Today’s show is a venture into an area that hasn’t garnered much attention in the main stream media. My guests are Dale Pierce, Cheryl Roberge and Bets McCurley. Ten thousand Americans turn 65 years of age every day, and some of them are members of the LGBT community. That’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender if you weren’t sure of the acronym. How many folks identify as being members of that group? Well, the numbers are difficult to be certain of. However, what is certain is that many of the members of the LGBT community are wrestling with the idea that it might be ‘easier’ for them as they move into an independent living or assisted living community to return to ‘the closet’.
Imagine if you will, to have struggled with the reality that your sexual identity and/or sexual preferences and lifestyle are not readily ‘acceptable’ in society. And then envision the courage and willingness to accept the potential rejection and discrimination that might result when you ‘come out’ to your family and friends. And then, after a lifetime of developing a comfort level of acceptance of yourself and learning to live a proud and productive life, you find that in order to avoid derision and ‘problems’ in an independent or assisted living community, you feel it prudent to return to a life of living a ‘lie’. Wow! As if aging and the challenges it presents aren’t enough to work through.
So this program is important for many reasons. It is worthwhile listening for ‘straight’ persons, both young and old. It is worthwhile listening for those who identify as being part of the LGBT community. It is worthwhile listening then for all persons over the age of reason who are interested in considering the current situation faced by all aging individuals, both ‘gay’ and ‘straight’.
My hope is to do follow up shows with folks from the legal profession to address issues that are faced by life partners who may not be legally married and/or may not be legally entitled to make medical and/or end of life decisions for their loved one.
My mission with Radio 4 the Ages is to improve the quality of life for all of our senior adults (and those who love and care for them) by facilitating their ability to stay informed, involved, active and listened to. That’s why I do this show. I hope you listen to it and consider the possibility that all of God’s children are deserving of love and acceptance. You don’t have to condone a lifestyle to accept that God loves all of His children.