Ten More Good Years

a documentary about the unique challenges facing LGBT Elders

Miss Major is an elder, black, formerly incarcerated transgendered Male-to-Female person. She has been involved in the trans community as an activist and advo- cate for over thirty-five (35) years. She was one of the girls at the Stonewall Bar the night of the 68ʼ riots in New York City setting off the LGBT Civil Rights Movement. While living in NYC, she worked with fellow performers in local bars trying to establish an equal pay scale for their performances and also worked on the streets with other hookers keeping track of license plates of the cars they got into. While spending time in Sing Sing and other prisons, she helped the girls inside hold on to who they were and not cave in to the wishes and desires of fellow inmates and guards. At the onset of HIV/AIDS, the opportunity arose to work and get legitimate money to do prevention, education, counsel- ing, and outreach to her community. She has worked at over ten (10) agencies over the years that help the transgender community. She has received numerous awards and accolades for her activism in her community. Most recently, she spoke at the Committee to Eliminate Racial Discrimination (CERD) at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on the abuses of transgender women of color. Currently, sheʼs working as Community Organizing Director of TIP (Trans and gender variant in Prison Committee) and TGIJP (Transgender, Gender-variant, and Intersex Justice Project), where she instills hope and belief in the future and a sense of some kind of justice for the girls that are currently incar- cerated and those coming home. It is clear that Miss Major is a true icon for LGBT culture, yet she still struggles with inequalities. She currently lives in Oakland, California in order to be near San Francisco where health care providers better understand what transgender medical needs. Should she live outside the Bay Area the likelihood of decent health care of her is slim to none. She also worries that when it comes time to settle down into a retirement facility that she will not be accepted.
Jack Ogg moved to San Francisco from Texas over 30 years ago. While living in San Fran he has worked as a Superintendent for several SF apartment buildings. In the 80ʼs he met and fell in love with Don while attend- ing an afternoon tea party at the famed Ambush Bar. While living and working together in a large Castro neighborhood apartment complex Jack and Don experi- enced, first hand, the wrath of the AIDS epidemic. Jack and Don watched most of their friends and neighbors perish. In the 90ʼs Don was diagnosed with Cancer. After he passed away Jack was left to fend for himself, alone and without Donʼs pension or Social Security to help him pay for everyday bills such as rent. Soon Jack lost his apartment due to lack of income and found himself living in a shelter located in the mission district. Jack was fortunate enough to find SRO housing a few months later, and then to receive a Section 8 voucher. With this voucher he has moved into his own apartment but in 2006 he was in- formed the voucher was being devalued. He still lives in the same apartment but, in his 70ʼs, has found himself once again living on the edge; bartering work for rent with his landlord. Jack is once again Superintendent of the building he is living in as a means of paying his rent.

Ivy Bottini was born in August 1926. She is an artist, a mother and a legendary activist, devoting over 40 years to the feminist & LGBT’s struggle for civil & human rights. After graduation she worked in several art & advertising agencies in New York City and then completed a 16 year career at Newsday, a major east coast daily newspaper, where she was art director and illustrator. She left Newsday in 1971 when she moved to California.  After leaving Newsday and moving to Los Angeles in 1971, she studied acting at Lee Strasberg Institute and spent several years performing her one woman show, “The Many Faces of Women” thorough out the Nation.  She is a founder of the first chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) formed in 1966 as well as designing their national logo. As she fought for women's rights in New York City, she conceived and led the takeover of the Statue of Liberty in 1970 when Ivy’s New York Chapter of NOW, hung a large banner over the top of Statue’s pedestal which read, “Women of the Word Unite.”  She introduced the struggle for lesbian rights into the women’s movement in 1969. She created feminist consciousness raising within her New York chapter of NOW, which was later adapted for all chapters to participate in. In 1970 she was forced out of NOW due to her desire for equality and inclusion of lesbians in the struggle for women’s rights.  She was the Southern California deputy director of the 1978 campaign which spearheaded the defeat of the Briggs Initiative, (No on 6) which would have banned gays and lesbians from teaching in California's public schools. She went on to chair the No on LaRouche and No on 64 Initiative victories. She has organized numerous gay-rights marches, protests and "die-ins" in the 1980s. She has fought to get funding and services for the sick and dying during the AIDS epidemic. She founded the first AIDS organization in Los Angeles, AIDS Network LA, which served as a clearing house for early disease information and in 1983 she co-founded AIDS Project L.A. She was a founder the Los Angeles Lesbian/Gay Police Advisory Board. She has been co-chair of the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board for the city of West Hollywood from 1999 to 2010, spearheading work on partner abuse in the LGBT community, Crystal Meth addiction, the annual dyke march, and affordable housing for LGBT seniors. Ivy originally conceived the idea of providing affordable housing for Gay & Lesbian Seniors. Many years of hard work culminated with the founding of the non-profit Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing, Inc. in 1993. Long before she became a founder and signer on the non-profit, Ivy laid the groundwork by organizing the community. She made the phone calls, held the meetings and provided the leadership that resulted in obtaining the grant of the State to move forward. The group’s first project, Triangle Square contains 103 units in an affordable income apartment complex which opened in late April 2007 in Hollywood CA. It is the first in the Nation. 

James Bidgood (born March 28, 1933 in Madison Wisconson) is an American contemporary artist living and working in New York City. His artistic output has embraced a number of media and disciplines, including music, set and window design, and drag performance. In time his interests led him to photography and film and it is for this work that he is most widely known. Highly recognizable, his photographs are distinguished by an aesthetic of high fantasy and camp. His work which was inspired by an early interest in Florenz Ziegfeld, Folies Bergère, and George Quaintance has, in turn, served as important inspiration for a slew of artists including Pierre et Gilles and David LaChapelle. In the late 1950s Bidgood attended Parsons The New School for Design. Bidgood directed the 1971 film Pink Narcissus, a dialogue-free fantasy centered around a young and often naked man. The film took seven years to make, and Bidgood built all the sets and filmed the entire piece in his tiny apartment. He later removed his name from the film because he felt editors had changed his original vision. Consequently, the film bore the word "Anonymous" for the director's credit, and it was misattributed to other directors such as Andy Warhol for many years. Pink Narcissus was re-released in 2003 by Strand Releasing.
Harry Ollen Bartron was born in Van Etten, New York, on December 26, 1917, the fifth and youngest child of Fernando and Margaret (Cranmer) Bartron. Shortly after Bartron's birth, his mother divorced his physically abusive father, and married a tenant farmer named Frank Whitmore, and Harry lived his childhood on several farms in the neighborhood of Troy, Pennsylvania. Bartron's mother left Whitmore when she discovered he had never divorced his first wife, and Bartron found himself on his own at age 13. He spent his high school years boarding with relatives and private families in Elmira, New York. Raised a Baptist, he joined the fundamentalist Pilgrim Holiness Church in his late teens, and completed seminary work at the Allentown Bible School in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he met Inez Lee Fotner, whom he married. He joined the Navy in 1943 and converted to Roman Catholicism in boot camp; he was expelled from the Navy later that year with an "Undesirable Discharge" for making sexual advances to another sailor. He returned to his wife and son Stephen, born during his deployment, and moved Cincinnati, where he obtained work with a Catholic goods shop, joined the Third Order of St. Francis, and took classes at Xavier University. Bartron and his wife had two more children, Elizabeth (born 1945) and Carol (born 1947). In 1947, Bartron moved to Chicago to attend Loyola University. He also became very active in the Uptown Players of Chicago, both as an actor and assistant to the director; he also took private lessons in performance. His wife left him in 1948; she later married Paul Marcus Marker (1925-1997), with whom she had several children, and died in 1986. Now single, Bartron developed a one-man show, first as a monologist, then as a mime, and for the next 18 years performed over 4,200 times throughout the United States, Canada, the British Isles, and Mexico. With the success of Marcel Marceau, Bartron was billed as "the American Pantomimist".