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Cyber Granny.

Don't let the screen name Silver Sun Woman fool you--Renee Mazon is no hippie chick. The 78year-old lesbian, who appropriates that alias on ElderWisdomCircle. org, a site staffed by seniors who dispense advice to young folk, is a tough New York native more likely to talk about her days as a cabbie than to reminisce about the '60s.

Mazon calls on her invaluable experience when she doles out guidance: She was married for 16 years and raised two kids before coming out of the closet, after which she protested following the Stonewall riots and attended an early meeting of the group that would become PFLAG.

Mazon joined EWC five years ago because she felt she wasn't contributing to society. Now she's straightening out confused souls, who submit 300 questions to the site daily. How many does she respond to? "It depends on how much I'm willingto put up with," she says. "I get questions like, 'Joe smiled at me, but so did Paul-who should I smile back at?'"

If a queer question enters the queue, Mazon answers it immediately--if she can. "There are a few other elders who seem to zero in on gay letters," she says.

But Mazon is the expert on LGBT discrimination. She and her partner were forced into the closet after entering a retirement community. When the pair first moved in, "half the people wouldn't speak to us." When Mazon moved into her own place, "everybody suddenly recognized us."

Such a story may seem unbelievable to her gay advice seekers, many of whom "don't know about Stonewall." She adds, "We should be glad they don't have to go through some of those experiences. They have enough to worry about."
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Title Annotation:Forward
Author:Ochalla, Bryan
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Date:Dec 4, 2007
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