"You were forced to lie every single day of your life. I lied to my parents, I lied to my teachers, I lied to get into the Army. Now you don't have to lie anymore." -- Garrison Phillips, 78
"Way back then, being gay or lesbian was viewed as sinful. We hid. There were raids on the bars. Society looked down on us. A lot of people remained under the influence of that prejudice and kept their lives secret. We have to reach these seniors and let them know life is much different now. You have to speak up." -- Ruth Juster, 85
When you have a moment this weekend, I suggest reading this article about the unique challenges facing elderly gays, many of whom lack family members to help care for them and are fearful of being mistreated by homophobic doctors or nursing home staffers. Then head over to the SAGE website and see what you can do to help.
And note to SAGE: Assemble the remaining Golden Girls and have them record a PSA about this to run on Lifetime, LOGO, and Oyxgen. It sounds silly, but I'm not kidding. When Bea and Betty and Rue talk, the gays (and a whole lot of young straight women) listen. Trailblazers like Frank Carter, Garrison Phillips and Ruth Juster made it possible for the rest of us to come out, and we owe them more than we could ever repay. We need to be reminded of that.