By Loree Cook-Daniels, Transgender Aging NetworkIntroductionWhen most people think about Lesbians and Gay men, they think about sexuality. After all, it's sexuality -- sexual behavior -- that distinguishes heterosexuals from homosexuals. And since our culture says sexuality is an intensely private activity (particularly for the generations who are currently elders), discussion of Lesbian and Gay male elder issues can seem inappropriate and/or unnecessary, particularly when our goal is to intervene in cases of elder abuse that may have nothing to do with sex.However, the equation of homosexuality exclusively with sexuality does Lesbian and Gay male elders a very grave disservice. It erases two key components of Gay life that have everything to do with how well these elders are served by aging providers in general and by adult protective services in particular: their relationships, and their social, psychological, and legal environment. This article seeks to outline how being a Lesbian, Gay male, or Bisexual elder may impact on that elder's need for -- and willingness to accept assistance from -- adult protective services. It will also discuss some strategies adult protective workers may want to adopt to ease these elders' fears.Lesbian and Gay male elders have been called an "invisible" population (Cruikshank, 1991). If they are invisible, then transgendered elders have been inconceivable. Many adult protective services workers do not even realize such elders exist. This article therefore also explores transgender issues and identity vis-a-vis elder abuse and adult protective services.Unfortunately, due in large measure to our society's still-pervasive social prejudice against and ignorance about sexual orientation and gender minorities, there have been few studies of this population of elders, and virtually no one has examined how this population's culture affects its experience with elder abuse. This paper is thus only a beginning, speculative venture into this realm. It is based primarily on my personal knowledge of Lesbian and Gay male elders and younger transgendered persons and on my discussions with social workers serving older Lesbians and Gay men and with domestic violence specialists serving older women or Lesbians, Gay men, and transgendered persons.....
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Posted by De Sube at 11/11/2009 09:27:00 AM