GOP Oppose Elder Pride Act as ‘Discrimination Against Straight People’

Somebody needs to have a heart-to-heart with some folks in Congress. Might as well be me.

James Finn
Prism & Pen

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A.I generated image licensed from Adobe Stock

This Pride season, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives want to offer a helping hand to older LGBTQ people like me who live in isolated, rural parts of the country. I think that help is a lovely idea, and I have a personal stake in it. Sadly, it looks dead in the water in the face of Republican opposition.

The Elder Pride Act, re-introduced last week, would “authorize the Administration on Aging to award grants to state or tribal governments or other eligible organizations (e.g., area agencies on aging and multipurpose senior centers) for providing sexual health and other services for older adults in rural areas, with a particular focus on older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersex individuals.”

The bill focuses on helping with two different but related problems: rural queer isolation, and a disproportionately high HIV rate among the elderly, often due to health care professionals lacking training about how HIV impacts the elderly.

Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives have signaled that they will block the Elder Pride Act. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) has…

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James Finn
Prism & Pen

James Finn is an LGBTQ columnist, a former Air Force intelligence analyst, an alumnus of Act Up NY, and an agented but unpublished novelist.