Celebrating gay seniors, this exhibition highlights their struggles as they paved the way for future generations.
Being gay has never been easy.
Gay seniors are the inspiration for Not Another Second, an exhibition at the Watermark at Brooklyn Heights that shares the previously untold stories of 12 LGBT+ * seniors and their struggles simply to be themselves at a time when living an openly gay lifestyle was not only difficult but also dangerous.
Shot by noted German photographer Karsten Thormaehlen, the exhibition features compelling images of a cross-section of seniors from all walks of life—a former politician, military veterans, a Stonewall survivor and a Black Panther—and ethnicities. Celebrating a generation that struggled and sacrificed, Not Another Second is the story of their bravery and sorrow, and it chronicles the time they lost—16, 31, 37, 55, and 60 years—living in the shadows.
In the 1950s, it was literally a crime to be homosexual. Up until 1973, the American Psychiatric Association classified homosexuality as a “mental disorder.” When “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” legislation was passed in 1993, gays were banned from military service until the law was repealed in 2010. In 2015, same-sex marriage became legal, and that brought us to gay pride, where we are now.
Not Another Second is a collaboration between the nonprofit SAGE and Watermark Retirement Communities. Highlighting the fact that up to three million American seniors identify as LGBT+ (that number is expected to double by 2030), it focuses a lens on trailblazers who paved the way for future generations at great personal sacrifice.
*References to LGBT+ are missing the Q found in the ubiquitous LGBTQ acronym because, according to one subject profiled in Not Another Second, “We did not use the words ‘gay’ or ‘queer’ at that time.” Those words are now used freely and openly, with great pride, but because of its difficult history as a pejorative, the word “queer,” remains painful to many seniors, which is why it has been replaced.
About Our Partnership with SAGE
SAGE is a national organization founded more than 40 years ago to elevate the quality of life for LGBT seniors and their caregivers. Because Watermark celebrates diversity and tolerance across the board, we have partnered with SAGE to foster a warm and welcoming environment within our senior living communities. At least 80 percent of our associates have completed SAGE training, and we are committed to becoming Platinum SAGE credentialed to ensure that we continue to deliver exceptional care to LGBT residents, families, guests, and friends.