Today the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote on groundbreaking legislation protecting LGBT seniors who are living in long-term care facilities, whether nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, or other similar housing. This legislation, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and HIV status, is long overdue.
Much has been written about the growing number of older people in this country, as well as the incremental shift in favorable policies and attitudes toward certain segments of the LGBT population. However, less public attention has been placed on how LGBT people experience aging, beginning in midlife all the way through later life.
As we age, each of us will need to ask for support. But if we're LGBT, the type of institutional support we receive will rely largely on questions that have already been asked about us. If we're denied data to craft relevant health interventions, we will perish off-screen in droves, measured only by the shallowest of statistics.