NY Times: Graying and Gay, Where Will LGBT Seniors Live?

America’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) demographic is growing old along with the rest of the population in their age group, but where they’ll live in retirement is a question that many are struggling to answer, reports the New York Times.

Fortunately, there are some LGBT-friendly retirement communities in the works, including Fountaingrove Lodge in Santa Rosa, Calif.—a $50 million project that will feature independent living and memory care in a continuing care environment.

The project is a sign of the graying of gay America; the first generations to live openly as homosexuals are now older. But gay rights advocates say the project is also a response to a troubling situation: the elderly gay population has struggled to secure stable housing.

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Communities like Fountaingrove are sorely needed, according to Services and Advocacy for G.L.B.T Elders, a group based in New York known as SAGE.

“L.G.B.T. elders often face discrimination when buying or renting a home and may be denied housing, including residency in mainstream retirement communities,” the group said in a November 2011 report.

A spokeswoman for SAGE pointed to several studies that have shown that elderly gays, lesbians and transgendered people are routinely denied housing and treated differently when applying — many even pose as heterosexual to lease or buy. It is common for same-sex couples to be separated when admitted to care facilities, as if they are not related.

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Despite the need for gay-friendly senior housing, some similar retirement communities have struggled, reports the Times, with critics saying they were driven more by activism than sound economics.

Read the full New York Times article here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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