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PA to allow gender designation ‘X’ on driver’s licenses

PA to allow gender designation ‘X’ on driver’s licenses

Victoria Brownworth    July 31, 2019

PennDOT, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will offer a gender designation of X on driver’s licenses beginning in 2020. Erin Waters-Trasatt, Communications Director for PennDOT told PGN that the agency “plans...

Mark My Words

Some Palestinians: Don’t forget to kill …

Mark Segal    August 22, 2019

No matter which side of the Israeli-Palestinian divide you’re on, and there are many, you might ask what is the responsibility of the LGBT community in this debate?

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Media Trail - 8/23/19

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Media Trail - 8/23/19

PGN Staff    August 22, 2019

More than 7,000 U.S. residents now have gender designation “X” on their IDs

Conference for LGBT women physicians and medical students held in Philly

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Conference for LGBT women physicians and medical students held in Philly

Michele Zipkin    August 22, 2019

This year, Philadelphia was home to a conference centering women’s health issues, as well as issues for LGBT physicians and members of the queer community. 

National

DOJ files brief saying trans people can be discriminated against

Victoria Brownworth    August 22, 2019

The Trump administration’s Department of Justice filed a brief August 16 asking the Supreme Court to set a legal precedent allowing employers to fire transgender employees.

Trump rule protects contractors who discriminate against LGBT workers

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Trump rule protects contractors who discriminate against LGBT workers

Victoria Brownworth    August 22, 2019

The Trump administration proposed a rule change on August 14 that would allow government contractors to discriminate against LGBT employees based on a company’s religious beliefs. The Labor Department proposal...

Rutgers study reveals increased depression in pregnant trans men

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Rutgers study reveals increased depression in pregnant trans men

Laura Smythe    August 22, 2019

A lack of gender-affirming knowledge among health care providers and difficulties accessing medical care places pregnant trans men at a higher risk of experiencing depression and avoiding care, a new...

News Analysis: Biden and Buttigieg top donor lists for PA

National

News Analysis: Biden and Buttigieg top donor lists for PA

Victoria Brownworth    August 22, 2019

    In a primary that is increasingly being decided by donors, former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg top the list of candidates with big money...

Out candidate’s name removed from general election ballot

Local

Out candidate’s name removed from general election ballot

Tim Cwiek    August 22, 2019

A Philadelphia judge has disqualified Sherrie Cohen from running for a seat on City Council as an Independent candidate in the general election after having relinquished her primary run as...

Trans  litigant continues push for anonymity

Local

Trans litigant continues push for anonymity

Tim Cwiek    August 22, 2019

A trans woman who’s suing the University of Pennsylvania and its hospital for medical malpractice, wrongful termination and other wrongdoing continues to fight for the right to remain anonymous as a...

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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