LGBT seniors at risk of going back in the closet
Members of Windsor's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community want to keep seniors from going back in the closet.
Paulette Kupnicki said some older gays and lesbians keep their sexuality secret when entering nursing homes and communal living centres.
"Help people understand what are the unique needs of the LGBT people in the community as they come into care, as I approach doctors for home support, as I'm aging," said Kupnicki. "I want to stay in my home and I need people to come in."
She's a member of the 50 Plus Pride group, which is leading diversity seminars for local non-profits and care centres about caring for elderly members of their community.
The LGBT community hopes to educate the public on growing old while being gay.
Kupnicki said the efforts are in part inspired by her personal experience.
Forty years after first coming out, Kupnicki said it happened all over again when she and her partner moved into a senior's condominium.
"We were going in there as a couple, but we were mostly going to be in a straight setting and what do we do about that," Kupnicki asked. "How do we come out again to this group of people who are going to be intimately in our lives."
Linda M. Young is a 63-year-old openly gay woman and said she has been fired from three different jobs because of her sexuality.
"Every nasty comment that was ever made to me, every time I was not accepted, all the pain and anguish that I went through is worth it to see that the kids today at 15 years old are saying 'I'm gay,'" said Young.
By the end of November everyone at the region's Alzheimer's society will be trained to properly meet the needs of LGBT seniors, said Kupnicki.