What Do We Know About LGBT Elders?

Despite extensive general data on elders and decades of advocacy by LGBT

Activists, only a handful of state and federal demographic and health surveys

collect data on LGBT elders. As a consequence, when seeking data on the

total number of LGBT older adults, their geographical distribution, their health

and economic status, their need for supportive services and other crucial

concerns, we often are forced to draw on qualitative rather than quantitative

data—or must extrapolate from limited samples or research on related groups.

These approaches help to identify many of the basic issues of LGBT aging—

and help to raise important questions which demonstrate that comprehensive,

fully funded research about LGBT elders is needed at the national and state

levels. One thing clear from the limited data at hand: LGBT elders

remain an underserved and highly vulnerable population.

Much of what we currently know about LGBT elders in the United States comes

from the pioneering social science research conducted by a handful of scholars.

 On my show, Beyond 50 Transformation, February 9, 2013, I’ll be talking with a Senior Policy aide, Andrea

Jenkins.  She supports s Elizabeth Glidden of the 8th Ward in Minneapolis. Jenkins, who is a transgender and playwrite,

talks about three key initiatives her office is working on to end gender bias and workplace employment issues.  The show

airs Saturdays at 1pm.

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