Gay and Lesbian Aging: Research and Future Directions

Gay and Lesbian Aging: Research and Future Directions

Gay and Lesbian Aging: Research and Future Directions

Gay and Lesbian Aging: Research and Future Directions

Synopsis

The year 2003 marked the 30th anniversary of the landmark "declassification" of homosexuality as a disease by the American Psychiatric Association-a watershed in the lives of gays and lesbians in the United States. For the first time in history, a generation of self-identified lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender individuals are approaching retirement. This volume brings to the forefront important issues concerning the health, mental health, and concomitant special social service needs of the gay and lesbian population and emphasizes the need for more research on aging sexual minorities.

Excerpt

The year 2003 marks the 30th anniversary of the landmark “declassification” of homosexuality as a disease by the American Psychiatric Association in 1973—a watershed in the lives of gays and lesbians in the United States. It seems fitting at this time to examine how the generation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people who led this social movement are themselves now moving into midlife and beyond. Moreover, this occasion provides a unique opportunity to examine how the baby boomers and their peers are confronting the prospects and problems of aging in the United States and other countries. We believe that these critical issues in research and policy have only begun to be addressed by gerontology and the social sciences, and we welcome this opportunity to raise a new agenda in research and policy for the 21st century. the authors in this book have considered major theoretical and methodological questions bearing upon the emergence of well-being at midlife and beyond for gay and lesbian seniors, a much ignored population, as Ray Berger (1982) suggested long ago. the book is purposely interdisciplinary; it bring together psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, gerontologists, and health providers who have sought to enter a dialogue with the reader in framing a broad and inclusive gerontology in this new century.

This book follows upon a major research conference in 2001 that was dedicated to gay and lesbian midlife and aging and its inclusion in social gerontology. the reader should know the background of this emphasis. Because of the resources available and the lack of identifiable authorities on bisexuals and transgender people, the editors decided to focus specifically on gay men and lesbians; however, it is vital . . .

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