I've heard that "black don't crack," but did you know that gay doesn't gray? Well, according to The Family Research Council, that's the case. I wish someone would tell my increasingly numerous silvery locks that tidbit. Tony Perkins, of TFRC, posits that since the gay "movement is only a few decades old," there are no elderly homosexuals running around. He says this is because the people who are of the 80+ age range grew up without acceptance of homosexuality, they would not have identified with this lifestyle. Yep, that's what he says. Read it. But if acceptance of homosexuality was the determining factor, I never would have come out, nor would I be happily married today to the Wifester, so I don't see how this theory can possibly hold any validity. Not to mention the fact that it hinges on the idea that homosexuality is only a "few decades old." Really? I mean, come on. That bible those people like to thump in our faces and quote hateful, intolerant propaganda regarding homosexuality from is just a little bit more than a few decades old, so there goes that line of bull shit that TFRC is spoon feeding their sheeple.
It seems to me that a group whose name invokes the term "research" in its title would see to it that they, oh, I don't know, actually did some RESEARCH before making such spurious claims, but that's just me. While they are at it, they can fact check their other statement, "In reality, HHS has no idea how many LGBT seniors exist. No one does!" While that may be partially accurate, because true enough some people will still not identify themselves as gay/lesbian on a census and other questionnaires out of fear of discrimination from people like these tools at the Family Research Council, a great number are actually quite happy to identify themselves as gay/lesbian or in a committed relationship with a partner of the same sex. As a matter of fact, there are enough gay and lesbian elderly people that we now have gay/lesbian nursing homes available. The fact is, we're here, we're queer, and a great many of our population is elderly, get used to it.
The tragedy is not "unnecessary spending," as Tony Perkins and TFRC would have you believe, but quite the opposite. In fact, gay and lesbian specific health issues are one of the least studied, least focused on issues in the health care world. Lesbians have an increased risk for cervical cancer, one of the most deadly. Why? Because we often forgo pap smears just because we are not sexually active with men, or because often we are intimidated to tell a physician that we are lesbians, and face possible discrimination and judgment. Sure, AIDS gets a lot of attention now, but what people like this idiot neglect when they make statements like, "…given the risks of homosexual conduct, these people are less likely to live long enough to become senior citizens!" is that according to the CDC, researchers found that poverty was the most important demographic factor associated with HIV infection in inner-city heterosexuals. The lower the socioeconomic status, the higher the number of HIV cases. People whose household income was less than $10,000 per year are seven times more likely to have HIV than those whose household incomes were greater than $50,000 per year. And guess what? Marketing research has found that gays have about a 15% higher income than their similarly situated heterosexual friends and neighbors. Just sayin'. So, yes, while gay men still are the largest population of HIV/AIDS infected individuals, the fastest growing population is the inner city poor.
Tony Perkins and TFRC would rather see elderly people suffer in silence when a partner of 50+ years passes away. Unable to collect Social Security, unable to cover each other with health insurance, unable in many cases, just to find grief counseling that can help them with their specific situation.
I sure wish gay didn't gray, at least in regards to hair…but in reality, gay is gray, and it's here to stay.