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LGBTQ Elders go back into the closet to survive

Gen Silent - scheduled release Spring, 2010

Friday, October 16, 2009

LGBTQ Elders go back into the closet to survive

UPDATED TRAILER w NEW MATERIAL for the documentary, Gen Silent, scheduled release Spring, 2010

What would you do to survive if you were old, disabled and ill - afraid of discrimination or abuse?

Gen Silent is the new LGBT documentary from award-winning director and documentary filmmaker Stu Maddux (Bob and Jack's 52-Year Adventure, Trip to Hell and Back) that asks six LGBT seniors if they will hide their lives to survive.

They put a face on what experts in the film call an epidemic: gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender seniors so afraid of discrimination, or worse, in long-term/health care that many go back into the closet. And, their surprising decisions are captured through intimate access to their day-to-day lives over the course of a year in Boston, Massachusetts.

Unlike any previous LGBT film about aging, Gen Silent startlingly discovers how oppression in the years before Stonewall now leaves many elders not just afraid but dangerously isolated. Many of our greatest generation are dying prematurely because they don't ask for help and have too few people in their lives to keep an eye on them.

Gen Silent brings these issues into the open for the first time. The film shows the wide range in quality of paid caregivers --from those who are specifically trained to make LGBT seniors feel safe, to the other end of the spectrum, where LGBT elders face discrimination, neglect or abuse. (Who would have expected caregivers to try to religiously convert these elders at their bedside!)

As we journey through the challenges that these men and women face, we also see reasons for hope as each subject crosses paths with a small but growing group of impassioned professionals trying to wake up the long-term and healthcare industries to their plight.