Friday, November 07, 2014

Home Sweet Home… Not

As the LGBT population grows older many of us wonder about how we will be treated in senior housing, nursing homes, and senior centers. Many were pioneers in the LGBT movement and are now finding that their activist days are not over.
LGBT senior housing: Pride amid much prejudice
Yakima Herald
By Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, The Washington Post

PHILADELPHIA — The suspicious questions and puzzled looks started as soon as Sidney Meyers, 74, put in his applications to live in a sun-dappled Florida retirement community. Was he ever married? Why not? No children? No grandchildren!?

It was challenging to find a place to live, because the residents and landlords all knew he was gay, he said. Would he be having “guests?” several asked, often with raised eyebrows.
But today, after deciding that several other communities in Florida weren’t for him, Meyers has found a home where he can be proud of his life. He lives in the John C. Anderson apartments, a six-story building that opened recently in Center City here and caters to low-income LGBT seniors, many of them pioneers of the gay rights movement.

The project, affectionately called “the gay-dy shady acres” by residents, is being hailed as a model for similar federally backed housing projects in the District of Columbia and more than a dozen other cities across the country.
There have been much talk about LGBT housing, does it create a “Gay Getto?” both sides of the argument have merit. I can see it as form of segregation where it will isolate us from the non-LGBT population and the landlords don’t have to worry about discrimination law suits. The “problem” of a trans-person moving in next door is eliminated if we stick them all in the same apartment building.

But on the other hand by being with people who are the same as us we don’t have to worry about the neighbors think, we don’t have to put up with “suspicious questions and puzzled looks.” It also increases the chances of finding a partner; you don’t need “gaydar” because everyone there is gay, lesbian, bi, or trans.

The article goes on to say that HUD has received over 150 discrimination complaints just since last year. Here is Connecticut there is a law suit against a landlord who refused to rent to a trans-women. The article says,
In the coming months, federal officials said they plan to dispatch the first LGBT “fair housing testers” across the country, modeled after testers who have traditionally posed as prospective tenants to see whether there is racial discrimination.

While the government has long brought cases against housing discrimination on the basis of race and religion, federal officials say sexual orientation and gender identity are the new front lines.
So what do you think, is it a form of discrimination?

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