Below are some of the frequently asked questions that we encounter as we promote Affirming and Welcoming policies, practices, protocols and programs for LGBTQ+ older adults. If you have a question that you feel should be included please submit them here.
Each letter in the acronym LGBTQIAA represents a separate group of persons within the umbrella terminology related to ones sexual orientation and/or sexual identification. The preferred definitions of each subgroup of LGBTQ+ persons is fluid and based upon the desires of the LGBTQ+ community. We will continue to refine this terminology to be consistent with the most up to date best practice.
Lesbian- emotional, sexual, physical, and identification for woman and towards woman.
Gay -emotional, sexual, physical, and identification for man and towards men. Also still used widely to refer to any same sex relationship.
Bisexual- emotional, sexual, physical, and identification for either men or women towards both men and women.
Transgender -A term used to describe those individuals whose gender identity, gender expression or both is different from cultural expectations based on the gender the person was assigned at birth, and does not imply any specific sexual orientation.
Queer - The term Queer was used in the past as a derogatory term for both Lesbian and Gay persons. Today, Queer is being reclaimed by younger LGBTQIAA persons as a term of empowerment. Queer is defined as a person whose gender expressions, gender identity, or sexual orientation do not conform to dominant expectations or norms, or who refuse to assimilate to such expectations or norms.
Questioning- Questioning means those persons who are exploring or unsure about their own sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
Intersex - Those persons born with ambiguous genitalia and/or sex chromosome deviations from XX or XY types.
Asexual - Persons who do not express sexual attraction to other individuals, regardless of the gender or gender identity or gender expression or appearance of the other person.
Ally- Non LGBTQIA persons, friends, biological or chosen family members, support persons, and any other person who loves and advocates for the LGBTQIAA community.
The term Queer was used in the past as a derogatory term for both Lesbian and Gay persons. Consequently, older adult LGBTQIAA persons and allies assigned the term Questioning to Q to represent those persons who remain unclear about their sexual orientation or identity. Today, Queer is being reclaimed by younger LGBTQIAA persons as a term of empowerment. As, LGBT Senior Housing and Care service is focused on the older adult community, out of deference to them the Q was not included in the company's name. LGBT remains an inclusive acronym to refer to the entire LGBTQIAA community.
Anti-discrimination legislation does not explicitly protect LGBTQ persons in many areas. The 2019 US Congress has introduced the Equality Act of 2019 to address many of the issues where anti discrimination policies fall short. For more read this Times article, Why Federal Laws Don't Explicitly Ban Discrimination Against LGBT Americans.
Anti-discrimination policies focus on what one should not do. It's acts as a Stop Sign.
Affirming and Welcoming policies outline what one can and should do, a Go Sign,
to best serve equitably, the LGBTQIAA community.
Older adults have many challenges that they share, health concerns, feelings of loss and isolation due to retirement, living distance from family members, and the loss of friends or partners are some of them. LGBQIA older adults have additional health, emotional, cultural and environmental challenges that need to be address by providers. The goal is not one of equality but of equity of service.