Intimacy Lecture - Mignon Moore, "In the Shadow of Sexuality: Social Histories of African American LGBT Elders"

Thursday, September 10, 2015


“In the Shadow of Sexuality: Social Histories and Social Support of African American LGBT Elders.”
Mignon Moore,
Associate Professor of Sociology, Barnard College - Columbia University
Thursday, September 10, 2015 3:30-5 p.m. Monroe 124
(reception to follow)
In this talk I examine the interaction of race and sexual orientation as it relates to dimensions of social histories, social support and experiences with health for African-American LGBT el- ders. While past studies of aging in White gay populations imply that homophobia often results in geographically distant relationships between gay people and their families of origin, I have found that many African-American sexual minority elders live in close proximity to family mem- bers and sustain close kin relationships. However, they also maintain a particular type of si- lence around their sexual orientation, and limit the information they share with family members about their lives. They provide substantial instrumental support to kin but may not receive suffi- cient emotional support to mitigate experiences of social isolation that increase with age. I will also share the beginnings of new analyses of how the social histories of this population and their "coming of age stories" from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s relate to current life circum- stances as they approach retirement age.
Mignon R. Moore's award-winning first book, Invisible Families: Gay Identities, Relationships and Motherhood among Black Women (2011), examines how African-American same-sex couples form and raise families and experience a gay sexuality while retaining connections to racial/ethnic communities. Professor Moore has received honors and financial support from the Ford Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Human Rights Campaign. Her current work on racialized sexual minority elders is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The Intimacy Lectures is a series of talks from January 2015-January 2016 attending to intimacy as the site of profound global social transformations shaping lived experience. For more information, see http://
Lectures are sponsored by the Page-Barbour Fund, the Center for Global Inquiry & Innovation, the Clay Endowment for the Humanities, the Office of the Provost, the Dean of the College and Graduate School Arts & Sciences, the School of Law, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, the Departments of Sociology, Anthropology, and Media Studies, and the Women, Gender & Sexuality Program.


3:30 - 5:00 PM
Monroe 124