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Byron Shire
May 25, 2022

New film shows silent suffering

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An award-winning film screening around the region this week highlights the plight of lesbian and gay elders who are often forced back into the closet by their need for aged care.

Gen Silent discovers how oppression in the years before Stonewall now affects older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with fear and isolation.

It argues that many who won the first civil rights victories for generations to come are now dying prematurely because they are reluctant to ask for help and have too few friends or family to care for them.

Filmmaker Stu Maddox asked six LGBT seniors if they would hide their friends, their spouses, their entire lives in order to survive in the care system.

Through intimate access to their day-to-day lives over the course of a year, Gen Silent puts a face on what experts in the film call an epidemic:  gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender older people so afraid of discrimination by caregivers or bullying by other seniors that many simply go back into the closet.

It has been brought to the northern rivers by Outrageous Ageing, an LGBTI wellbeing project supported by the not-for-profit Evergreen Life Care.

Gen Silent screens tonight at 6pm at Tweed Civic Centre, on Friday at 4pm at Lismore Workers Club and on Saturday at 6pm at Byron Bay Community Centre. All screenings are free and refreshments are provided.


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