The Stonewall Generation: Gay Men Aging with HIV

By Matthew Skinta and Marshall Feldman.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Stonewall Generation—gay men who came of age at the height of the gay rights movement—are now aging. In this workshop we hope to explore the key developmental landmarks and history of the men who built a movement, were decimated by HIV/AIDS, and struggled to build a response and maintain a sense of community. As social scientists have shifted their focus toward the adaptive aspects of aging—improved emotion regulation, improved quality of life—gaps have widened in our knowledge of how well gay baby boomers (the Stonewall Generation) are growing older. Recent research has focused on the value and meaning that children and social connections bring to a sense of well-being and improved mental health among elderly persons; these factors are unlikely to occur in the same way in the lives of older gay men. We hope to explore and clarify specific needs and the changing realities that aging gay men currently face, with a specific highlight on the areas most in need of improved research and greater societal response. This paper will also discuss the experience of one of the authors (M.F.) in facilitating a successful group intervention that has been ongoing at the UCSF AIDS Health project for the last two years.

Keywords: Gay, Aging, HIV

Aging and Society: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.109-120. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 538.137KB).

Dr. Matthew Skinta

Research Manager, Research Program, UCSF AIDS Health Project, San Francisco, CA, USA

Matthew Skinta, Ph.D., began work at AHP in 2008 as Manager of the Research Program. Dr. Skinta has worked in a number of clinical settings focusing on the impact that HIV has on individuals, and previously completed a postdoctoral fellowship in HIV Behavioral Medicine at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. His past research has focused on gay men’s experiences with internalized homophobia, and his dissertation explored the impact of bullying on young gay men. Currently, he is exploring interventions targeting the shame and stigma of HIV, and the cumuluative impact of stigma on sexual minority men as they age. He has a doctorate in clinical psychology from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio.

Marshall Feldman

Coordinator of Mental Health Services, Psychosocial Support and Prevention Services (PSPS), UCSF AIDS Health Project, San Francisco, CA, USA

Marshall Feldman, LCSW is the Coordinator of Mental Health Services for the PSPS program at the UCSF AIDS Health Project. He provides individual and couples’ therapy and facilitates a support group for gay and bisexual men over fifty. He has given presentations nationally on the issues confronting Gay and Bisexual men and aging and has worked locally to develop programs to address these needs.