Creating Safe Spaces for LGBTQ Older Adults
The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Senior Services department is the first of its kind in the country, developing innovative programming for the LGBTQ older adult community for 20 years. This presentation will discuss the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ older adults and the impacts discrimination has on health, mental health and the aging process. We will look at the most current data from the field providing a general overview of statistics from the Department of Aging and Aging with Pride study.
We will first look at what LGBTQ means and review the most current lexicon used for Gender Identity. We will identify three generations of LGBTQ older adults. Each generation presents a unique set of factors influencing health and mental health disparities. The coming out process can be determined by generational experiences but varies based on individual experiences. We will discuss the Gay Rights movement which pioneered sweeping and massive changes. We will discuss specific markers spanning the last 50 years and the impacts these factors have on mental health including the HIV/AIDS epidemic and Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell in the military. These same men and women now shoulder the responsibility of being the first “out” generation to age facing challenges in housing and nursing care.
These factors can also determine how LGBTQ older adults will respond to traditional institutions. Many LGBTQ older adults have a deep mistrust of healthcare, legal and social services. This training will discuss the challenges and approaches for the social services/legal professional and mental health professional working with LGBTQ older adults and how to develop comprehensive guidelines towards developing a safe-clinical practice in working with this population.
Our speaker, Tripp Mills has over 25 years of experience working primarily with the LGBTQ Community. His career with the community started in San Francisco during the mid-1990’s during the AIDS crisis at Baker Places, Inc. where he worked with people infected with HIV/AIDS. He has served as the Program Director for two non-profit affordable housing developers in the City of Los Angeles, and most recently as the Deputy Director of Senior Services at the Los Angeles LGBT Center since 2014. Tripp’s writings on HIV/AIDS, Affordable Housing and LGBT Seniors have been published in Art & Understanding, The Advocate, EngAge Magazine and Generations. Tripp has traveled through California and other parts of the country as a guest lecturer and presenter on LGBTQ aging issues, affordable housing, HIV/AIDS activism, and coming out. He recently received an appointment to L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s Purposeful Aging Initiative Workgroup. Tripp received his MFA from the Trinity Rep Conservatory in Providence, RI. He is currently writing a memoir based on his friendship with a 96-year-old Holocaust survivor who came out of the closet at the age of 95 .