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Dept. of Justice Arranges Settlement Between RV Park and Transgender Couple

David125By David Webb

The Rare Reporter

SEVEN POINTS, TEXAS – The U.S. Department of Justice arranged a mediated settlement recently between an Athens RV park owner and a transgender woman and her female partner who alleged discrimination.

In the settlement order dated July 9, George Toone, owner of Texan RV Park, continued to deny the discrimination allegations, but he agreed to pay Roxann Joganik and Darlina Anthony $4,000 to settle the case. Both the defendants and the complainants agreed in the settlement they would make no negative or critical comments of the other, and they agreed not to reveal any communications between them after reaching the agreement.

Joganik said that while she could not make any statements about the RV park owner, she criticized the Department of Justice for its handling of the case. Most discrimination cases get larger settlements, she claimed.


Author Sue Katz Joins the Aged to Perfection Podcast

SueJoin co-hosts Mark McNease and Rick Rose as we welcome author and activist Sue Katz. Her new short story collection, Lillian’s Last Affair, is available now.

Sue is a wordsmith and rebel who has lived and worked on three continents: first as a martial arts master, then promoting transnational volunteering, and currently teaching fitness and dance to seniors and elders. Katz is an experienced and popular public speaker and event M.C. – as well as a lifelong activist who was in on the ground floor of both the women’s and gay liberation movements. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published in anthologies, magazines, and online. She writes on a range of topics, not the least aging and sexualities. Lillian’s Last Affair was a three-year labor of love. She now lives in Arlington, MA. You can reach her at: sue.katz AT yahoo.com.

The Savvy Senior: Low-Cost and Free Cell Phone Options for Seniors

By Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior,
What are the cheapest cell phone options available today to seniors living on a shoestring budget? I only need it for occasional calls.
Seldom Calling Senior

Dear Seldom,
For financially challenged seniors who only want a cell phone for emergency purposes or occasional calls, there are a number of inexpensive no contract plans you can get. Or, depending on your income level, there are also free cell phones and monthly airtime minutes you may qualify for. Here’s where to find some of the cheapest deals.

No-Contract Phones

One way infrequent cell phone users can save money is with a prepaid cell phone – also known as pay-as-you-go phones. With a prepaid phone there’s no contract, no fixed monthly bills, no credit checks and no hidden costs that come with traditional cell phone plans. With this type of service, you buy a special prepaid phone then pre-purchase a certain amount of minutes (for talk or text) that must be used within a specified period of time.


Read All About It: A News Sampler from Around the Web


Singapore Library Bans Books That Feature LGBT Families
The Diplomat
Court Rules for Gay Marriage in Oklahoma Case
ABC News
Consumer Reports: How to live well into your 80s and beyond
Hartford Courant
Researchers Identify A Gene That Links Stem Cells, Aging and Cancer
Counsel & Heal
Gay Marriage Stirs Backlash as Businesses Assert Religion
Gay men in Africa face stigma, violence and limited access to HIV services
Gay News Network
Pfizer survey reveals fear of getting old put pressure on physical ability

Obama to Issue Executive Order Barring Anti-LGBT Discrimination (without Religious Exemptions)

obamapenFrom the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to sign an executive order on Monday that protects gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees from discrimination by companies that do federal government work, fulfilling a promise to a crucial Democratic constituency, White House officials said on Friday. But the directive will not exempt religious groups, as many of them had sought.

The order will also, for the first time, explicitly protect federal employees from discrimination on the basis of gender identity, officials said. Federal workers are already protected based on their sexual orientation.

Continue at the New York Times

Featured Book: Lillian’s Last Affair and Other Stories

LillianThis week we have a new collection of short stories by Sue Katz. ‘Lillian’s Last Affair and Other Stories‘ from Consenting Adult Press. The stories are described as  ”a unique collection of short stories about the love lives of older people.” We’ll be interviewing Sue on our Aged to Perfection podcast soon and have a chance to talk to her about the book, her journey writing it, and her life as an activist.

“If I’m going to go after one more affair of the heart at 84, I’d better get my ass in gear,” says Lillian, speaking for all the characters in these six stories.

Ruby has a run-in with a waterbed and Catherine tokes her first joint in the bathtub with Victor. Elegant Anna’s introduction to kinky sex is bittersweet. And then there’s the neighbor with the strange attachment to the grocery cart. Sue Katz’s hilarious, tender, and impeccably written stories confirm that age fails to erode our eccentricities or dull our ardor.

Sue Katz’s stories are full of pleasure, pain, and humor, with carefully drawn, superbly evoked characters. –Richard Schweid, Oscar-nominated documentarian and author of Che’s Chevrolet.


Mark’s Café Moi: Choosing to Be Born This Way

150MarkCafeBlackMark McNease/Editor

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Julie Bindel, a lesbian activist, feminist and author who just put out a new book, ‘Straight Expectations.’ What first intrigued me was reading an interview she did with The Independent in which she told the interviewer that the claim of being ‘born this way’, whatever its merits, can seem like self-pitying capitulation: please accept us, we can’t help ourselves (and oh, by the way, we’d much rather be straight). I’ve been thinking and saying that for years, but rarely heard it from anyone else, let alone someone with a high profile.

Over twenty years ago a friend said to me, ‘When are we going to stop saying we’re born this way and say it doesn’t matter why we’re gay?’ His point, which I took to heart, was not that we’re not genetically inclined or programmed for our sexual orientation, but that if it were a choice (let’s say for the sake of argument), there would be nothing wrong with that choice. Joining in the constant refrain and now unshakable orthodoxy that we are born gay, lesbian or bisexual (I’m omitting transgender because, as many trans people will tell you, gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same thing) has only reduced us to victims of genetics and made us appear to use our helplessness in the face of biology as the reason we should have civil equality.


The Savvy Senior: Senior Organizations That Appeal to Conservatives


Editor’s note: I love these Savvy Senior columns. I also value diversity, and from the beginning of this website I’ve welcomed all different opinions. I appreciate that there are conservatives among us, liberals, libertarians, and all things along the political spectrum. Jim Miller provides a service to seniors and older Americans who ask him these questions, and I would be troubled were I not to run a column because it reflects a political persuasion that is not my own. – Mark McNease/Editor

By Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior,
Can you recommend any advocacy organizations for seniors other than AARP? I cut up my AARP card a few years back when they supported Obamacare, and am now looking for another organization that better represents me.
Conservative Senior

Dear Conservative,
There are actually quite a few senior advocacy organizations out there promoting themselves as conservative alternatives to AARP.

While AARP, with a membership of almost 38 million, is by far the biggest and most powerful advocacy group for people age 50 and older, there are millions of older Americans that don’t like or agree with their stance on various issues. Many believe AARP leans to far to the left despite its stated nonpartisan nature.

For seniors that are anti-AARP, there are numerous conservative leaning groups that you can join that may better represent your views, and most of them offer discount benefits too. Here are several to look into.


Read All About It: A News Sampler from Around the Web

newsboyStudy shows gay athletes face rampant homophobia
Sydney Morning Herald
LGBT community already feeling the impact of religious exemption
Dallas Morning News (blog)
Moving forward with USAID’s LGBT vision for action
LGBT Weekly
HIV: ‘Let’s dispel the myth that all gay men are irresponsible and promiscuous’
Bogota To Host Fifth LGBT Confex Forum
Exhibition World
Aging adults optimistic about what lies ahead
Naproxen Raises Risk of Heart Problems in Older Women
American News Report
Older Adults Challenged by Memory Distractions
5 Signs of ‘Aging’ that Could Mean You Have Diabetes
Yahoo India News (blog)