PGN Special Edition Coverage

LGBT Philadelphia around the time of the first Annual Reminder Day in 1965 was a far cry from the rainbow crosswalks, Pride parades and general outness of the community today.

William Way LGBT Community Center archives curator Bob Skiba helped give PGN an idea of what life was like in the early ’60s and a timeline of important events that led up to the first demonstration in front of Independence Hall.

They came on buses from Washington, D.C., and New York City. They dressed in suits and ties and dresses. They readied cardboard signs that carried messages whose simplicity underscored the journey that lay ahead of them: “Homosexuals should be judged as individuals,” “Gay is good” and “Equal opportunity for all.”

Twenty-five years ago, Congress passed, and President George H. W. Bush signed into law, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The ADA was designed to end discrimination against people with disabilities. The law has been challenged by opponents, interpreted by the courts and revised by Congress to clarify its intent and expand its coverage. Today, it stands as one of the highest forms of civil-rights legislation ever passed for people with disabilities in the United States.

Approximately 75 percent of LGBT older adults live alone. It is important, wherever we live, that we remain connected to others in the community for all types of supports. You have probably had the conversation with friends over the years in which someone suggested, “When we get older, we should buy a big house and all move in together. We can take care of each other.” Well, rather than taking that “radical” step and possibly ruining great friendships, here are some other options to consider.

Twenty-five years old, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) supports people with disabilities by establishing their legal right to fully participate in society. Among the groups that have benefited from the strong protections of the ADA are people living with HIV and AIDS. More than half of the people in the United States who are HIV-positive are over 50 years of age. They often face discrimination based on their age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or HIV status.

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