One of the West Seattle-related photos we received from today’s Seattle Pride Parade is a story all its own:
Nichole Casado e-mailed the photo and an explanation of why she marched in memory of Lois Baldwin:
I’m the former active living director of Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights. While there, I had a resident Lois Baldwin; you ran her obituary after her passing.
Lois lived her life with her partner Beatrice as an out-and-proud lesbian, but after Beatrice died, Lois moved to Admiral Heights and went back in the closet. This is very common. Gay seniors often feel they will not be accepted in traditional assisted-living and skilled-nursing facilities. There is a documentary about this called “Gen Silent.”
Because of Lois, I felt inspired as a medical professional to find a way to make our senior health care facilities more welcoming. In this search I was connected to the local chapter of SAGE and the NW GBLTQ Providers Network, which strive to educate medical professionals about aging issues for the gay community. I have learned so much from them and was proud to march with them today.
It was so fitting to march in honor of the memory of Lois, the first patient/ resident I had who made me start to think about these issues, A big thank you to her nieces, local West Seattle women Judy and Vicki, who gave me their blessing to march in memory of Lois Baldwin and also share her story as a learning tool for other health professionals.
Thanks to Nichole for sharing the story! Our earlier Pride coverage is here.