Event: Gen Silent documentary
Location: Gender Studies Suite Adams Library
To be honest I was annoyed at the fact we had to go to a social justice event because I don't have any free time during my week outside class, work and service learning but I'm really glad I chose to go see the Gen Silent movie. The movie was overall about the elderly LGBT community. It told stories of a lesbian couple, two gay couples and a transgender women. I was happy to see the lesbian couple was together for as long as they were and made me smile when they rode a bus through a gay pride parade. It really goes to show how they paved the way for people marching through the parades to be where they are today, as they confidently acknowledged as well. It was crazy hearing them talk about how when they were young, being gay was considered a mental disorder and people were actually sent to asylums.
What really got to me was the stories of one of the gay couples and the transgender women. One of the men had been in and out of nursing homes and never got treated the way his partner wanted him to. His relationship was not recognized, they didn't even feel comfortable holding hands inside of the room. The man said he retired at a young age to take care of his lover which made me upset because nobody should have to do that. Every person is entitled to a comfortable and loving environment regardless of who they love.
Another story told which was extremely eye opening was "KrysAnne." She had spent about 40 years of her life as a man, a life of agony and almost lead to suicide twice. After making her transition she lost her entire family, the video even showed photos of mail she had attempted to send out that had horrid replies on it from family members. I'm not one to judge other peoples circumstances but I know if anyone in my family whom I loved was not happy with themselves I would encourage them to pursue what they wanted. What really opened my eyes as well was when a care worker discussed how when asking LGBT elderly people their emergency contacts, they did not have any. That was heartbreaking.
I was able to relate this movie to several texts we have read in class. Obviously Safe Spaces. These people are old, most are sick, some are dying. It's time for their families to put their shit aside and love them for who they are. Everyone deserves to feel 100% safe especially when having to adjust to new living situations. Another text I linked this to is Christensen. One of her main points is that not everyone is the same. Everyone looks, feels, acts differently. If we're so quick to point out Disney princesses aren't that perfect, why are we just as quick to make the same claim against people just wanting to be respected for who they love, in a comfortable setting? Kristof is another author as well. He says "talent is universal, opportunity is not." This is true and sad. LGBT community members deserve the same opportunities straight elderly people do.
I relate to the LGBT community because my sister is a lesbian. It comforts me knowing she will never have these issues but saddens me for all the people that do. The fact I was so in the shadows about the elderly LGBT community goes to show how many other people are as well. I hope that the community can strengthen by more people reaching out to comfort and care for those who need it and have fought their whole lives to earn their freedom. The video informed me of Cafe Emmanuel, a place for seniors to get together and enjoy events. The film is definitely worth the watch.