Gen Silent

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Gen Silent
Gen Silent.jpg
Directed by Stu Maddux
Produced by Stu Maddux
Joseph Applebaum
Distributed by Interrobang Productions
Release date
  • February 18, 2010 (2010-02-18) (Boston LGBT Film Festival)
Running time
63 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Gen Silent is a 2010 documentary film, directed and produced by Stu Maddux.[1] The documentary follows the lives of six LGBT seniors living in the Boston area who must choose if they will hide their sexuality in order to survive in the long-term health care system.[2] It has been screened at numerous colleges and universities as well as in front of government agencies and healthcare organizations.[3][4] It premiered at the Boston LGBT Film Festival and has won numerous awards at others.[5]

The title of the film is a reference to the generations of older LGBT people who remain in the closet or re enter the closet out of concern for their safety or quality of life. As a result of the documentary, the term Gen Silent has increased in use as a way to refer to this group.[6]


Gen Silent was filmed in the Boston area over a one-year period. During that time, director Stu Maddux followed six LGBT seniors through their decision to either stay open about their sexuality or hide it so that they can survive in the long-term health care system.[7][8] In the documentary a gay man named Lawrence Johnson searches for a nursing home where he and his partner can be open about their relationship while still receiving quality care.[9] It also follows a transgender senior by the name of KrysAnne. She searches for people to care for her because she is estranged from her family. The story of an LGBT couple named Sheri and Lois is told, including how they spent their lives fighting for LGBT rights. While Sheri states that she refuses to hide her sexuality, Lois states that she will if that is what it would take to protect her in the health care system. Mel and his partner are the final couple followed in the documentary. Mel’s partner gets sick and he finds care from a welcoming agency where he feels comfortable and safe to speak openly for the first time about his sexuality and their thirty-nine year relationship together.[4][10]

Notable screenings[edit]

Gen Silent premiered at the Boston LGBT Film Festival in 2010. It was also screened at numerous other film festivals including the Frameline Film Festival, the Provincetown International Film Festival, the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Film Festival, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and the North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.[4]

It was also screened for health care staff at Duke University Medical Center,[11] to lawmakers at the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.[3][5] Harvard and Yale Universities have also hosted screenings of the film.[12][13]

Awards and Recognitions[edit]

Gen Silent has won multiple awards including the Audience Choice Best Documentary at the Frameline Film Festival in 2011 and the Audience Choice Best Documentary at the Image+Nation Montreal International LGBT Film Festival.[5]

Select awards[edit]

Year Award Name Organization
2010 Audience Award for Best Documentary Sacramento Film & Music Festival[14]
2010 Jury Award for Best Documentary Sacramento Film & Music Festival[14]
2011 Alternative Spirit Award Rhode Island International Film Festival[14]
2011 Audience Choice for Best Documentary Frameline Film Festival[15][16]
2011 Audience Award for Best Documentary Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Film Festival[17]
2010 Audience Award for Best Documentary Charlotte Film Festival[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wedner, Ellen. "Documentary Gen Silent Raises The Question: Do LGBT Seniors need To Go Back In The Closet". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Rainbow Kilts LGBT Festival To Brighten Up Hawick This Weekend". The Southern Reporter. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Gay Pride 2012 Event Guide" (PDF). University of Michigan. March 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Breaking Generation Silent: Facing The Needs and Challenges of LGBT Elders". University of North Carolina School of Social Work. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "Recent Screenings". Gen Silent Official Website. 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  6. ^ Knauer, Nancy J. (11 January 2012). "Gen Silent – Advocating For LGBT Elders" (PDF). Illinois Law Center. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  7. ^ Gustafson, Mary (9 August 2012). "The Silent Generation: Long-Term Care Is A Landmine For LGBT Seniors". McKnight’s Long-Term Care News & Assisted Living. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Nursing Homes Not Prepared For Gay Seniors". UPI. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  9. ^ Wright, G (6 January 2012). "Gen Silent Follows Plight of Aging LGBT People". Social Workers Speak. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  10. ^ "Gen Silent – The People". Gen Silent Official Website. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  11. ^ "Recent Screenings". Gen Silent Official Website. 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  12. ^ "Events". Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study – Harvard University. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  13. ^ McDermott, Kate. (5 April 2011). "Gen Silent: Aging in the LGBT Community and How We Are All Responsible". Midnight At Yale. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  14. ^ a b c Administrator (28 July 2012). "Gen Silent At The Coolidge Corner Theatre". Axe Entertainment. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  15. ^ "Award Winners". 21 May 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  16. ^ "Documentary Explored LGBT Elderly". Pride Source. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  17. ^ "Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Awards". Film Festivals. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  18. ^ Journal Staff (10 October 2010). "Charlotte Film Fest Awards". Carolin Production Journal. Retrieved 23 August 2012.

External links[edit]