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social sciences

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Seniors' Resources  
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Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (OLOC) is a national organization for lesbians aged sixty and up. Its regional chapters meet to explore opportunities for older lesbians to work together in the fight against ageism, and its steering committee meets semi-annually to assist both old and new chapters. OLOC conducts workshops, publishes a quarterly newsletter, distributes its own educational handbook on confronting ageism, and holds semi-regular national gatherings.

Legal advocacy is crucial for glbtq seniors, and programs such as The National Center for Lesbian Rights' Elder Law Project provide free legal clinics and forums for glbtq elders, along with educational presentations and publications. The Elder Law Project also works to assess the needs of glbtq older people, advocates for anti-discrimination measures, and collaborates with other community and mainstream elder service providers.

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Although Lambda Legal Defense, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, and the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association do not have specific elder law programs in place, all can be of help with glbtq seniors' legal issues. In 2000, Lambda Legal, in collaboration with SAGE, published a particularly salient guide entitled "When You're Gay and Gray: Planning Ahead and Fighting Discrimination." It stresses the importance of legal provisions such as powers of attorney, health care proxies, and living wills for older glbtq adults.

Social services and Socialization

Social groups such as Prime Timers, an international organization intended for "mature" gay and bisexual men and those who admire them, provide much-needed networking and socialization opportunities for older glbtq adults. With a total of over fifty chapters meeting throughout North America, Europe, and Australia, Prime Timers is probably the most visible organization of this kind.

Another group, Golden Threads, issues a quarterly contact publication that serves as an international pen-pal network for lesbians. Though it is open to women of all ages, it was specifically founded to allay the isolation that lesbians over the age of fifty may experience. Golden Threads also hosts an annual celebration in Provincetown, Massachusetts each summer, featuring several days of entertainment, music, and other social activities.

Numerous local organizations provide similar social activities and networking. These include Griot Circle in Brooklyn; Lavender Seniors of the East Bay in San Leandro, California; Gay and Lesbian Elders Active in Minnesota (GLEAM) in Minneapolis; Rainbow Train in Seattle; the Gray Pride Interagency Task Force on Gay and Lesbian Aging in Cleveland; and many more.

These are, of course, only a sampling of the organizations available for glbtq elders. In addition, some organizations serving the general population of seniors have also integrated glbtq-specific programs into their menu of services. As the older population continues to expand, programs directed at glbtq seniors will likely continue to proliferate.

Teresa Theophano

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social sciences >> Overview:  Ageism

Discrimination on the basis of age is a serious problem in most demographic groups, including the glbtq communities.

social sciences >> Overview:  Aging

While research shows that glbtq people do not differ significantly from their heterosexual counterparts in adjusting to the process of aging, they do face particular challenges.

social sciences >> Overview:  Disability Issues

Disabled queers not only face physical obstacles and the prejudices of the larger society, but also sometimes feel marginalized and isolated within the glbtq community.

social sciences >> Overview:  Grief Resources

There are many excellent resources, both general and specifically tailored for glbtq individuals, which can assist in the process of healing after a bereavement or other major loss.

social sciences >> Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)

New England's leading legal organization dedicated to equal justice for glbtq individuals and families, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) provides litigation, advocacy, and educational work in all areas of glbtq civil rights.

social sciences >> Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is a watchdog group dedicated to promoting accurate representations of the glbtq community in the media.

social sciences >> National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF)

The oldest continuously operating national glbtq interest group, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has played a significant role in the development of the glbtq movement for equal rights.

social sciences >> National Center for Lesbian Rights

Founded in 1977 as the Lesbian Rights Project, the National Center for Lesbian Rights is a public interest law firm committed to advancing the civil and human rights of glbtq people through litigation, advocacy, and education.


Gay and Lesbian Association of Retiring Persons, Inc. web site:

Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network of the American Society on Aging web site:

National Center for Lesbian Rights web site:

Old Lesbians Organizing for Change web site:

Pride Senior Network web site:

Prime Timers Worldwide web site:

SAGE web site:


    Citation Information
    Author: Theophano, Teresa  
    Entry Title: Seniors' Resources  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2004  
    Date Last Updated December 31, 2004  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc.  


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