Tuesday, October 26, 2010
What would you do if you were old, disabled or ill - and the person feeding you put down the spoon and explained that you are going to hell unless you change your sexual orientation? Sound absurd? According to social workers, it’s happening every day.
Gen Silent is the new LGBT documentary from award-winning director and documentary filmmaker Stu Maddux (Bob and Jack's 52-Year Adventure, Trip to Hell and Back) that asks six LGBT seniors if they will hide their lives to survive in the care system.
They put a face on what experts in the film call an epidemic: gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender seniors so afraid of discrimination in long-term/health care or bullying by other seniors that many go back into the closet. Their surprising decisions are captured through intimate access to their day-to-day lives over the course of a year in Boston, Massachusetts.
Unlike any film before, Gen Silent startlingly discovers how oppression in the years before Stonewall still affects generations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with feelings of distrust and dangerous isolation. Many who fought for equality are dying prematurely because they don't ask for help and are estranged from their families.
This hour-long documentary also shows the wide range in quality of paid caregivers --from those who are specifically trained to make LGBT seniors feel safe, to the other end of the spectrum and places where LGBT elders face discrimination or conversion by paid care givers and bullying by other seniors.
As we witness the challenges that these men and women face, we also see hope as each subject crosses paths with an impassioned professional trying in their own way to change an entire care industry.