Pride postscript: Why Nichole marched in memory of Lois

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.

13 Replies to "Pride postscript: Why Nichole marched in memory of Lois"

  • shed22 June 30, 2013 (10:39 pm)

    Wonderful tribute. Thank you.

  • Diane June 30, 2013 (11:14 pm)

    thank you; now this is what Pride is all about

  • Vanessa July 1, 2013 (12:16 am)

    Love is love, no matter who you love. Thank you for posting this piece. Our very own West Seattle Senior Center has many activities and gatherings for everyone, including our gay and grey neighbors. Our center is one of the most inclusive and diverse centers,it’s really wonderful. If you’ve never been to their Rainbow Bingo, you just don’t know what youre missing. Give a call, come on out and have some fun meeting a few new friends. Ding dong, DOMA is dead !

  • Ajax July 1, 2013 (12:17 am)

    Well done, Nichole.

  • ellenater July 1, 2013 (12:38 am)

    Beautiful. Thank you!!

  • Tactical Forces Operator July 1, 2013 (12:57 am)

    Bless you Lois Baldwin, and bless you Nichole for taking up the cause!

  • Maggie July 1, 2013 (4:51 am)

    What a touching story! Thanks for all you do, Nichole!

  • Joe McDermott July 1, 2013 (6:28 am)

    Nichole, thank you for sharing Lois’ story, and more importantly, bringing needed attention to the issues and needs of LGBT people aging.

  • Delridge Mom July 1, 2013 (7:38 am)

    This brought tears to my eyes. There is so much I take for granted as a straight person. Thanks for raising awareness of this issue and honoring Lois’s memory.

  • Mike July 1, 2013 (7:51 am)

    As seniors (who have been together 30 years and with DOMA gone, will now be getting married) my partner and I have had discussions about senior living/assisted living and are worried about being accepted in a facility if we needed to both be in one or if we are “widowed”. So glad to know there are people out there who are trying to help gay seniors. Thanks, Nichole.

  • moji July 1, 2013 (9:17 am)

    Thanks, Nichole, for working to make healthcare accessible to all!

  • Morgan July 1, 2013 (11:36 am)

    Beautiful! Thank you!

  • Jessie July 2, 2013 (1:06 pm)

    With people like Nichole bringing these issues to light we can keep moving forward as a fair society…very inspiring.

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