Gay and Lesbian Elders, by Nancy J. Knauer, I. Herman Stern Professor of Law, Beasley School of Law, Temple University

Posted by Nora Weber, Senior Marketing Coordinator

Since its publication in December 2010, Nancy J. Knauer’s book, Gay and Lesbian Elders, has been extremely well-received by critics and readers alike.

Beginning with the following review from Choice:

“In this well-researched book, legal scholar Knauer […] presents the estimated two million lesbian and gay elders in the US as an underserved and poorly understood group. She convincingly argues that identity formation for gay people is uniquely the product of their historical context…An excellent book…Highly recommended.”

And more recently from The Gerontologist:

“Knauer’s treatment is by turns scholarly and deeply personal—shuttling as it does between statistical and anecdotal evidence, and admirably  bridges several intellectual fields—including cultural and legal history, sociology, theories of identity, and LGBT historiography—which the author manages to tie together in a compelling bundle that effectively lays out the complicated landscape of LGBT aging issues.”

The Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues also weighed in, in their Division 44 Newsletter:

“Law professor Nancy Knauer provides an interesting and important perspective about the history, identity, and concerns of today’s lesbian and gay elders. The book provides in one compact volume a compilation of information that is of critical importance to researchers, activists and policy makers concerned with these issues.”

It is clear that Gay and Lesbian Elders has struck a chord in the current LGBT discourse, and will likely continue to do so for many years to come.

Knauer herself continues to speak regularly on the topic. In December, she was the only academic invited to participate in an Elder Housing Summit in D.C. that was sponsored by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the US Department of Health and Human Services. She also spoke at the 5th International Positive Aging Conference in Los Angeles and next week she’ll be speaking at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Women is Psychology in Palm Springs.

For further information on this noteworthy book and author, please visit

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