Marty was a member of the Finance Committee of the Gay Community Center of Baltimore (now the GLCCB) in the late 1970s. He currently volunteers at the Center two days a week, and contributes to the Dining Out column in Gay Life.
What does an older adult contribute to the LGBT community that youth or middle-aged members don’t?
Knowledge and experience. Sometimes new people come in [to the Center] just realizing they are gay and they don’t know exactly what to do. I can sit down with them and say, “I had the same problem when I started, only it was worse because there were no organizations for gay people to go for information.” A senior citizen can help with what to look for in the gay community.
In your opinion, what are the biggest issues facing LGBT seniors today?
As you get older, you sometimes feel like life is getting you down, especially if you are single. Some get very depressed because they don’t have the benefit of a family like straight people or don’t have a partner. I don’t have a partner, but I have gay friends I travel with and go out with.
What do you think of LGBT-only retirement communities?
I looked into some that went bankrupt or were just starting to build. I’ve been saying since I retired that I was going to Florida, and I’m continuing to look into it. I think it would be nice to be with gay people that I have things in common with. I do well with the straight community, and I’m involved in my synagogue, and various civic organizations, but I would really like to spend my retirement years in a community with other gay seniors.