A Day of Advocacy Decades in the Making
by Aspen Christian. This article originally appeared on the SAGE blog.
Fifty years ago this coming June, LGBT elder pioneers started the fight for LGBT equality at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. As the nation nears the 50th anniversary of this watershed moment for the LGBT movement, SAGE and LGBT elders from across the country will gather in D.C. for SAGE’s first-ever National Day of Advocacy on March 13, 2019.
The Day of Advocacy will be held in conjunction with the annual SAGENet meeting, where SAGE affiliates gather to share ideas, participate in training sessions, and sharpen their advocacy skills. SAGENet affiliate leaders, SAGE constituents, and allies will speak directly with their senators and representatives about their needs as LGBT older people—just as newly elected officials are taking office. This is a chance for those constituents to say, for example, “I live in Alaska. I am an LGBT older person in your district, and here’s what’s important to me.”
There’s a lot to discuss, including the importance of protecting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. The group will also prioritize talking to legislators about the Older Americans Act (OAA), which provides about $2 billion in national funding to states for essential supports like caregiver respite, transportation, and home meal delivery.
The relationships that are forged during this Day of Advocacy will work to help SAGE and its allies come together to pass the Equality Act, a national policy that aims to protect LGBT people from discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, and more.
As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall and the founding of the modern-day LGBT rights movement, our elders will continue their advocacy, sending a loud and clear message to Congress that we will continue to fight relentlessly until all LGBT elders have equal protection under the law.
Sign up for SAGE’s National Day of Advocacy.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.