New Democracy Maps

LGBT Older Adults and Social Isolation

The Bottom Line

For many LGBT older adults, the holidays are a time of social isolation and vulnerability. LGBT older adults are less likely to be married or partnered, and are twice as likely to live alone, leaving them particularly vulnerable to social isolation.

MAP, along with partners at SAGE and the Diverse Elders Coalition, have released a new infographic providing resources for LGBT elders as well as information about the challenges facing LGBT older adults.

The infographic is designed to help isolated or lonely LGBT older adults know that they are not alone and that there are resources available ranging from financial support to identifying inclusive and affirming housing to hotlines with judgement-free support. The infographic is translated into six different languages: English, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Arabic and Chinese.

Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project, SAGE, and Diverse Elders Coalition. November 2017. Infographic: LGBT Seniors and Social Isolation. (date of access).

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The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

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“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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