Millennial family caregivers are now over ⅓ of ‘sandwich caregivers.’ When I learned this, I also learned that we are the most diverse population of multigenerational caregivers to rise to majority status. Even more reason for us to break molds, I thought. Even more reason for a paradigm shift in the way our society talks about caregiving. Of course, LGBTQ people have always been family caregivers. Nothing about that is new. What is new is maybe now folks are more inclined to be openly gay and therefore identify themselves as such to the census-taker. A huge part of what emboldens our generation is a rejection of older methods—, a rejection of being forced to choose ‘male’ or ‘female’ or ‘gay’ or ‘straight’ when none of those is correct. A fierce energy propels us to buck systems that are no longer relevant and are even harmful.
However, generations before us have fought famously too. And, they have suffered famously. Imagine not being able to even BE your loved one’s caregiver because, even though you’ve been together 30 years, you’ve no legal right to even see them in the hospital? You have no say in what happens and you get no support.
Ultimately, all I can conclude is that navigating the healthcare system is a horror show for anyone, and even worse for many. Navigating being a caregiver? Precarious, full of grief, love, the best days and the worst days. The only way we will get through any of it is to help each other, support each other, and enrich our community. That’s why I-Ally is ecstatic to be a partner and supporter and friend to LGBTQ Caregiving.
Written by Lucinda Koza
Founder + CEO