The Press Democrat
The late actress Bette Davis has been credited with the old adage: “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.”
If you’re part of the LGBTQ community, growing older can be even more challenging, with common issues such as loneliness and loss multiplied by a reluctance to access services that could help ease the pain.
“We feel we’re unworthy, and we are used to hiding,” said Gary “Buz” Hermes of Sonoma, who works as an LGBTQ aging consultant. “If you were bullied in school by your peers, you may not feel comfortable going to a yoga class or a life experience writing class at a senior center. Will I be judged and intimidated?”
In his “Aging Gayfully” class at the Finley Center in Santa Rosa, Hermes uses several tools he’s developed — such as reflection, forgiveness, gratitude and humor — to help empower LGBT elders with optimal aging strategies and to encourage them to access senior services. The discussions are aimed at helping people transition into their final act…