Re­tire­ment hous­ing in­dus­try learns how to help LGBT se­niors

StarMetro Vancouver - - DAILY LIFE - Stacey Burl­ing

Well into a train­ing pro­gram to help a se­nior liv­ing com­mu­nity staff bet­ter un­der­stand LGBT res­i­dents came the part that re­ally ex­plains why so many older peo­ple fear they’ll have to go back in the closet if they move to se­nior hous­ing — his­tory.

Rose Tree Place man­agers were asked to read a three­p­age time­line of be­ing gay in Amer­ica de­vel­oped by SAGE, the ad­vo­cacy or­ga­ni­za­tion for LGBT se­niors be­hind the train­ing.

Many of the Me­dia com­mu­nity’s res­i­dents were born in the 1920s and ’30s, a time when po­lice raided gay bars and the Navy per­se­cuted gay soldiers, when gay men in Nazi con­cen­tra­tion camps wore pink tri­an­gles. In the 1950s, the U.S. banned gay im­mi­grants and the Amer­i­can Psy­chi­atric As­so­ci­a­tion listed ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity as a men­tal dis­or­der. Even now, ac­cep­tance re­mains far from uni­ver­sal.

Tim John­ston, direc­tor of na­tional projects for SAGE, and Mary Beth Far­rell, the mother of a trans­gen­der daugh­ter and direc­tor of risk and cor­po­rate com­pli­ance for Water­mark, Rose Tree’s owner, asked for re­ac­tion.

Get the full story at thes­tar.com/life

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