As pioneers of the LGBT community gracefully age, they bravely face the challenges that come with the passage of time. Yet, a cloud of worry and unease hovers over these trailblazers, some even retreating back into the shadows after a lifetime of fighting for equality. The golden years present their own set of unique trials for LGBT seniors compared to their heterosexual, cisgender contemporaries.

Having grappled with concealing their true selves in the face of prejudice and discrimination, these LGBT seniors also find themselves without a conventional family support system. This makes them all the more dependent on aging services. However, apprehension arises when accessing these options as they often fall short in their understanding and resources to offer compassionate and tailored care to our LGBT elders. Such circumstances pave the way for amplified risk of social isolation and associated health disparities among this cherished community.

June marks the celebration of Pride Month, and here are some important ways to honor and support our cherished San Diego LGBT seniors throughout the year while acting as caregivers:

  • Build trust with LGBT older adults by communicating better and understanding their unique experiences.
  • Look into LGBT health guidelines and best practices at SAGE National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging.
  • Suggest SAGE LGBTQ+ Elder Hotline and The San Diego LGBT Center for support or crisis help.
  • Be patient with seniors who may struggle to discuss their past due to discrimination.
  • Use the language chosen by the LGBT senior for themselves.
  • Maintain privacy and only share personal stories with permission.