Not Another Second: LGTBQ Seniors On Their Lost Years

Pat and Paulette Martin lost 56 years collectively. Photo by Karsten Thormaehlen

On Jan 19, an exhibit on 12 LBGT+ seniors will premiere at the Brooklyn Heights Art Gallery at The Watermark.

“Not Another Second” is a collaborative exhibit between SAGE, an advocacy group for LBGT+ seniors, Watermark Retirement Communities, and Watermark at Brooklyn Heights. 

The exhibit tells the story of LBGT+ elders from all different backgrounds – a former politician, military veterans, a Stonewall survivor, and a Black Panther – and the years they lost before they were able to publicly come out as their authentic selves.

The exhibit was shot by German photographer Karsten Thormaehlen and the exhibit was curated and installed by nAscent Art and features Augmented Reality (AR) technology through Kaleida Studio.

Ray Cunningham and partner Richard Prescott collectively lost 115 years. Photo by Karsten Thormaehlen

Through a series of portraits, the exhibit tells the personal account of Americans who lived in a time when being a part of the LBGTQ+ community was a crime. 

“In the 80s and 90s, everybody was scared to death to come out. They didn’t know who to trust,” said Richard Prescott, a featured member of the exhibit.

“I think I lost a lot of years not being myself. That’s why this campaign is so important. Not only do we get to share our stories but give courage to younger generations who are still scared of being their authentic self.”

The exhibit seeks to educate younger generations on the importance of the members of the LBGTQ+ community who came from an America much less accepting of different sexualities, said Newby.

Through telling their stories, these 12 seniors hope that by sharing their stories and advice, they might help a younger generation struggling with coming out and living their lives to the fullest.   

The exhibit is free, public, social distanced viewings of 10 people at a time, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday through March 2021 by appointment only. Afterward, the exhibit will tour throughout the U.S. for the rest of 2021.

Every patron will be required to wear a mask, have their temperature checked upon arrival, and must complete a contact tracing sheet. There will also be an Air Quality Index (AQI) shield put in place.

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Anna Conkling

Anna Conkling is a journalist who lives in Brooklyn. She is a senior at The New School majoring in Journalism and Design.

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