Letters to the editor

  • Wednesday February 8, 2012
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Maybe LGBT seniors need training

I am 82 years old. I came to San Francisco 20 years ago. Before I came to San Francisco, I participated in numerous studies on the needs of elderly LGBT people. Since I have been in San Francisco I have participated in numerous studies on the needs of elderly LGBTs. I have rarely seen the results of these surveys. My guess is that they were filed away, and those who conducted them collected some grant money or felt they had done something worthwhile ["City Hall backs LGBT senior initiatives," February 2] .

I long ago came to the conclusion that the gay movement is a large echo chamber that goes over the same issues ad infinitum .

I do not claim to speak for transgender people, who I believe have very important issues in our society.

As an elderly gay man my issues are the same as straight people. In San Francisco whether one is gay or straight, affordable housing is an issue for all of us. Usually, when politicians or the press discuss affordable housing they are not addressing the issue of what is affordable to middle class folks. It is a "code" for what is affordable for poor people. We know there is a shortage whether one is gay or straight. As many of my friends have done before me; if I lost my present housing, I would have to leave the city. Not because I am gay, but because I can't afford San Francisco housing costs.

I have never had any problems with using medical or social services because I am gay. When I lived in St. Paul, Minnesota until 1992, any medical or dental professionals knew I was gay and it was not an issue.

Many people my age assume that it is an issue. The self-fulfilling prophecy makes it an issue. Twenty years ago Gay and Lesbian Outreach to Elders were training professionals about gay people. But no one trains gay people to get over their own preconceived ideas that make them fear housing and social services.

I have watched people distance themselves from the straight people around them and then claim that those people are not accepting them.

I sometimes feel that these issues give certain organizations and politicians a chance to prove that they are concerned about us and are looking for solutions to a non-existent problem.

I am sure that this letter will probably provoke anecdotal evidence that there are problems. But I truly wonder how many of these really exist because of our sexual orientation.

Dick Hewetson

San Francisco

Gay lieutenant in DA's office

I read with great interest your article on the San Francisco Police Department's efforts to promote openly gay officers to the rank of lieutenant ["SFPD likely to promote gays," February 2] .  I was, however, somewhat surprised that you neglected to mention that the San Francisco District Attorney's investigations office has had an openly gay lieutenant for over four years. Lieutenant Ron Huberman has been with the DA's office for 30 years and during that time has overseen child abduction and criminal investigation. Furthermore, Huberman has served as lead investigator on many violent hate cases that have been perpetrated against our community, including vicious attacks and homicides.

I know SFPD gets all the attention, but district attorney investigators are San Francisco peace officers and Huberman deserves credit for being the first openly gay lieutenant and the highest openly gay peace officer in the history of the city and county of San Francisco.

Jason R. Hinson

San Francsico