What is it like getting older when you’re part of the first generation of gay people to live fully out of the closet? And who cares for you as you exit the world? We explore these issues with Laurie Young, aging policy analyst at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Brenda Austin, a retiree in her late sixties, who lives in New York and has been out of the closet since the 1950s.
Gay seniors are twice as likely to age alone and four times less likely to have children than their straight counterparts. Laurie Young says this is particularly challenging in a country like ours, where primary care-giving is provided mostly by children and families. Essentially, if you don't have kids, you worry about who will take care of you and who to put in your will. Brenda Austin is familiar with these issues as she faces a future without a partner and without close family.