Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, and 60 or older in north america

Arnold H. Grossman, Anthony R. D’augelli, Timothy S. O’connell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined mental and physical health, perceived social support, and experiences with HIV/AIDS of 416 lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults aged 60 to 91. Most participants reported fairly high levels of self-esteem; however, many experienced loneliness. Most also reported low levels of internalized homophobia, but men reported significantly higher levels than women did. Ten percent of respondents sometimes or often considered suicide, with men reporting significantly more suicidal thoughts related to their sexual orientation. Men also had significantly higher drinking scores than women, and more men could be classified as problem drinkers. Only 11% of the respondents said that their health status interfered with the things they wanted to do. Although 93% of the participants knew people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, 90% said that they were unlikely to be HIV-infected. Participants averaged six people in their support networks, most of whom were close friends. Most support network members knew about the participants’ sexual orientation, and the respondents were more satisfied with support from those who knew. Those living with domestic partners were less lonely and rated their physical and mental health more positively than those living alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-40
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Homosexuality
  • Internalized homophobia
  • Loneliness
  • Mental health
  • Physical health
  • Social support
  • Support network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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