Please make time to watch Gen Silent. The producers of this LGBT Aging documentary have made it available free for home streaming through New Years Day 2014.
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender older people who fought the first battles for equality now face so much fear of discrimination, bullying and abuse that many are hiding their lives to survive. Thousands are dying earlier than their straight counterparts because they are isolated and afraid to ask for help. But a growing number of people are fighting to keep
LGBT aging from meaning aging in silence.
“LGBT elders are going back in the closet.”
“In the first nursing home, we weren’t welcomed there as a gay couple.”
“They [caregivers] didn’t want to touch my body.”
“You just know when they don’t want you there. When you feel they don’t want you, you’re in a state of stress.”
“All I can do is sit in shadows, holding his tissue-paper hand, watching him breathe.”
These are comments from LGBT elders speaking out about the prejudice, hostility, and fear they face. No, not just when they were young, but now — in long-term care facilities, from caregivers, and from medical providers.
KrysAnne, a transgender woman, is living alone at the end of her life. “Most people who transition expect losses, but I didn’t expect to lose everyone,” she says. “For two years, I desperately tried to connect with my family. In some cases the letters weren’t even opened.”
One letter that was returned contained the message, “So glad someone finally took off your balls. What do you call yourself now. FREAK or IT??”
I am permitted to embed the trailer:
After you watch the film, I hope you’ll contribute your comments. (By posting here, you’re giving me permission to use excerpts from your comments in my new book, The Ultimate Guide to Sex after Fifty, without identifying you in any way.)
I hope Wolke 9 (Cloud 9) comes to a movie theater near me soon. It’s a German film about a wild sexual affair between Inge, a married woman in her sixties, and Karl, a 74-year-old man who hires Inge to tailor his trousers and then seduces her on the living room floor. Inge also has less passionate sex with her husband of 30 years in the film.
From the photos I’ve seen, the cast is quite ordinary looking — no face-lifts, liposuction, or dashing looks here — and I find this refreshing. Imagine, realistic, illicit sexual romping with wrinkles, sags, and cellulite! You can tell we’re not in Hollywood.
“Of course it was important to me to show that old people don’t just go on bus tours and boat cruises and buy warm blankets,” director Andreas Dresen told a German newspaper. No need for warm blankets in this film, from the sizzling reviewsI’ve read!
Read more about Wolke 9 here, and if you’ve seen it, please post a comment. Does the film have emotional depth?
9/12/08 update: Here’s another interesting review from ABC News in Australia. The reviewer says, in part,
The rare, liver spots-and-all depiction of elderly lovers in the first blush of infatuation has electrified German critics and drawn blanket coverage in the country’s culture pages.
What is sensational about the film is that it features on-top-of-the-covers sex between a sexagenarian grandmother and the 76-year-old object of her affection, as well as between the woman and her husband of 30 years.