Note: This story is about two women in a long term relationship, who do not enjoy the security of marriage not the extra income they would have if one of them had been male.
I am an old lesbian with an even older partner and this is why marriage equality and issues involving Social Security/Medicare have a far higher priority on my agenda than does a transgender inclusive ENDA.
We must fight the deficit hysterics’ relentless granny-bashing. Most people don’t grasp that this group has already been hit hard by budget cuts and the recession.
By Joshua Holland
May 30, 2011
“We lived very well,” said Norma Hair, 71, over a shaky table at the small pizzeria she runs in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, with 68-year-old Carol Schmidt, her wife and partner of over 30 years. “In 1979, Carol was making $33,000 per year, which was a lot of money back then. Then I rose to the position of supervisor of accounting in a company. So, our combined income [in the early-1980s] was probably about $60,000.”
The two women are sharp, with bright, youthful eyes and a slightly wicked sense of humor. But their bodies betray their years. “The reason we have nothing,” says Hair, “is because we spent everything we could on medical to keep Carol alive when we were in the United States.” Both women suffer from chronic heart problems in addition to other ailments.
“Hospitals have to treat you for life-threatening illnesses,“ explains Hair. “[Carol] got two lifesaving surgeries for nothing. But it was getting harder and harder, so I decided that it was easier if we traveled to different cities.”
So they did. They sold their home, bought an RV and toured the nation’s emergency rooms. “We were on the road for three and a half years,” says Schmidt, “just so we could go to a new ER each time and they wouldn’t be suspicious — oh, you’re back again?”