New group ad­dresses is­sues for LGBT se­niors

Rain­bow Roundtable will hold weekly meet­ings at the Roundhouse Com­mu­nity Arts and Recre­ation Cen­tre Health Notes Craig Takeuchi

The Georgia Straight - - Healthy Living -

Ag­ing can be chal­leng­ing in 2

it­self, but as openly LGBT el­ders in­crease in num­ber, more at­ten­tion is turn­ing to­ward how LGBT se­nior cit­i­zens can some­times ex­pe­ri­ence ad­di­tional or unique is­sues that NON–LGBT in­di­vid­u­als may not.

The first few gen­er­a­tions of openly LGBT peo­ple—who fought for the rights and equal­ity that younger gen­er­a­tions are ben­e­fit­ing from today—are now en­ter­ing new ter­ri­tory in in­creas­ing num­bers. Ac­cord­ing to es­ti­mates by the Fraser Health Author­ity and Van­cou­ver Coastal Health, there were ap­prox­i­mately 26,000 LGBT se­niors in the Lower Main­land in 2012.

In some cases, LGBT se­niors feel that they need to go back into the closet when they re­lo­cate to pre­dom­i­nantly het­ero­sex­ual and cis­gen­der care fa­cil­i­ties among other se­niors or care­givers who may be ho­mo­pho­bic, trans­pho­bic, or in­tol­er­ant.

Oth­ers, such as those whose so­cial net­works may have been dev­as­tated by the on­set of the AIDS cri­sis or who have been re­jected by their fam­i­lies and friends, may face so­cial iso­la­tion or lim­ited so­cial cir­cles. In ad­di­tion, many LGBT el­ders may not have chil­dren or part­ners and face the prospect of ag­ing alone.

Still oth­ers, who faced dis­crim­i­na­tion or re­jec­tion while seek­ing em­ploy­ment, may have had lim­ited or min­i­mal in­comes over their life­time, which has an im­pact upon re­tire­ment bud­gets.

How­ever, a new weekly dis­cus­sion and ac­tiv­ity group in Van­cou­ver will help par­tic­i­pants to learn and talk about the is­sues that LGBT el­ders face

(roundhouse.ca/ pro­grams/older-adult/ -

IT’S FI­NALLY OPEN! If you walked, biked, or drove along Nel­son Street in the past few years, you prob­a­bly no­ticed an empty store­front with pa­pers on the win­dows for Heirs Pears, those signs even­tu­ally say­ing things like “Open­ing soon…se­ri­ously!” The spot has opened its doors at last, serv­ing “slow food, fast”. Its con­cept is “hack­able” meals made from eth­i­cally sourced in­gre­di­ents; its goal is to “raise the con­scious­ness of our sys­tems with hu­man and eco­log­i­cal well-be­ing in mind”. That all means high-qual­ity prod­ucts for peo­ple who be­lieve they are what they eat, whether they fol­low a ve­gan, keto, pa­leo, veg­e­tar­ian, or om­ni­vore diet.

A part­ner­ship with Teaja, a global or­ganic tea com­pany, Heirs Pears takes its name from an old English say­ing: “Plant pears for your heirs.” (Pear trees take sev­eral years to ma­ture be­fore they bear fruit; it’s a fit­ting moniker, since Heirs Pears it­self was lit­er­ally years in the mak­ing.)

Sup­pli­ers in­clude the Gluten Free Epi­curean (all sand­wiches are served on gluten-free bread), Hoochy Booch kom­bucha, East Vil­lage Bak­ery, and Pal­let Cof­fee Roast­ers. Menu op­tions are de­li­ciously di­verse: cumi­nand-black-bean salad with kohlrabi, plum, and roasted yam; harissa-spice cod with car­rot, fen­nel, and cured lemon; duck hash with beet greens; tem­peh cab­bage rolls in house-made basil-tomato sauce, and more.

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