Gay Celebs Reflect on the Blessing and Curse of Aging

By: Daniel Reynolds

Last weekend, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which recently joined forces with Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing, threw its annual garden party, a "California Bluegrass"-themed soiree to support its mission of providing support, shelter, and services to LGBT seniors.

In the spirit of the occasion, ous siter site The Advocate asked many of the stars present, including Olympian Greg Louganis, The Fosters' Peter Paige, GLAAD's Wilson Cruz, and Desperate Housewives' Tuc Wakins, to share what they most enjoy about growing older. Moreover, we also asked for the greatest challenges that come with aging, particularly for members of the LGBT community. See their responses on the following pages.

Lorri L. Jean, CEO of Los Angeles LGBT Center (pictured right)

Best part of growing older?
Being smarter, and having enough experience not to make some of the dumb mistakes I made when I was younger. More than that, I now have friendships for 20, 30 years that are incredibly meaningful to me, and that are deeper and different from when I was young and had only known someone for a year.

Greatest challenge of growing older?
Too many people in our community don’t understand the problems LGBT seniors face. There are seniors that are four times more likely than straight counterparts to live alone. They don’t have children and grandchildren to help support them in their older years, and everybody needs that kind of support whether they have money or not. For a lot of these folks, they live their lives in the closet, and they lose their partner, and then they are extremely isolated. Isolation, poverty, nobody to take care of them: those are three of the big issues that they face. And it’s something that the Center is working on.