PGN Special Edition Coverage

When I was younger, I was frightened by the question, “Are you gay or are you straight?” I would respond by asking that person to rephrase that question without the attached labels. So in other words, I would prefer to be asked if I like males or females. Saying that brings less confusion for me because, in some ways, I am both gay and straight, and I believe that it is the same for many other people as well. This can happen when someone’s sexual orientation or sexual attraction does not match their romantic orientation or romantic attraction.

I remember so clearly putting on my favorite jean jacket to match a pair of my favorite jeans for the next photo I’d anticipated taking. Flashback to me in this well-known industry photographer’s dressing room with pride — ready to be myself, and wear what felt comfortable to get out in the acting market and sell my brand — only for the kind-hearted photographer to break it to me that I had to remove the jacket because it looked “too gay.”

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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