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Oct. 27 film screening and panel discussion to focus on LGBT elders

By Yaneli Smith, MSW Student

The Social Work Student Organization (SoWoSO)’s Aging caucus along with the LGBT caucus are hosting an event on Monday, Oct. 27, from noon-1:45 p.m. in room 102 at the School of Social Work. We will be screening the movie “Gen Silent,” followed by a panel discussion of elderly LGBT community members.

Gen Silent is an informational film that not only talks about the elderly LGBT having to go back into the closet for their own safety, but also about the importance of caring for a loved one in a time when there are few services to assist these couples and individuals. Some never had children, and when they came out to their family members regarding their sexuality whether it be gay, lesbian or transgendered, they were ostracized and left all alone. Now that they are in their elderly age and their health is failing them, they are fighting the same battles as when they first came out, only now they are doing it with facilities, insurance companies and fighting to care for their partners when their health is also declining.

Our hope is to unveil this knowledge in order to better inform individuals who can then advocate for change to this population. We hope that the panel members feel empowered by sharing their personal stories and in knowing that they are inspiring individuals who can then make changes that will impact future generations. We also hope to grow interest in the geriatric population as this group continues to expand and will be in need of services from social workers.

Everyone is welcome to attend.