Straights Invade Gay Retirement

Timothy Kincaid

October 8th, 2007

The Los Angeles Times had an article on Friday about the concerns some residents of a Sante Fe gay retirement center had regarding more people moving in that are not gay. New Mexico has a housing non-discrimination policy which forbids the center from denying residency based on sexual orientation.

The controversy may be a bit exagerated as the only ones quoted as concerned later admitted that they did not object to the straight residents that had moved in. Few homophobes seek residency in a center designed for gay folks.

Because my roommate’s grandmother was one of the first heterosexual residents, I can bring you her perspective: the buildings are just the type of home she always dreamed of living in but the food is too fancy and the lecture about lesbian activism wasn’t very useful.


October 8th, 2007

the lecture on lesbian… now THAT is funny.

a. mcewen

October 8th, 2007

i have to say though that i love the idea that there is a focus on the lgbt elderly. the more we talk about different facets of our community, the less we can be boxed in by lies.


October 9th, 2007

A related article in the New York Times:

Aging and Gay, and Facing Prejudice in Twilight

David B.

October 9th, 2007

Affordable, quality, safe senior housing is incredibly difficult to find in Los Angeles. The Gay and Lesbian Center just opened a gay senior housing project in Hollywood. Sadly, two women that I know who were looking for housing for more than a year, both got into the new complex, even though they’re straight and always have been, by lying and claiming they were lesbians – separately claiming, they’re not a couple and barely know each other.

Neither are my friends now and I have struggled, weekly, on whether or not I should notify the Center. In the end, I’ve said nothing, but I’m angry about the whole thing every time I think of it.

We also have this problem in our city and county jails. The special gay and lesbian lock-ups exist to protect the gay inmates from violence in the general population. Last year an informal, anonymous survey revealed that at any one time more than half of the inmates in the segregated facilities lied about be gay because the special unit was the safest place to be while in the hands of law enforcement in greater Los Angeles.

The challenges in keeping gays and lesbians safe in jail or as seniors go beyond making the facilities available. Unfortunately, places like the Center are failing in making sure that the limited number of slots available are being given to actual gays and lesbians.

It’s very frustrating. I guess, when it comes right down to it, I’m not totally sure I wouldn’t claim I was straight if I was totally desperate.


Timothy Kincaid

October 10th, 2007


I would stop worrying about whether to report them. California law does not allow discrimination in housing based on sexual orientation and I doubt that the Center could or would try and evict them.

Perhaps one way to look at this (and also at the jail situation) is that people at risk are being helped. And that some of those being helped are not gay is no reason to deny them protection or housing. If identifying as gay and going into a pink cell saves the life of an inmate – without endangering gay people – I can hardly see the harm.

The reason that gay people are identified as at risk is to protect them, not to advantage them over other at risk heterosexuals.

Tom Blackburn

May 30th, 2008

I have been looking for affordable housing for gay retirees in North Carolina. Currently I am living in Perquimans County and keeping my sexual orientation to myself. The one place in NC that I found is way out of my league. I have a doublewide on an acre of land and it meets my needs but I am 15 miles from the nearest small town. Wonder what gay retirees like myself do when they don’t have huge incomes?

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