Older LGBT Americans have been largely invisible until very recently. Yet they make up a significant and growing share of the LGBT and over 65 populations. LGBT elders are gaining visibility with the aging of LGBT Baby Boomers, who are the first generation of LGBT people to have lived openly gay or transgender lives in large numbers.
These individuals confront all the same challenges of people who age. But they also face unique barriers and inequalities that stem from the effects of social stigmas and prejudice, their reliance on informal “families of choice” for care and support, and inequitable laws and programs that treat LGBT elders unequally. These barriers can prevent LGBT elders from achieving three key elements of successful aging: financial security, good health and health care, and social support and community engagement.