December 17 — Gays and Lesbians in America have overcome many barriers and achieved more tolerance in many areas of their lives. Society is generally more accepting, workplaces have changed to accommodate domestic partner rights, even the armed forces are less restrictive. But as baby boomer gays and lesbians (LGBTs) begin to retire in large numbers, they are finding that retirement communities are the next frontier.
A recent 3 part article, The Senior Situation, at Gaywired.com profiled the many complex situations that many boomers face as they entire the world of retirement.
The number 1 issue that most gays are finding is that the residents of most existing retirement communities are not quite ready for people who have come out of the closet. A lack of acceptance by residents and sensitivity by employees frequently compromises the retirement experience. Chuck Kerpec, a 30-veteran of the senior living industry writes in Part II that: “Having worked in the industry as long as I have, I wouldn’t be comfortable living in the retirement communities that are available today”. Part III of the series talks about the conflict between younger gays and those of retirement age. David Latina, president of Oakland, Calif.-based Barbary Lane Senior Communities, suggests “many LGBT youngsters haven’t yet stepped up to the plate because the gay community, in general, is ageist”. Barbary Lane is a 46-unit operation that describes itself as “a place where every letter of LGBT can live life to the fullest and love without boundaries”.
For further Reference:
See Topretirements news story on cohousing, including info on Alapine, a lesbian community in northeastern Alabama.