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With the great advancements in how HIV is managed and the success of antiretroviral therapies, people living with HIV are aging successfully into their elder years. Additionally, mid- and later-life adults are continuing to become newly infected with HIV. According to the latest CDC surveillance data, 48.8 percent of people living with HIV in the Philadelphia metropolitan area are age 50 or over. An additional 24.6 percent are between the ages of 40-49. 

In recent years, when the terms “LGBTQ” and “small business” are discussed in the media, it’s usually in response to a small but vocal minority demanding religious freedom to refuse service to members of the LGBTQ community, and the legal battles that follow. However, perhaps there are more important discussions revolving around business and the LGBTQ community — the power LGBTQ-owned businesses have in furthering equality.

You wake up in the morning and read the paper or browse your Facebook feed, eat breakfast, head to work and come home to sometimes do more work. Or maybe you come home in time to eat dinner and you only have enough time to watch your favorite show followed by getting ready for bed. It is fair to say that we are all busy and it can be difficult to balance our lives enough to include our loved ones, work and play — let alone trying to maintain good health overall.

These three words are the theme of the 16th Annual Philadelphia Trans Health Conference. These words honor the transgender community, which continues overcoming obstacles and moving forward. Some of those obstacles are of a personal nature and may involve self, relationships, families or health. For others, they may be related to age, ability, ethnicity or race. Gender identity and gender expression, along with our diverse individual characteristics, can and often do, call on our reserves of strength and power to preserve as we move forward.

As a child, there were two things I thought were unfathomable and absolutely morally wrong: nuclear war and Nazis. To see both in the news again as real threats to our country sickens and appalls me. But while nuclear war felt like a broad threat against all humanity, Nazism felt more personal. It was hate largely directed against a group — Jews — of which I was part. (It was only later in life that I added “queer” to that list as well.)

The need to belong is primal in human beings. Not belonging, or being in a state of loneliness, is detrimental to our overall well-being. As many people age, they lose partners and friends, which makes them susceptible to being alone. For many LGBT elders who lose a partner or friends, the situation can be even more dire. Without the familial unit that many heterosexual couples share, LGBT elders are often on their own in many situations, with no one to turn to.

September kicks off the fall-travel season — one of the best seasons of the year to take advantage of terrific travel values in great places. With the summertime crowds gone, travel becomes more affordable post-Labor Day. While Provincetown, Mass., is magical any time of the year, fall is a perfect time to visit the LGBT-centric town.

 

While it is becoming increasingly common for LGBTQ couples (and singles) to have actual human children as opposed to just furry ones, it is no less true that, both historically and presently, we queers love our animals as if they are our children. They are our children.            The singular problem with this is that no parent should have to mourn the loss of a child. As pet moms and dads, though, we have no choice. If we’re lucky, we get 10 or 15 years with our babies and then we are forced to say goodbye. Even though we know to expect it, this knowledge does nothing to ease the pain when the time comes.

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