age myself. But I was wrong! Life has gotten better as it goes along. I'm wiser, more open-minded, self-satisfied, strife-free (work for money is a thing of the past because I am retired) and not as driven to get laid. As another older guy once said to me, "I don't do it as often as I used to , but I like it just as much!"

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Brave-Heart

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Ah, Aaron, you are at that awkward age---too young for those who like them old and too old for those who like them young--hang in there you'll soon be at the 'right' age again!

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Kudos, Martin! I think that we so often take for granted the amazing seniors in our lives. They not only paved the way for us, but they were mentors and teachers, who guided us so that we might feel better about ourselves and make better decisions. They were also the ones who usually picked us up when we stumbled or fell. I thank you and everyone else who has played that role. --AJ

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Still so far to go, but one generation had to take the first steps! Good write Martin! -Karen

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MARTIN...WONDERFUL.hITS THE NAIL ON THE HEAD.COULD NOT BE BETTER WRITTEN AND COVERS THE SUBJECT PERFECT.THANK YOU.c

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Martin, that was beautifully put and both Karen and i agree with your sentiments. Take care Steve n Karen Boddey

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Guest

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very nice there.Yes,they should not go back.I often thought about this.Whatever happened to them.

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Guest

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Great article, Martin. Thanks.

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I love Martin's post; we should totally respect the older LGBT generation. We younger guys and gals mainly have it pretty easy now, well, depending on where you live and the laws there of course. I love mixing with people of all ages; why restrict yourself to knowing someone cos of their age? The gay scene should be more open to bringing all sorts of people together; hopefully Gays.com allows this in some way :)

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Aaron_Darkwood

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Interesting article. Having been a member of the Gay Outdoor Club in past years, I have hiked many a hillside with a number of retired gay men, and have chatted on many interesting subjects. In a local cafe i frequent, there are also many who go in there. I am quite happy to chat to anyone, but then I am a 43 year old, and often one of those overlooked by the younger generation.

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