Untold stories of Asian & Pacific Islander LGBT Elders: “I think the need to be accepted overcame their need to be themselves.”
The following is a guest post by Bryan Pacheco, National Coordinator of the Diverse Elders Coalition.
Three things to know as May ends and we look towards June:
- May is Older Americans Month.
- It’s also Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.
- And I worked for the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults, SAGE.
So, what does this mean?George Takei, I can’t think of another prominent openly gay Asian American older person. Can you?
I am Puerto Rican, gay and not yet 30 years old, so the stories of older LGBT AAPI people are not my personal story. Therefore, it was important that I find individuals who could tell and share these stories… And that was difficult.
For starters, it took me some time to locate older LGBT AAPI people who were willing to share their stories publicly. Even at The SAGE Center, located in a diverse city that is generally LGBT-friendly, I found this to be true. After speaking to a number of people, I quickly learned that silence and visibility are issues within this segment of the community.
For example, I heard: