The study of LGBT aging is in its infancy. In the absence of federal data on this often hidden population, community groups and organizations from across the country have taken it upon themselves to understand and assess the needs of this first cohort to reach later life in a time of LGBT public consciousness.
Eight papers are included in this compilation: three from the east coast (Boston, New York, and Washington, DC), four from the Midwest (Chicago, Bowling Green and surrounding areas, St. Louis, and the twin cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul), and one from the west coast (Palm Springs area). Together, these reports provide a community-based and regionally nuanced image of the strengths of, and the challenges faced by, older LGBT persons—local snapshots that together form a partial tapestry of LGBT aging in the U.S. They also serve as a source of lessons learned in the field—efforts that may be seen to parallel those undertaken by LGBT communities, then forming, during the 1980s and 1990s to address the growing health crisis of HIV/AIDS, a time when formal responses were slow and treatments still being developed. As such, the voice of the communities represented herein—the voices of these older adults—is clear, strong and apparent.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Homosexuality.