These are some old gays.

Hey gay olds, how are you doing? Eating brunches and drinking heavily in Key West or Palm Springs like you're supposed to be doing? Good. Well, there are some senators who would like for you to stand up and be counted, so they can know how many of you there are. A group of 19 senators has sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, to say "Yo, can you please count the old gays and lesbocrats?" But don't be alarmed, it's not a "Ted Cruz" group of 19 senators, so no need to worry that they want to send all the old gays to horse-fondling "ex-gay" re-education camps. It's a "nice Democrats and also Susan Collins" group, so it's a Good Thing.

The senators' issue is that HHS wants to change two important surveys on the elderly population to remove questions about Elder Gays, which would be bad, because Elder Gays are a very under-served population. As the senators explain in their letter, one survey, called the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants, collects information on HHS programs for older folks, involving "home-delivered and congregate meals, transportation, home care services, and caregiver support." This survey had asked people if they were gay, lesbian or bisexual since 2014, but that question is deleted in this year's draft. The senators are "troubled" that Tom Price's HHS said the survey hadn't changed at all, but oh look, they erased the gays. Why you erasing the gays, Tom Price? Oh yeah, because you are a homophobic bucket of smegma sludge from hell.

The senators explain that HHS has made similar changes to its draft for this year's Centers for Independent Living Annual Program Performance Report, which looks at how well the government is doing with programs "designed to serve people with disabilities, such as skills training, counseling, and other services." It used to ask about the LGB's, and also the T's, but now it doesn't, and those are literally the only changes. What gives?

Here, the senators 'splain why this is important, and why HHS needs to stop being such a fuck and put the gays back in the surveys:

Older LGBT individuals, as well as LGBT persons with disabilities, face many challenges including financial insecurity, social isolation, discrimination, and barriers to access for aging and accessibility services. We are concerned that removing sexual orientation and gender identity questions from these surveys will limit HHS's ability to address these issues. Sexual orientation and gender identity questions on these surveys were designed to ensure that vital services were reaching vulnerable LGBT Americans. By rolling back data collection, it is possible that the needs of millions of Americans will go unmet.

As we mentioned, Republican Susan Collins signed this letter. Her name comes first, in fact, because she and Democratic Senator Bob Casey wrote it. Other signers include Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand (president of 2020), Dianne Feinstein, Al Franken, Tammy Baldwin (who is a gay lesbian!), and a bunch of other folks. Bernie Sanders is there, on record as caring about the gays! Good Bernie!

This, we should note, is a bit different from the recent kerfuffle over how LGBT people were being "erased" from the 2020 census, which isn't really what happened. As LGBTQ Nation explains, the gays weren't included in the decennial census in the first place. However, LGBT Nation quotes demographer Gary Gates, who notes that the Census Bureau had been considering putting gay stuff in the annual American Community Survey (ACS) under the Obama administration, which could have led to the census getting all gayed up, but now it's not anymore, because the Trump administration apparently doesn't think that's important.

And apparently it's not important to find out where all the Gay Olds at, because they're too busy trying to find all the illegal Mexican rapists or something, we don't fucking know.

Anyway, hooray for Susan Collins and all those nice Democrats and also Bernie Sanders! And for good measure, we should say fuck Tom Price in the earhole, because that's always a good thing to say.

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[Senator letter via LGBTQ Nation]

Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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