Leaning On Each Other: A Story and Call to Action from a Former Case Manager

pvv-headshotby Preston Van Vliet, National Campaign Organizer of the LGBTQ Work-Family Project, a joint initiative with A Better Balance and Family Values @ Work. You can reach him at LGBTQorganizing@gmail.com.

“How’s that jade plant doing?” Joe* asked me as we sat down at his kitchen table for our weekly visit. “You said you put it in a westward facing window, right? It should be getting way more light than mine do.” He gestured toward his patio door where cactuses, orchids, jade plants, and an avocado plant were growing on a bench he.... Read More

             

Housing for Vulnerable Populations: Charge and Change

January 15th was the day we celebrated the dreamer-activist Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and February is the month we celebrate Black History. As an older, African American, lesbian, activist, scholar, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, caregiver, friend, it is traditionally a time for me to reflect on the history and herstory of me and my ancestors in this country and across the globe.

I grew up wanting a house with a white picket fence. I guess those dreams came from the fairy tales of my childhood. I remember moving into a house in southeast Washington, DC where we were the only black family at the time. I remember hearing about Dr. King‘s advocacy and social justice work, which took him.... Read More

             

SAGECare Teaches Elder Care Providers the Importance of Fostering a Welcoming Community

by Sally Abrahms for AARP Livable Communities. This post originally appeared on the AARP website.

Many organizations and service providers that work with older adults don’t have much experience with older people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. As a result, when older adults who are LGBT fear or encounter discrimination, or receive subpar treatment from health and elder care providers, it can lead them to avoid medical care or hide their sexual orientation or gender identity.

That’s troublesome for both individuals and society-at-large since an estimated three million LGBT adults in the United States are now age 65 or older, and that number is expected to double by 2030.

In 2010, the nonprofit Services.... Read More

             

What Did the Diverse Elders Coalition Achieve in 2016?

In case you missed the December edition of our Common Threads newsletter, here are some highlights from the Diverse Elders Coalition in 2016! Subscribe to our newsletter here, and read on to learn more about what we achieved for diverse older adults this year:

It has been a year of ups and downs for our communities and the policies that impact aging within those communities. This edition of our Common Threads newsletter takes a look back at the work the Diverse Elders Coalition did in 2016 and renews our commitment to supporting diverse elders in 2017 and beyond. Read on for more!

Aging in America
In.... Read More

             

Where Bigotry is Denied Entrance—Fighting HIV/AIDS Stigma in Housing

by Pat Lin. This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.

On World AIDS Day, it’s important to commemorate how far we’ve come since the HIV/AIDS pandemic started. HIV isn’t the death sentence it used to be, but many long-term survivors of HIV continue to pay an emotional, physical and financial toll. In addition to managing the disease, HIV survivors still face stigma. As they get older and the effects of the disease compound the challenges of aging, they become more vulnerable. As the nation’s largest and oldest organization serving LGBT older adults, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) seeks to eradicate the stigma around HIV and to create welcoming spaces for long-term HIV survivors.

.... Read More
             

Indian Country on the Move

Bright lights and big cities: they’re attracting more and more American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) to move toward urban and metropolitan areas at an ever-quickening pace. Just before World War II, almost all – some 92% – of AI/ANs lived on reservations. Now it’s nearly the opposite, with almost 80% of AI/ANs living off tribal lands.

leaving-indian-country

The push toward the cities was not always a voluntary one. After decades of removal policies and war aimed at fighting and slaughtering AI/ANs, the federal government’s approach turned into one of “killing the Indian, but saving the man.” This meant programs aimed at ‘educating’ AI/ANs in.... Read More

             

Why Mary’s House? (Again.)

People often ask me, “Why do we need a place for LGBT older people to live? Don’t we have enough nursing homes and retirement homes for them to use?”

So I often share the story of John, a well-to-do gay elder who was found deceased — in his welcoming, upscale retirement complex. He had stopped going to church. He had stopped playing cards and going to the clubs. He had stopped interacting with his friends.

marys

Or I sometimes share the sorrow of my older friend, Helen, who after the death of her partner, was asked by her partner’s siblings to leave the.... Read More

             

SAGE Launches LGBT Age-Friendly Housing Website

This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.

Home isn’t just where we live — home is our safe place. That’s why SAGE has created a first-of-its-kind housing website that empowers LGBT elders to find a welcoming place to call home. We know that housing discrimination is on the rise, and dependable resources are needed more than ever. Now, you can access housing policies and protections, and find out where LGBT age-friendly communities are being built via SAGE’s new interactive map and resources.

sagehousing

We will update this post with stories and resources over.... Read More

             
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