OP-ED: From Stonewall to Homeless: The Plight of Our Elder LGBT Members
2012 saw a number of momentous victories in LGBT history. We saw another victory for the first president of the United States to campaign openly and often on the issue of LGBT equality. The first out elected U.S. senator, Tammy Baldwin, was sworn into office, along with the largest-ever delegation of out Congress members. And, it's likely that President Obama will nominate the first out cabinet member, as well as introduce a landslide of equality initiatives. Throughout the nation, more openly gay state and city officials were elected than ever before. The Supreme Court agreed to hear debates on marriage equality. Pretty impressive, right? Contrast all this with a conversation I had with Dina, a member of the greater Philadelphia LGBT community. She told me that as she and her partner of 30 years near retirement age, they face the real possibility of homelessness. Both women have worked their whole lives but never made enough to save for retirement. Both volunteered their time caring for those in shelters and hospices but, now that they are in need of the very care they provided, where do they turn?