January 17, 2016
by Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
How is one soon-to-be 65-year-old celebrating his big birthday?
Harry “Heshie” Zinman is throwing a fund-raising bash called “Heshiebowl LXV.” And the public is invited.
The party is set for 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, at Tavern On Camac, 243 S. Camac St., in Center City.
Tickets, which include two drinks, light fare, and a tax-deductible donation, are $65 each. General admission is $25. (See the invitation at facebook.com/HeshiebowlLXV).
Why would a brand-new senior fete himself so prominently? The needs of the elderly have come to the forefront for the LGBT community, Zinman said.
Legalization of gay marriage prompted a flurry of estate and health-care discussions. Mainstream media now feature lesbian, gay, and transgender characters on such television shows as Transparent, Orange Is the New Black, and Glee, as well as in movies such as The Danish Girl.
But the true reason Zinman is throwing his 65th birthday party is to raise money for Philadelphia’s LGBT Elder Initiative, the group he founded in 2010 to help fill the need for health services; housing, case management, and social services; and social networking for LGBT seniors in the Philadelphia area.
The number of LGBT Americans over age 65 is put at 1.4 million to 3.8 million; by 2030, that figure will grow to almost eight million, he estimated.
“LGBT older adults are especially reliant on programs like Social Security, and same-sex partners do not have access to federal family-leave benefits, equivalent Medicaid spend-downs, Social Security benefits, bereavement leave, or automatic inheritance of jointly owned real estate and personal property,” Zinman noted.