Friday, September 11, 2015

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Asexual (LGBTA) Aging (Research, Video 1:45)

For many older adults who are LGBTA, life now can be horrendous living in communities where they are excluded and harassed in long-term care, assisted living, and in receiving home care from healthcare workers. Consider how many of them feel when they depend daily on bigoted caregivers who resent their presence. Imagine being isolated socially by fellow residents regularly or only being included when they hide a major part of their identity. Either way, damage to their emotional and physical health has been so devastating that some LGBTA residents have resorted to suicide, just as some teens have done. But are these matters improving? Does it really get better?  Can LGBTA teens seriously look forward to futures where their lives are improved as older adults? 

The “It Gets Better Project,” is a suicide prevention video project and website to give hope to young people being bullied due to sexual orientation issues. Teens are told that high school and its bullies will not last forever. They are encouraged to look forward to happier futures because things will get better. Will they really? 

This is what the research about an adolescent sexual orientation study reports. This study included a racially-ethnically diverse sample of 231 LGBTQ (Q for Queers) adolescents aged 16-20 years over 3.5 years. While early experiences of stress did impact their mental health, both psychological distress and victimization decreased across adolescence and into early adulthood.” Yes, it really did get better.

In this video, Ellen Degeneres speaks out about the tragic suicides among teenagers due to gay bullying. Hopefully, more people's minds will change. She says things do get better, and young people deserve to have better lives when they become older adults.

 Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

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