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Gen Silent

Tuesday, June 4, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lori Dieckman
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Gen Silent is a 2010 documentary film, directed and produced by Stu Maddux. The documentary follows the lives of six LGBT seniors living in the Boston area who must choose if they will hide their sexuality in order to survive in the long-term health care system. Gen Silent premiered at the Boston LGBT Film Festival.


The documentary highlights and explores the reality that generations of older LGBT people choose to not identify as LGBT as they enter retirement homes and long-term care facilities. This film is one of the inspirations behind Community Justice Initiatives' Elder Mediation Service (EMS) and SPECTRUM's Aging With Pride Committee (both located in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada) to work collaboratively with two older adult housing/service providers to create Gender Sexuality Alliances (similar to school Gay Straight Alliances) within the assisted living residences/service provider spaces. The project is also providing resources and support to these institutions to create LBGTTQ+ inclusive policies and practices within their organizations. 


The vision of this project is that there is housing/services for older adults that is welcoming and anti-oppressive, and that changes will be made on a resident and systems-wide level. Impacts that we hope for our project include that LGBTTQ+ older adults will feel safe disclosing who they are and that non-LGBTTQ+ older adults will be their allies. Other impacts will be that older adult housing/service providers will change policies and practices so that their organization is welcoming and inclusive. 


You are encouraged to watch Gen Silent – the documentary highlights the marginalization and discrimination experienced by LGBTTQ+ older adults' important reality that is often overlooked. And, the documentary tells the story of brave and loving older adults. Let’s be inspired to do something in our own communities to create safe, inclusive, and welcoming homes for LGBTTQ+ older adults.


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