Gen Silent (Free Showing)
Presented by Cambridge GLBT Commission
June 14, 2012
The Cambridge GLBT Commission and Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services will host a free showing of Gen Silent, the critically acclaimed documentary by Stu Maddux, in the Lecture Hall of the main branch of the city’s public library on Thursday, June 14th at 6:30 p.m. The film follows six Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) elders and their thoughts on and experiences with the health care system, and showcases some of the challenges they encounter and endure as aging GLBT citizens. The film premiered at the Boston LGBT Film Festival in 2010 and has since been shown across the country, attracting the attention of policy makers and health care providers and making viewers and the public aware of the plight of a largely ignored and increasingly at-risk population. “We’ve got a growing epidemic of GLBT elders who are going back into the closet because they fear the people giving them care,” film director Maddux said in an interview with Edge Boston. Maddux was inspired to do the film after completing another film focusing on the long-term relationship of a gay couple. “Doing the film, it became clear seniors have a whole lot of fears and anxieties around some pretty scary issues like social security, survivor benefits, and being able to take care of each other in nursing facilities.” The available data from the few studies that have been conducted on GLBT elders show their fears regarding health care providers and assisted living to be warranted. The National Association of Social Workers found that 50% of Senior Centers in New York have indicated that GLBT seniors would not be welcome if their orientation were known. A report by the American Association of Physicians for Human Rights found 67% of doctors and medical students reported GLBT patients receiving substandard care or being denied care. The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force recently estimated there are currently 3 million GLBT elders in the U.S. and this number is expected to double by 2030. With the projected growth in the GLBT elder population, it becomes even more imperative that policy makers, health care providers, and the public are made aware of these issues facing this vulnerable population. “We feel it is urgent to do everything in our power to help promote and support the GLBT elder population in its struggle to simply receive the care they need while being treated with dignity and respect,” said Aren Stone, Co-Chair of the GLBT Commission. In support of the film and its subject matter, Vice-Mayor Denise Simmons will be present to give remarks and introduce the film. A talkback will follow the screening, with a panel including cast members from the film to field questions. The free screening of Gen Silent will occur on Thursday, June 14th at 6:30 p.m. in the Lecture Hall of the Cambridge Public Library’s Main Branch at 449 Broadway, 617.349.4049. Opening reception with refreshments will begin at 6:00 p.m. Tickets for the screening are free but seats are limited. To RSVP, please go to: http://gensilentcambridge.eventbrite.com or call 617.628.2601 x604. CEU credit is available to registered nurses and social workers for this event. Please indicate your request for CEU credit with your RSVP.