How about our older gay generation? It’s almost like they are forgotten and ignored.

When was the last time you saw a safe-sex campaign aimed at older gay men?

Clearly I am not the only person thinking about this important topic, given the recent press.

As noted by The Florida Times:

“ ‘The pressure of being gay and elderly is enough to drive some people back into the closet’, said Stu Maddux, producer of a documentary on the topic.

“ ‘The bullies that were there at the beginning of your life, we’ve found that they’re waiting for you near the end of it too,’ he said. ‘And this time you can’t run very fast.’ ”
Discussing life in a nursing home elderly lesbian Vicki Wengrow goes on to say:

“ ‘You can feel pretty alone if you let it get to you’, said Vicki Wengrow, a one-time English instructor at area colleges and a massage therapist for 33 years.

“She was 29 when she came out as a lesbian in 1972. She was a married mother who had become an enthusiastic member in Jacksonville of the women’s liberation movement, which made that announcement much easier, she said with a laugh.

“She’s 69 now, living in a retirement community in Riverside. She’s had a few nasty phone calls, some insensitive comments, she said. But she’s also found acceptance, even from some of her most conservative, religious acquaintances there.

“Many people know of her sexuality, she said, and most try to be understanding. She doesn’t have a partner, which makes it easier.

“ ‘It’s not like I’m quote-unquote flaunting it,’ Wengrow said. ‘As a couple of people here said, As long as you don’t flaunt it.’ ”

In a similar theme, documentary “Gen Silent” international filmmaker Christopher Banks has explored this topic with his tender film The Colonel’s Outing.

Living with an ageing gay population, I have to ask, are we ready to support and care for our brothers and sisters? Or will gay men and women continue to fade into the background.

What can we do to support our ageing population? Does the vibrant rainbow flag have to fade to boring beige?

INFO: Read more at www.thehealthybear.com

By DR GEORGE FORGAN-SMITH

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