3 Jan 2011

Health: There is a gay agenda!

Category: Health

Men are pretty much the same, gay straight, or something else. We generally love to eat, sleep, have sex (often), dislike seeing doctors and we avoid anything that gives us the feeling that we cannot care for ourselves. We like to feel that we are in control of our lives and bodies, we usually despise feelings of dependency or  vulnerability. But the reality that is as a sexual minority and when it comes to our health we are vulnerable and we need each other, in a very real way.

As my parents move into their mid-80s I see just how much care they need and how dependent they are on family.  Most gay men will not have children to depend on as we age, and we will most likely be left in the care of others when we are physically unable to care for ourselves. What is even more concerning is that we, as gay men, are not generally listened to within the larger political and governmental establishments. This situation (a combination of being physically unable to care for ones self at any age, and being a stigmatized minority), is a ‘prefect storm’ for substandard care and a repeat of the victimization many of us experienced as we ‘came out’ and emerged as gay men in a sexually repressive society.

Regardless of our age and familial circumstances, we above many groups, need each other in a very basic and personal way when it comes to our health and how we are treated within the health care system. I want to be able to visit those I love within my family of choice,

While some progress within health care is being made, I thank my lucky stars for the organizations and the gay men that are passionate about the health of other gay men.

One group in particular is worthy of mention and your support, the Gay Men’s Health Movement (GMHM). The Gay Men’s Health Movement consists of formal and informal collaborations of gay men, bisexual men, transgender men, and allies, advocating for access to health care, health care utilization strategies and training, affordable and comprehensive health insurance, and effective, culturally appropriate services across the span of our lives.

To document needs and outline a future for the health of gay men, in 2009, the GMHM produced the Gay Men’s Health Agenda after an extensive year-long process of collecting input from across the nation.

According to Jim Pickett, a gay men’s health leader, the Agenda is a road map of objectives and strategies needed to advance our health and well-being, including a call for appropriate funding, enhanced data collection, developing campaigns against homo/bi/transphobia, legislation and other initiatives. 

You can download the full 2009 Gay Men’s Agenda here and obtain more background information here.

For more information on the agenda or to join the mailing list please email gaymenshealthagenda@gmail.com

Stephan

7 comments for Health: There is a gay agenda!

  • over the years i have become detached,,,wont be long before i am alonely old gay man,,thank you and kudos to all those who have sacrificed so much to help those of us not brave enough or unable to partake in all the causes..nice to see the activists are still there charging and plugging forward…thank you and god bless all of them,,,

  • This is refreshing to read from a gay site, that deals with the realness of life and the undeniable future for most of us. I am fortunate enough to have neices, nephews and cousins that are almost like brothers, sisters, and even my own children. I’m hoping when I beceome to old to care for myself that they will step up to the plate and participate in my care during my “golden years” However, given the chance that may not happen and the fact that many gay men do not have close family, it is a real issue and concern about who will take care of our fellow aging gay men.

    As a nurse, caring for the elderly is a big issue even when there are close family members to provide the care. This issue is more magnified when dealing with gay men, and other elderly who have no offspring to provide that care. This is a real issue and I am glad that there are things in the work with legislation to help ease this crisis.

  • i live in a society where club take ‘gay’ money to surport themselves, but on an crowed night packed they alow their dj’s to bash gay men while lifting up gay women,is it to much to ask.that this be stoped, that owners must pay a price for the mental srtess of they patrons minds in this areana,how shall we hold them responsible for these actions, yes i could go to a beter club, but are we not calling for intergration helpo us in little old los babados

  • So, I’m only 31. I have a bit, gods willing, before I have to worry about this issue for myself. However, like many gay men, the first people I met in the gay world were older gay men. A few of these were there to help me and guide me. They were my family when I had none.

    It is these people who I will care for when they are elderly and in need of assistance. Let my siblings care for the parents that gave birth to or raised me. I’ll be giving back to those who gave to me.

  • Spot on! These are the realities I am beginning to face as I enter my mid-forties as a gay and single man. I have become more aware of my future and what it will be like as I continue to journey through middle age into the “golden years” and who will be around for me. Having helped with the day to day care of my Mother for years until her death and my Father’s brief illness before he passed I realize first hand the importance of having kind and loving people involved in your life to make it through.I also realize the sacrifice that caregivers make and I am very hesitant to expect anyone to sacrifice for me. I only pray that as I approach those “golden years” I will be able to advocate for myself and be sure that my care (if needed) be of the best quality. I place much faith in the future of our health care providers-workers to be more intune with the needs and concerns of our community as well as all the aging folks. We all deserve to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. Peace and all good to you as we face the unknown together-

  • this gay world so many talk about that I have never known remains a fantasy, all gay men I have met are shallow and despise older men that are not good looking so as I slowly get older I know there will be no one to care for me, I took care of my father he died at 91 of prostate cancer I saw him suffer for many years I don’t want to suffer as he did at least he had me I will have no one and that is my reality and I have to face it I can only hope I will die of a massive heart attack or in my sleep so I wont have to suffer the nightmare of not being able to care for myself and die a slow death

  • One day, I too, shall get old and nasty. I understand this day and age requires to be young and so called beautiful. Although we all know it is not right to discriminate, we all still do it. When an older guy talks to me, I always have the decency to at least reply and get to know the guy a bit. Unlike some of y friends that completely ignore them. I recognize that one day it will be me on the other side. God willingly or whatever divine powers exist will give me a quick death. Yes, I said it…a quick death. I
    Don’t wish to be old, sick, and lonely and worst yet- GAY. It is by far the worst combo to live with…

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