The Women’s Institute at Anne Arundel Community College continues the 2011 film series this week with a screening of Ten More Good Years on Thursday. With one movie screening every month, the series is dedicated to exposing and unearthing the issues behind gender, aging, and ageism.
Directed by Michael Jacoby, Ten More Good Years is a documentary focusing on the elders of the LGBT community and their struggle with obtaining financial stability, assisted care, and general attention from the federal government. “Outdated tax laws, Medicaid and Medicare regulations, Social Security and inheritance laws, a lack of Cultural Competency within Social Services, and the need for non-discriminatory housing are all issues currently facing the Elder LGBT population,” reads the official movie website.
The movers and shakers during the LGBT Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s now find themselves living in poverty, rejection, and under the threat of returning to the closet. The film explores and addresses these injustices through a series of interviews with social service workers, NCLR lawyers, gerontologists, senior strategists from the National Gay and Lesbian Take Force, and members of the LGBT community currently in distress.
“LGBT elders are more likely to live alone and without traditional familial support….Without federal protections many LGBT elders retreat back into the closest when entering mainstream facilities due to tolerated, and in some cases encouraged, homophobic attitudes,” wrote Jacoby in an article for The Advocate. “[In addition], without marriage equality we are more likely to find ourselves in financial trouble if we… lose a partner because Social Security pays survivor benefits to married widows and widowers, but not to the surviving same-sex life partner of someone who dies, even if they have a state-sanctioned marriage…”
These issues, along with many others, are the hot button topics in the film; however, the federal government has yet to take the time to address these concerns. Ten More Good Years also follows the progression and outcome of the 2005 White House Conference on Aging. Perhaps, at first, this event and film must seem outdated. Surely things have changed for the better since the film was made in 2007? But that is not the case. The WHCoA is an extremely influential event that only takes place every ten years to decide on and guide national policies on aging. While the LGBT community and elders are worried about the future, the federal government is stuck six years in the past.
The screening will take place at 9:30 am in the Cade Center for Fine Arts, room103. The event is free and open to the public, along with the films being shown in October and November. However, if you are unable to make the screening, Ten More Good Years is available for purchase on the official website.
“It is the hope of Ten More Good Years,” reads the website, “that through the stewardship of those that have come before us we will realize that the fight for LGBT rights is far from over and that the gaps that exist between the old and the young can only hinder our ability to progress as a unified family.”