Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Better off?

Thought for the day! I'm reading Raymond Berger (one of the earliest American scholars to look at LGB ageing). He thinks that being gay is an advantage in growing old:

‘The advantage for gays and lesbians is that they have learned to cope with a stigmatised identity very early in life. Most gays and lesbians are able to insulate themselves from the worst effects of societal stigmas by developing self-affirming attitudes and by seeking support from others. Can it be that these skills and attitudes are also useful in adapting to the stigmatised status of being an elderly person?
A closely related idea is that gay people also experience a ‘crisis of independence’ in early adulthood. As their heterosexual peers make the comfortable transition from family of origin to family of procreation, gay people cannot take family and other social supports for granted. They learn self-reliance skills that become crucial in old age as friends and lovers die and as social roles become restricted.’

Agree? or disagree? 

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