The Lodge

The National LGBTQ Task Force estimates 3 million LGBTQ+ elders now live in the United States. The audience is rapidly increasing for a documentary that explores a retirement community created intentionally for them. Contact Pam Walton for more information about this newly released documentary.

“We are delighted to endorse Pam Walton’s latest documentary, The Lodge. We encourage your support for this worthy project.”

—Rea Carey, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force »Full letter of endorsement

»Read the interview with Pam Walton about The Lodge at The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging


This is a story about the first-of-its kind LGBTQ retirement community. Fountaingrove Lodge in Santa Rosa, California, is the nation’s first state-licensed continuing care retirement community (CCRC) that’s specifically for LGBTQ+ seniors and their straight allies. Today approximately 100 residents from all over the United States live at The Lodge. The average age is 75; the oldest person is 97. It offers a continuum of care from independent living to failing health.

Fountaingrove Lodge

Filmmakers Pam Walton, 75, and Ruth Carranza, 70, are best qualified to make this film because we have unique access to it – we’ve been living at The Lodge since December 2017. We’ve come to know and have gained the trust of the people who live here. The Lodge looks inside this unique experiment in gay/straight living to show us the daily lives, hopes, and fears of people in their 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. What you discover will surprise you.


“Advocates for L.G.B.T. seniors have argued for years that long-term care facilities fail to protect them against discrimination and harassment, leaving them particularly vulnerable.”

Joanie Zimmerman and Mathile Rothschild, residents at Fountaingrove Lodge since 2013.
Joanie and Matile, residents at Fountaingrove Lodge since 2013

“Same-sex partners may not be allowed to room together; staff may treat LGBT elders insensitively; recreational interests may be ignored or denied; finances and benefits normally given to heterosexual partners may be withheld from surviving same-sex partners; and the loneliness and isolation that accompany aging may be compounded by discrimination.”

NOT ANOTHER SECOND One-on-one interviews with 12 LGBT+ seniors who talk about their hardships and resilience.

The LGBTQ+ community in the United States has been waiting for a place like Fountaingrove Lodge. According to the Sonoma County Gazette, it was the first of its kind in “the world”! The Press Democrat, The New York Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle noted its opening in November 2013. And now the country is waiting to see whether its welcoming and accepting policies will survive and encourage the building of other like communities.

Senior Gay Pride marchers, June 2019
John and Bill, Lodge residents

Sponsored by the International Documentary Association

Partially funded by the Fleishhacker Foundation, San Francisco.

Contact Pam Walton for more information about this newly released documentary.