An Ally’s Call To Action: The LGBTQ+ Elders with (Dis)abilities Demands Collective Liberation

In a world that often dismisses and marginalizes those who defy the narrow confines of “white, cis, straight, male, able-bodied” norms, the LGBTQ+ community living with disabilities faces an arduous uphill journey toward recognition, meaningful support, and equitable access to quality care. The statistics are sobering: a staggering 36% of LGBTQ+ adults self-reported having a disability, a significantly higher percentage compared to 24% of their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts. Yet, this richly diverse community – a kaleidoscope of identities, experiences, and resilience – frequently finds itself lacking reliable support systems to navigate the compounding challenges they encounter.

Terri Wilder, a tireless HIV/Aging Policy Advocate with Sage Advocacy & Services for LGBTQ+ Elders, bears witness to these harsh realities. “If one thing goes wrong in terms of my income, if they go up on my rent, even a couple of dollars, I’m that close to being homeless because I’m so sick I can’t work,” she shares, recounting the precarious situation of a trans man she knows in Minneapolis. Diagnosed with the debilitating Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), he relies heavily on a fragile patchwork of public assistance programs – a lifeline that could unravel at any moment, leaving him on the brink of homelessness. […]

Click here to read to the full piece. This story was originally published by Lavender Magazine on March 21, 2024.