In “Gen Silent,” six LGBTQ seniors discuss why they believe they must hide their sexual orientation to survive. The film reveals what experts call an epidemic: gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender seniors who are so afraid of discrimination — or worse — in the delivery of their care that many go back into the closet. Through intimate access to the seniors’ day-to-day lives over the course of a year, “Gen Silent” shows how oppression in the time before Stonewall has left LGBTQ elders from the “greatest generation” not just afraid but dangerously isolated, with many dying prematurely because they don’t ask for help and have too few people in their lives. Although the film frankly examines the ways in which LGBTQ elders face discrimination, neglect, or abuse at the hands of some supposed caregivers, it also spotlights a growing group of impassioned professionals who are specifically trained to make LGBTQ seniors feel safe and who are trying to wake up the long-term-care and healthcare industries to this important issue.
With a post-film discussion led by Sherrill Wayland, Director of National Education Initiatives for SAGE, who will serve as the moderator, Renee Shea, Sales Director for Crestview Senior Living, and Arlene Zarembka, Attorney at Law, who represented plaintiffs in the recent Friendship Village case.