No one likes to think about the fact that they’ll be old someday. And nowhere is this more endemic than in the LGBT community – we’re too busy being fabulous and fierce and fighting for long-overdue rights to think about the distant future. In our youth-oriented culture, we don’t ask ourselves who will take care of us when the time comes? Where will I live? Have I saved enough money for retirement? Am I too old to wear this slouchie hat? (If you’re even wondering, the answer is yes.)
Gay and lesbians elders face unique challenges when it comes to senior housing, especially if they’re alone, or living with HIV, or estranged from their families. For the Stonewall generation, moving to a senior living facility could also mean having to go back into the closet.
The award-winning 2008 documentary, A Place to Live: The Story of Triangle Square, which is now available on DVD, examines the issue by following seven Los Angeles area lesbian and gay seniors, all of whom hope to obtain a spot in Triangle Square, the country’s first affordable housing facility specifically designed to serve LGBT seniors.
Demand was so high when the 104-unit building was being built in 2005, the developers had to institute a lottery system just to select who would receive applications. You can see why. The $21.5 million complex is located in gay-friendly Hollywood and features a courtyard with a pool, a recreation center, lounge areas on every floor, and high-end design. The apartments come with European-style kitchen cabinets, brand new appliances, window treatments (now that’s gay) and most importantly, gay neighbors.