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
As I write this article, slightly more than a month before my 65th birthday, I wish was eagerly anticipating a lovely fun-filled celebration. But I know better. I will most likely spend the day in bed with the covers pulled over my head, wondering, “What the hell happened?!”
Not that long ago—although it feels like a lifetime—I was a very active, respected wrestler and amateur MMA fighter—I have a championship belt hanging on my wall that I won in an eight-man MMA tournament in 2001 at age forty-eight. Today,.... Read More
Creating Change for Diverse Elders at the 2018 Creating Change Conference
This year’s Creating Change conference will be held from January 24th through 28th in Washington, D.C. and Diverse Elders Coalition member SAGE will be there to ensure that the stories of LGBT elders are represented and honored. As in previous years, SAGE will present a number of elder-focused sessions throughout the conference, and they will also be tabling — so be sure to pick up their new Age-Friendly Pride Guide and any other information you might need about culturally competent care, housing, and advocacy for LGBT elders.
Five years ago, Pat Baldwin walked into the office of the executive director at the Hannan Foundation, an organization dedicated to preserving the dignity of elders in the state of Michigan, and took a seat. Pat, who is the director of the Hannan Center for Lifelong Learning, wanted to speak with the foundation’s director about an issue close to her heart—an issue for which she knew Hannan was uniquely suited to make a difference.
Having worked with older adults and the aging population at Hannan for the past 17 years, Pat recalls that she had seen an increase in troubling.... 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
by liz thomson. For the past five years, liz has been doing eldercare with mom and has learned a lot about the healthcare industrial complex, aging experience, and how marginalized the elder communities are. For more about liz and Betty, click here.
Since moving in together, mom and I have had to figure out how to share our lives together in a new way. One significant area of my life is about gender and sexuality. In Chicago, I had a very strong LGBTQQIA community – and specifically those who were Asian American and people of color. So, I knew moving to Greenwood, Indiana was going to be very different. However, I was surprised to see a PFLAG Greenwood.... Read More
Diverse Elders Coalition Condemns the Trump Administration’s Ban on Words Including “Diversity” and “Vulnerable”
The Diverse Elders Coalition is deeply troubled by widespread media reports that the Trump Administration is banning words like “diversity” and “transgender” and “vulnerable,” among other important words that describe interventions, from the federal budget and ordering federal agencies not to use such words in budget documents. As the name of our Coalition manifests, we believe that respect and support for diversity among our elders is fundamental to a decent society. This is critically important because diverse elders are highly vulnerable as they age,.... Read More
The Edie Windsor SAGE Center Dedicated in New York City
SAGE, the nation’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT elders, has officially renamed its Midtown senior center — the first LGBT senior center in the country — The Edie Windsor SAGE Center, in honor of its beloved hero.
Friends and supporters gathered at SAGE National Headquarters to celebrate the dedication and to pay tribute to the woman who paved the way to marriage equality. Windsor, who once served on the Board of SAGE and continued to be a staunch supporter of the organization and the community it serves, passed away in September of this year.
“Edie was many things to SAGE – a strong supporter, a Board member, a SAGE activist,” said.... Read More
On December 5, 2017, I, an African American lesbian elder, found myself on the steps of the Supreme Court of the United States of America. I had been asked to share my thoughts on the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case. I was happy that I’d been asked because I had a few thoughts and life experiences on what legalized discrimination looked and felt like.
However, for a few minutes, being in front of the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, seemed surreal. Sort of like the time my wife and I took a cruise down the Nile in Egypt with the pyramids as a backdrop. I mean here I was on the same.... Read More
Kintsugi: A Survivor’s Reflection on World AIDS Day 2017
When the Japanese mend broken objects, they emphasize the damage by filling in the cracks with gold.
They believe that when something has suffered damage and has history, it becomes more beautiful than before.
This is kintsugi, the art of “fixing with gold.”
We were broken. Thirty-six years ago, a virus invaded our community, invaded our bodies. It destroyed hundreds of thousands of us. Those of us whom the virus couldn’t kill, it left broken—physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually broken.
We have suffered damage. Those of us who carry the virus inside.... Read More