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.
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 and Partners Launching LGBT Elder Housing in NYC
This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post Blog on July 11, 2016. Read the original post here.
Recently, SAGE closed out New York City’s Pride month with the historic announcement that, after many years of effort, we have sealed deals for the Big Apple’s first two LGBT-friendly senior housing developments. The news, which culminates decades of effort by LGBT elder advocates, was rolled out at a June 30 press conference where SAGE was joined by our partner developers, elected officials and a passionate crowd of elders from Brooklyn and the Bronx, where the two new housing communities will be built.
The two newly-announced LGBT-welcoming housing developments – Ingersoll Senior Residences in Brooklyn and.... Read More
St. Martin’s LGBTQ Elders Find Strength in Families of Choice
In the Austin community on the Westside of Chicago, Father Chris Griffin serves a diverse congregation of elders, adults and youth at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church. St. Martin’s is an open and affirming space offering a safe haven for LGBTQ people. In the shadow of the Orlando shooting, Father Chris speaks with me about the senior ministry team and the importance of embracing our elders and their families of choice during this emotional time.
Q: How does St. Martin’s embrace the LGBTQ elder community? Fr. Chris: Our seniors play an important role within the various ministries of the church..... Read More
I find myself attending LGBTQ Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) events with less and less frequency over time. At one point, queer AAPI community events made up most of my calendar; now, hardly at all. Part of it is that other activities and responsibilities occupy my time, including family responsibilities. Part of it is that my tastes have changed – I am now much happier spending an evening with a few friends at home rather than going out. And speaking of going out: part of it is my lifestyle has changed. I was recently invited to an event that started at 10:00 p.m.! I mean, who does that?! Oh, right, I did, once upon a time.
During Black History Month, Mary’s House for Older Adults, SAGE Metro DC, and AARP DC held a LGBTQ/SGL (same gender-loving) State of the Union. One of the issues brought to the forefront was the increase of suicides among LGBTQ elders in nursing homes and other facilities. Surprised?
While we’re all sort of aware that suicide is a leading cause of death for youth aged 10 to 24, we rarely think of it as a leading cause for elders. However, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) has a startling statistic: people 45-64 years old had the highest suicide rate in 2013, and elders 85 years.... Read More
I was 30 when Jesse Solomon and I registered as Domestic Partners in San Francisco. We had moved to San Francisco from New York in November 1990. Our Domestic Partnership was sealed in a quiet ceremony at city hall with little acknowledgement of our change in status except for the taxi driver who refused to take our money. She said it was an honor for her to get us there and recommended dinner at the House of Prime Rib. She even said she would wait for us.... Read More
Parade This was the first ever time that Mary’s House had been in the Parade. We were excited to offer FREE transportation to LGBTQ people over 60 and to folks who were not able to walk the entire parade route. Many thanks to Jerry Miller who donated a state-of-the-art trolley and his time. The crowd just cheered to see LGBTQ elders participate in the Parade as well! We threw the prerequisite beads and candy AND we sprayed our WATER GUNS on the crowd. They.... Read More
“I am a 60-year-old Trans Woman living with HIV:” Helena’s Story
As we enter the last days of Pride Month, I’m hopeful that the momentum from the US Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states will carry us through the rest of the year. Even after the rainbow flags have been put away and the glitter has been swept from the streets, it is crucial that we continue to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community, in particular our vulnerable LGBTQ elders.
All too often, elders are left out of the conversation around HIV and STDs — we rarely see our elders targeted by HIV prevention and treatment campaigns. But older adults are still at risk for infections and should still be getting tested..... Read More
Every summer, LGBT people across the country step out during Pride season to honor who we are, celebrate the progress we’ve made, and re-energize ourselves for the battles ahead. Yet in the midst of all the revelry and marching, older people are often overlooked. This summer, SAGE is celebrating some lesser-known “Heroes of Pride” on their blog. Read on for a profile of activist Sally Ann Hay.
Today we’re talking with Sally Ann Hay, a 65-year-old cisgender lesbian woman from Lincoln, Rhode Island, about her history with activism, her involvement with SAGE, and a notable relative in her family tree.
As a part of our ongoing Pride Month celebration, we’re featuring some of the most touching and inspiring stories from our Diverse Elders Stories Initiative. This week, we’re spotlighting the life of Paul Regalos-Urban, a gay, transgender, Latino elder. The introduction below comes from his friend and fellow activist, Vince Criostomo. We hope you will be moved by Vince’s introduction and will read Paul’s story, as well as the others in our archives.
Vince Crisostomo is the Program Manager for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s 50-Plus Network.
My name is Vince Crisostomo. In April 2014, I joined the Read More
When we unveiled our request for stories for the new Diverse Elders Stories Initiative back in April, I wasn’t sure what kind of responses we would get. What are the challenges facing our elders and their communities? How can we put those challenges into concise, thoughtful stories? Would anyone write to us at all?
Thankfully, Mikael Wagner arrived to assuage my fears. He sent us his story within a week of our call for submissions – the first person to do so – and it was everything I could have hoped for in a story. Mikael was diagnosed with.... Read More