Publication Date

Spring 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




A.J. Faas


AIDS, Elderly, gentrification, HIV, LGBTQ, place attachment

Subject Areas

Cultural anthropology; LGBTQ studies


The objective of this research was to investigate the impact of gentrification on the social networks and communities of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) elderly people living in the San Francisco Bay Area. The expectation was that, due to the rising cost of living, people in elderly LGBTQ communities would be relocating; this would result in the fragmentation of support networks and community spaces. I used a two-part interviewing process. In the first interview, I asked participants to tell me about themselves and their lives, as well as what they consider to be important aspects of their lives in the Bay Area. The second interview was the co-creation of a life history calendar, a visual timeline of a person’s life history. I found that the lasting effects of the

HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s have negatively impacted the LGBTQ elderly community. While participants acknowledge gentrification as a concern in the Bay Area, they do not consider it to be a salient issue for their communities specifically. Participants reported adapting to the changes in their communities resulting from HIV/AIDS by utilizing phone lines, newspapers, online chat rooms, and online networking sites to meet one another. They also expressed desires to see more community involvement from youth, who appear less involved and more transient to the Bay Area than participants remember being in their own youth. The majority of academic literature on LGBTQ aging focuses on the medical aspects of aging and discrimination in healthcare facilities, but not as much on LGBTQ aging in place. This research begins to address the interaction between LGBTQ aging, aging in place, and community trauma.