By Grace Birnstengel. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
Very little history, imagery or understanding of transgender older adults exists in the public sphere. The stories that circulate are often sensationalized, come from a lens of voyeurism or focus on celebrity figures.
To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults, a photography and interview project turned into a book from photographer Jess T. Dugan and social worker Vanessa Fabbre — both based in St. Louis — provides a level of representation previously unseen for this community. The book features 65 portraits of trans older adults between ages 50 and 90. Dugan was the photographer and Fabbre led the interviews with.... Read More
Confronting AIDS and Coming Out Taught Us How to Age Well
A first-ever survey in 2013 of LGBT San Francisco residents aged 60 to 92 found something startling: 15 percent of the 612 respondents had “seriously considered” committing suicide within the last 12 months. Commissioned by the city’s LGBT Aging Policy Task Force, the study found high degrees of disability as well as poor physical and mental health—both of which are associated with depression. The researchers were understandably concerned by the high percentage of LGBT seniors who had considered suicide.
Valentine’s Day is often known as a consumer holiday focused on couples. However, at the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA), we want to reinvent the holiday and use it as a way to celebrate the love everyone has for their Elders.
“Native American values and cultures believe that everything and everyone is connected. What we do to others and to the planet we do to ourselves. Practicing love, honor, gratitude and respect daily will unify us with the planet, its creatures and the Great Spirit.” Today, we encourage everyone to practice love, honor, and gratitude for our Elders, and continue to practice it daily.
How Can You Show Love, Honor, and Gratitude for.... Read More
Black History Month: A Closer Look at The Minority Stress Model and Older Adult Sexual Minorities
I’m always pleased to see great activists and icons of the Civil Rights Movement, inventors, artists, academics and musicians celebrated during Black History Month. Historically most have experienced interlocking oppressions of race, class and gender, and have shared stories through biopics and documentaries, while unsung heroes and survivors among us share their stories in small communities throughout the country. Many older adult minorities continue to report facing minority stressors within and outside of our communities (Velez, Moradi, & Brewster, 2013). This Black History Month, while we are remembering significant people and events in the history of the African diaspora, let’s take a closer look at the stress, struggle and resilience that continues to impact the lives of aging older adults.... Read More
“Wake up! Don’t be sad, now is when you have energy left!”
By Nicolás Peña. This article originally appeared on the NHCOA blog. To read in Spanish, click here.
Agueda González is Dominican, and though she is 83 years old, she says she feels 60 (and that’s how she looks). A single mother, with a suitcase full of hope, she arrived in the United States more than 30 years ago. “I was 50 years old, another full life ahead and two beautiful children to be raised. Some friends told me, ‘Agueda you are too old to start a new life in a different country,’ and.... Read More
We have so much to learn from Black Elders — and so many reasons to support them
February marks the start of Black History Month, a celebration of Black and African American stories, experiences, and impact on American culture. At the Diverse Elders Coalition, we’re proud to celebrate Black Elders every month of the year, but February offers us a bonus opportunity to lift these stories up into the national spotlight. Black Elders have so much wisdom to share about our history and the ways they have challenged white supremacy and other forms of oppression. It is imperative that those stories are not lost or forgotten.
I recently attended a Capitol Hill Briefing about the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), during which we heard testimonials from community-based organizations that employ older.... Read More
A Gift From My Grandmother: An Embrace of Life — and Aging
My family packed into the black stretch limousine leaving Cal State University in the East Bay. We were heading to a restaurant after attending my mother’s college graduation. We turned on the music and popped the bottle of complimentary cheap champagne. My grandmother took two sips, then pumped her hands in the air like she was “raising the roof.”
“Someone is trying to get my grandma drunk!” I joked. “Give her the sparkling cider.”
In her sassy Southern drawl, my grandmother responded, “Now look, I’m a grown woman.” She resumed enjoying the music, then diluted her champagne with cider. We all laughed. My grandmother, Angie.... Read More
Intergenerational Programs Thrive in Rural Minnesota
by Beth Baker. This post originally appeared on Next Avenue.
Rick Ramey, 82, has always loved monarch butterflies. So when his community of Moose Lake, Minn., built a new public pavilion, he floated the idea of establishing butterfly gardens there.
“I thought this was an ideal spot, down by the river,” he said. The community embraced the idea, and before long Ramey was organizing children to plant marsh milkweed, a food source for monarchs. He now is invited to local schools to teach students about the butterfly life cycle.
Among those working alongside Ramey in planting the gardens was Sebastien Blondo, 11. “I’ve always loved butterflies and the monarch,” he said. He’s learned a lot volunteering with.... Read More
by Beth Baker. This piece originally appeared on Next Avenue.
A large room fills with older adults and teenagers in the New York City headquarters of the nonprofit DOROT. They sit down on opposite sides of two long rows of tables filled with black-and-white chess sets.
Dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans, Jessica Nooney, who says she is “almost 80,” plays with Joelle Garcia, 15. Nooney learned chess as a child from her father.
“I’ve always loved to play, and I’m so happy to play with young people,” she says. Unlike when she was raising her teenage children, she adds, “It’s a different relationship when you don’t have to be the authority figure. It’s a.... Read More
Recap: 2017 Fall Couples Retreat for Older Lesbians in Chicago
Older lesbian couples in urban settings continue to seek community events that address their needs. In response, I created a Fall and Spring weekend retreat for a small group of lesbian couples in the Chicagoland area in 2013. In November 2017, the 4th annual older lesbian couples retreat was held in Westchester, IL. As facilitator and Life Coach, I presented sessions on self actualization, finding purpose, defining relationship goals, and effective communication.
LGBT aging resources for financial planning and long term care was also provided. In addition, Terri Worman, AARP Associate State Director for the Greater Chicagoland.... Read More