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Anderson Apartments assault and robbery victim tells his story

Anderson Apartments assault and robbery victim tells his story

Lenny Cohen    April 16, 2019

“Now the only thing I feel about Philadelphia is it’s not safe.” Those are the words of the longtime city man who was reported to have been attacked, sexually assaulted and...

Mark My Words

History comes full circle

Mark Segal    April 18, 2019

Last Sunday as I sat on my couch watching TV, I found myself in tears. A man I have never met, a very out gay man, was live on CNN...

Latest News

One less hurdle for crime victims’ rights in PA

Regional

One less hurdle for crime victims’ rights in PA

Tim Cwiek    April 18, 2019

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has approved legislation that would amend the state constitution to include specific protections for crime victims and their families. The initiative was approved April 8 in...

Court strips ex-judge of  law license

Local

Court strips ex-judge of law license

Tim Cwiek    April 18, 2019

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week ordered the suspension of Dawn Segal’s law license for one year and a day. Segal, an open lesbian, served as a municipal-court judge in Philadelphia for...

Silent, no more: GLSEN comes to Philly

Local

Silent, no more: GLSEN comes to Philly

A.D. Amorosi    April 18, 2019

At the end of an overcast Friday afternoon, teens with rainbow stickers on their cheeks, advocate mothers with ‘X’s painted across their lips, city and state representatives filled with anger...

Bullied fifth-grader takes own life

Local

Bullied fifth-grader takes own life

Josh Middleton    April 18, 2019

 A family in Southwest Philadelphia is mourning the loss of an 11-year-old who they say died by suicide after he and his brother faced constant bullying at their school. Phillip Spruill...

Media Trail: April 19-25, 2019

National

Media Trail: April 19-25, 2019

Larry Nichols    April 17, 2019

Morehouse College to take transgender students CNN reports the country’s only all-male historically black college will begin admitting transgender men next year. The move marks a major shift for Morehouse College at...

Oxford University to rethink degree given to Brunei sultan

International

Oxford University to rethink degree given to Brunei sultan

Larry Nichols    April 11, 2019

The University of Oxford says it will reconsider an honorary degree it awarded the Sultan of Brunei following the outcry over new Islamic laws that punish gay sex and adultery...

Canadian man claims Marshalls store fired him because of his sexuality

International

Canadian man claims Marshalls store fired him because of his sexuality

Larry Nichols    April 11, 2019

A gay man from Oshawa, Ontario in Canada claimed that he was fired from his job in retail chain Marshalls because they “didn’t like” him and were looking for a...

Vatican receives lawyers opposed to criminalization of gays

International

Vatican receives lawyers opposed to criminalization of gays

Larry Nichols    April 11, 2019

A group of international lawyers researching the criminalization of homosexuality has met with the Vatican secretary of state and urged the Holy See to publicly oppose such laws and “conversion”...

Vintage whine: Life as an LGBTQ senior

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Suz and I collect things. We’ve been together now for almost 25 years, and we’ve collected seven kids, five grandkids, three ex-husbands, two heart attacks, five different cancers and one doozy of a concussion. Now, with me in my late 60s and Suz in her mid-70s, we found ourselves to be still madly in love, but also worn out, impoverished and physically unable to carry on with what was left of our jobs. Believe it or not, we landed on our feet.

We were on the waiting list for the John C. Anderson Apartments (LGBT friendly) in downtown Philly; so, in our desperation, we knocked on the door to check our status. At this point, we were unable to pay the rent on our old apartment, so we were being aided by a cancer charity to temporarily help cover some bills. Suz was still very ill from recent chemo, surgery and recurrent infections, plus unsteady on her feet and hard of hearing from the concussion. Me, I was paranoid that, with all the stress, caregiving and work, I was surely due for another heart attack. I mean, with all that was going on, why the hell not?

By some miracle, our subsidized apartment was soon available, and on May 1, 2017, we moved in. Now we would actually be able to survive on our social security. For the first time in years, we could breathe. With the help of the social worker, we were able to navigate our way to accessing benefits. Then we discovered local perks, like free bus rides for seniors. Ed Miller, our liaison with William Way, helps us with van trips to local super markets, and hosts festive get-togethers.

As Suz started feeling better, we decided to celebrate our new home and neighbors — now friends — by paying it forward and doing what we love: writing and socializing. In that vein, we started a newsletter and a writers’ group. Our next goal is to help create a resident handbook that will contain pertinent information, plus contact and emergency numbers.

So many LGBT folks our age, even here at JCAA, feel isolated and ignored, and don’t have someone to talk to over a cup of coffee. Sometimes, they’re just too tired or sick or disabled or depressed to advocate for themselves. Most residents live alone. We’re all “of an age,” and many of us are LGBTQ, but there’s no policy that binds us together as a community. We must do that for ourselves. And we’re the lucky ones. JCAA is still one of very few places in the country that openly welcomes us, and Mark Segal, publisher of Philadelphia Gay News, fought hard to make that happen.

Suz and I were invited guests at Pennsylvania’s first LGBTQ Aging Summit in Harrisburg in October, and we realized that we’re not alone in our desire to help our community. No, a whole movement is afoot! A ballroom full of caring folks spent a lot of time and effort identifying our needs and making plans to implement solutions. As representatives of the target community, we were honored, heard and taken seriously.

Now we see that there’s a unified effort to reach out and provide services and care for our queer seniors. There’s also an effort to ensure we’re welcome and respected in ALL senior facilities, with policies put in place that will ensure our safety and well-being. Our pioneers are now being acknowledged by new pioneers who see us, listen to us and care. And, right here in Philly, the LGBT Elder Initiative is carrying the torch forward. The future of out and proud seniors is looking much brighter.


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