The Trump Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Community Living (ALC) has removed a question about sexual orientation from the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP), an annual national survey of recipients of select services under the Older Americans Act (OAA). Removing this critical question was the only change made to the survey.
The survey obtains performance outcome information, identifies service gaps and supports improvements in programs serving older Americans. For the past three years, ACL has issued the NSOAAP with the question about sexual orientation intact. After previously stating there were no changes to the survey, HHS removed the question on sexual orientation, making it more difficult to track issues senior LGBTQ Americans face.
In addition to this action, two weeks ago, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) withdrew two notices impacting LGBTQ people. The first notice withdrew a requirement for emergency shelters receiving HUD funding to post information about LGBTQ people’s rights to access shelter safely and in accordance with their gender identity. The second notice withdrew critical data collection and implementation guidelines for a homelessness prevention initiative targeting LGBTQ youth.
“Today, there are an estimated 1.5 million LGBTQ seniors in America. This is an extremely vulnerable population, many of whom will have to face the challenges of advanced age or illness without the traditional support systems and legal protections that other seniors can take for granted,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “If we do not collect data on LGBTQ seniors, policymakers and advocates can not know the extent of the problems they face. HRC implores the Trump Administration to add this crucial question back to the NSOAAP and expand their questions to include data collection on gender identity.”
Below is a great video from the LA LGBT Center to remind us that we’re all connected…