Studies suggest there are generational differences among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender (LGBT) older adults (young-old, middle-old, old-old), and a significant
period involves Stonewall and the Gay Rights Movement. The old-old grew up in a time
where public or private same-sex behaviors could result in being arrested and sent
to prison, and the decision to hide one’s sexual orientation was considered self-protective.
The middle-old came of age in that same repressive environment but witnessed and participated
in Stonewall and the Gay Rights Movement. The young-old reached young adulthood during
the social upheavals of the 1960’s and 1970’s, and witnessed homosexuality be removed
from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Papers suggest that
the young-old and old-old LGBT adults differ in disclosure rates of their sexual and
gender identities, and prevalence of lifetime victimization and discrimination. In
this session, we will examine life before Stonewall and the Gay Rights Movement, review
the social upheavals of the 1960’s and 1970’s, and the impact this period has had
on mental health of older LGBT adults.
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