Here’s Why Ageism Takes An Especially Heavy Toll on LGBTQ Seniors

Here’s why ageism takes an especially heavy toll on LGBTQ seniors

After a lifetime of discrimination, LGBTQ elders can find their age leads to another kind of bias.

Society’s obsession with youth is hardly a secret. (Just ask any actress over the age of 40.)

But recently released results of a national survey found that the pain that seniors experience from ageism is incredibly broad. For LGBTQ seniors, that effectively doubles the discrimination that they face.

The National Poll on Healthy Aging, conducted by the University of Michigan and sponsored by AARP, asked more than 2,000 adults aged 50 to 80 about their experiences. A shocking 82 percent said that they experienced at least one form of ageism in their day-to-day lives.

The most common form was jokes about aging and older people, along with messages that older adults were unattractive. Nearly half said that they experienced ageism in their interpersonal interactions.

That constant drip of discrimination takes a physical toll. Older adults who reported three or more forms of ageism were less likely to rate their overall physical health as excellent or very good compared to those reporting fewer forms. They were also more likely to have a chronic health condition such as diabetes or heart disease and more likely to report symptoms of depression.

That’s bad news in general, but for LGBTQ seniors, it’s especially bad news. They are more likely to have mental and physical health problems.  That makes them more sensitive to the many forms of ageism, including what may be the most pernicious: internalized ageism.

Like internalized homophobia or transphobia, internalized ageism reinforces stereotypes and erodes self-esteem. Of course, a lifetime of societal discrimination has unfortunately primed many seniors for yet another layer of discrimination.

For gay men, internalized ageism may be an especially difficult burden. A 2015 study of 312 gay men with an average age of 61 found that many felt aging was harder due to the perception that gay men primarily value younger men.

The pain many of these men felt was particularly keen because were survivors of the AIDS pandemic. That disease robbed thousands of their peers of the chance of growing old.

“These men have traversed unparalleled, personally relevant historical changes across their adult lives and have paved the way for younger generations of sexual minorities to live in a time of less institutionalized discrimination,” the study’s authors wrote. “Still, they are subject to feeling socially invisible and depreciated in their later years, especially within the gay male community.”

Changing societal bias is a long process, but that doesn’t mean there are no resources available to help LGBTQ seniors feeling the sting of ageism. Many of them are internal.

The same University of Michigan study that showed how prevalent ageism is also found that a majority of the older adults surveyed had positive attitudes. Nearly nine in ten felt more comfortable with themselves and 80 percent had a strong sense of purpose.

Being connected to others, at any age, is a critical starting point. Social isolation only exacerbates internalized ageism. And LGBTQ seniors can also remind themselves of the tremendous resiliency that has defined their lives, without minimizing the pain that accompanied it. It’s not easy putting aside the stereotypes of aging and the real discrimination that comes with it.

But if any group knows about the benefits of shattering stereotypes, it’s the LGBTQ seniors who paved the way for the sense of equality that so many enjoy today.

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Check out the original story here: LGBTQ Nation.

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ICU Doctor Dies in Husband’s Arms After Fighting on The Covid Frontline

David Hart’s plea is simple following the death of his husband of 28 years: “Wear a mask!”

Hart is mourning the loss of Dr. Joseph Costa, who for months had been battling covid-19 on the front lines as chief of the critical care division at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center. He died on Saturday after contracting the virus himself, reports the Baltimore Sun.

“Those who cared for Joe were his best friends,” Hart told the paper.

In a statement, Mercy Medical Center praised Costa’s commitment to his patients:

“Joe was more than a trusted colleague; he was also a true friend to many. He dedicated his life and career to caring for the sickest patients. And when the global pandemic came down upon us, Joe selflessly continued his work on the front lines — deeply committed to serving our patients and our City during this time of great need.”

Hart added that he “placed his cheek next to Costa’s and held his husband in his arms until he died” — a heartbreaking reminder of the incredibly high stakes of the pandemic.

“I keep thinking, now there is one less ICU doctor to care for pandemic patients in Baltimore,” Hart said. “I get so angry when I see people not wearing masks. It makes me want to take a bar of soap and write on my car’s rearview window that ‘My husband who saved so many lives died of COVID-19. Wear a mask!’”

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Check out the original story here: Queerty.

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A 22-Year-Old Became His City’s First Openly Gay Mayor. Now, He’s Running For Congress

Alex Morse Congress Mayor Massachusetts

Alex Morse became his city’s first openly gay mayor when he was elected almost a decade ago at the age of 22. Now, he’s running for Congress.

Morse was elected mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts after beating an incumbent who was more than three times his age.

Now 31, Morse is facing off against US representative Richard Neal to represent the 1st Congressional District of Massachusetts in Congress.

The gay candidate advocates for Medicare for All, the legalisation of marijuana and wants to see student debts cancelled.

Crucially, he also wants to see the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) defunded.

Gay Democrat Alex Morse said coronavirus has ‘illuminated existing disparities and inequalities’ in American society.

“The pandemic and how it’s manifesting and impacting our communities in many ways just crystallises why I’m running for Congress in the first place and who our federal government should be looking out for and working for,” Morse told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

“I think it’s illuminated already existing disparities and inequalities in our communities that need to be addressed.”

Morse has been interested in politics since he served as the student representative on his district’s school board.

My coming-out process and finding my voice directly tied to my interest in politics and government and advocacy.

While still in school in Holyoke, he came out as gay – and went on to found his school’s gay-straight alliance, organise a school assembly on LGBT+ issues and worked with politicians on sex education policy.

“I was learning at a young age the power of building coalitions, and of working with other young people to amplify our voice together and the impact it makes to have people working together,” he said.

He has an ‘uphill battle’ to win the primary – but he is prepared for any outcome.

“My coming-out process and finding my voice directly tied to my interest in politics and government and advocacy.

“Without those high school experiences, I wouldn’t be as passionate or involved in the work I’m doing today.”

Political analysts claim that Morse has an “uphill battle” to beat his Democrat rival in September’s primary – but he is prepared for any outcome.

He spends his spare time baking, playing tennis, doing yoga, and watching Schitt’s Creek and Queer Eye.

“If this Congress thing doesn’t work out, maybe I’ll just bake more,” he joked.

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Check out the original story here: PinkNews.

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Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

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How Same-Sex Couples Can Strengthen Their Relationships

There is a fallacy that somehow lgbtq+ relationships are different than straight relationships.  But, whether gay, straight, trans or any other combination, when two people come together to date or to get serious, they face the same highs and lows that surface in any relationship.

What exactly does it take to have such a relationship? Listed here are some useful tips that may help you achieve that goal with your partner.

Cultivate compliments

Come up with ways to compliment your partner on a weekly basis. If they look good in those pants, tell them. Don’t keep it to yourself. It’s not a state secret.

Respect your differences

You may be “out” to everyone, but maybe your partner isn’t. So while you are thrilled about bringing your SO to your Aunt Karen’s Sunday cookout, where all of your relatives will get to meet your special someone, your SO might feel nervous about bringing you to a family outing. This is where things can get sticky and why it’s important to respect one another’s process. For couples who are at different points in their journey, it can be frustrating when one person feels invisible or the other feels scared or pressured to come out.  Sit down and share what your differences trigger in one another and see if you can map out steps to support each other during this transitional time. Coming out is a very personal process and while you two might be at different stages in your journey, bring love, respect, and patience to the process.

Seek balance

Another secret to having a healthy gay relationship is striving to achieve a balance between your identity as an individual and as a partner. Either extremes can be unhealthy and can lead to adverse effects like feeling suffocated or out of touch with your social self.

Pick your battles

It can’t always be your way, your not always right, and you don’t always have to have the right answer. Respect each other. It’s better to find a solution that works for both partners. Yes, sometimes that means you don’t always get what you want, and that’s OK.

Define relationship parameters from the get-go

This is an important element for a successful gay relationship because it requires communicating with your partner to make sure you both are seeking the same type of relationship. If one of you needs things to be open and the other is looking for an exclusive arrangement, it is obvious that you two aren’t meant for each other in a romantic sense.  

No matter how much you thought that this man was the one for you, if he doesn’t view relationships in the same way you do, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.  This is a conversation worth renewing every six months or so, because as your relationship evolves, your expectations may as well.  Some gay couples who started out with a premium on monogamy decide, after years together, that opening up the relationship is something they both wish to explore.  Whatever the parameters look like, it is important that you both agree on them together.

Don’t get married just because you can

Stop rushing your man into matrimony. When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, I was just as excited as everyone else. I told myself I needed to shop for husbands instead of boyfriends, but that’s not realistic. Relationships need to time to grow and progress — they’re not just a step towards attaining the “dream.” This is real life; never rush into something you aren’t ready for just because you can.

Institute daily check-ins

Create a few relaxing minutes each day to sit down and check in with each other by taking turns to find out about each other’s day. During this time the focus is on listening to each other rather than responding to each other. One of you talks, the other listens, and then you reverse the process.

Be vulnerable with each other

It’s easy to put up a wall when you don’t feel like you can share the excitement of being in love with your family, friends or co-workers. When you walk into the arms of your love, remind yourself to leave your armor at the door. Let your relationship grow and flourish, by creating the space to be open and vulnerable with each other. So, take a deep breath and enjoy!  And, you may find your wall coming down when you gain strength from your relationship.

Enjoy your relationship sensually and sexually

One key lesson you can learn from successful gay couples is to find ways to show and express your affection toward your partner, both sensually and sexually.

Avoid being clingy

There may be a tendency especially in the beginning days of your love story to want to be with your boyfriend night and day.  This is a common mistake to make and can be the reason that new relationships burn out quickly.  Make sure to leave each other space and breathing room.  Even if it does not come naturally to you, force yourself to go out and participate in the activities you loved before you were a couple.  Your sports, your writing workshop, your volunteer work with the LGBT group—whatever you were involved with prior to meeting Mr. Right, keep on doing it.   It keeps you interesting and will keep your guy interested in you.

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Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

Join a gay dating site where you can meet single guys from any town or city. Rely instead on Gay Dating Solutions to do the work for you! Don’t get fooled by free offers made by other sites. Gay Dating Solutions is offering a FREE 6 month promotion ABSOLUTELY no strings, request for credit card numbers, etc…it is the only site that is truly free to join!

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Hallmark Says It Is In ‘Active Negotiations’ to Include LGBTQ Storylines In Its Holiday Movie Lineup

A representative for the company says that some of the 40 upcoming movies “will include LGBTQ storylines, characters and actors.” After concern that none of the 40 films Hallmark announced as part of its 2020-2021 holiday lineup included an LGBTQ lead, a representative from the company said some of the […]

The post Hallmark Says It Is In ‘Active Negotiations’ to Include LGBTQ Storylines In Its Holiday Movie Lineup appeared first on Gay Men News.

Colorado Becomes 11th US State to Ban ‘Gay and Trans Panic’ Defense

Colorado has become the 11th US state to ban the ‘gay and trans panic’ defense. The controversial legal strategy, which is mostly used in assault or murder cases, allows people to defend themselves by claiming they were driven to violence after discovering their victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. On […]

The post Colorado Becomes 11th US State to Ban ‘Gay and Trans Panic’ Defense appeared first on Gay Men News.

Record Number of LGBT+ People Running for Office in The US, But Queer Lawmakers Are Still ‘Severely Underrepresented’

A record number of LGBT+ people are running for office this year in the US, but campaigners warned that queer lawmakers are still “severely underrepresented”. The LGBTQ Victory Institute, which is “dedicated to elevating openly LGBTQ leaders who can further equality at all levels of government”, released its Out For America […]

The post Record Number of LGBT+ People Running for Office in The US, But Queer Lawmakers Are Still ‘Severely Underrepresented’ appeared first on Gay Men News.

Dead to Me’s Bisexual Storyline Epitomizes ‘Casual Queerness’

Over the years, there have been a lot of television shows with queer characters that have had a profound impact on me. In high school, I came out to my grandma after Santana came out to hers on Glee, and remember telling my dad I liked girls after a conversation between Pretty […]

The post Dead to Me’s Bisexual Storyline Epitomizes ‘Casual Queerness’ appeared first on Gay Men News.

7 Relationship Tips for Gay Couples During Quarantine

Whether you’re holed up together or socially distanced, the coronavirus pandemic is likely making things a little, err, rocky. The stress of living through a pandemic is putting relationships to the test. There’s not a single one of us who isn’t dealing with a tremendous amount of stress right now. Work […]

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These College Track Stars Came Out to Each Other… And Then Fell in Love

This year marks the 50th anniversary since the first pride parade following the 1969 riot at New York City’s Stonewall Inn. Since we’re unable to gather in person this June, Queerty is celebrating pride season with our “Moments of Pride” series. We’re looking back through our archives at stories that have moved […]

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