This past week, WESA aired two segments addressing an often overlooked issue in the LGBTQ community – poverty.
Deanna Garcia put together a solid segment focusing squarely on poverty, using data from The Williams Institute as well as interviews with local leaders. She interviewed a local lesbian who is disabled and living on Social Security. Lynn spoke about the importance of her local food pantry to help her eat and the expense of her medications. In her words “it is a full-time job living without a job.”
Later, Essential Pittsburgh devoted 30 minutes to the unique challenges facing our community elders as they age. His guests were Kathi Boyle who coordinated older adult programs for Persad Center and Buzz Pusateri, a long time activist on LGBTQ and HIV issues who is now in his mid-seventies. Buzz recently moved into a senior community and spoke with eloquence about the programs and supports he relies on for a good quality of life. He also talked candidly about some of the challenges such as having to come out again to neighbors who might be hostile.
It was a solid segment, but also a little harrowing to think about how many barriers our elders face to age with grace, support and dignity for who they really are. We need to have these conversation because MOST of us are not going to retire to Florida or anywhere.
I often criticize the media for their coverage of LGBTQ issues, so I want to take time to point out how I think WESA got this right
Be sure to listen to the segment for yourself. I think you’ll learn something.
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