While enjoying her 72nd year on the planet, Donna Personna knows her remaining days are numbered. Yet the prospect of her demise doesn’t scare her.
“The end question. ‘The end.’ It’s not a touchy subject for me. I’m irreverent,” said Personna, a transgender woman who grew up in San Jose and now lives in San Francisco. “I learned long ago this was going to come.”
Personna, a beloved drag performer, playwright, and hairdresser, credits her Mexican heritage with teaching her that death is a part of life. She pointed to the annual Dia de los Muertos holiday — the Day of the Dead in.... Read More
by Dr. Theodore Hutchinson. This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.
On the day I was born 63 years ago, I became a ghost when these words were uttered: “Congratulations, it’s a girl!”
I am a person who is transgender. Although the signs were present throughout my life, the conversation and knowledge about trans folks were not a part of mainstream life in the U.S. back then. I was invisible to myself and to others.
But I’ve come to realize that no one deserves to be invisible. No one deserves to be forgotten. No one.... Read More
A Look at the Lives of Trans and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults
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
50 Years After Fair Housing Act, LGBT People Still Vulnerable to Housing Discrimination
April 11, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of Fair Housing Act, a pivotal piece of legislation that laid the groundwork for housing protections for marginalized populations in the United States. They say those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, so it’s worth a look back at how things have and have not changed in terms of fair housing since 1968—and just how the legislation was passed in the first place.
In 1968, America was an extremely segregated society with distinct white and black neighborhoods. Racial and socioeconomic inequality were pervasive, creating a divide.... Read More
SAGE Condemns the Trump Administration’s Ban on Transgender People in the Military
SAGE, the nation’s largest and oldest organization serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender elders, will not stand by quietly as the Trump administration continues its attempts to erase the transgender community – this time from the ranks of the U.S. military, in which they have served for generations.
A recent study found that 20 percent of transgender people have served in the military, which is double the percentage of the general population. President Trump’s outrageous statement that they can.... Read More
Almost two years ago, I left the home I have lived in for close to twenty years: the home where my children were raised most of their lives, and the home that I considered my dream house. To be honest, I went through a period of sadness and fear because of this move. We had sold the house without another place to move to. And we had decided to move from a large property with a huge front and backyard to a condo. Yes, we received a price we couldn’t turn down. Yes, we negotiated a 9-months-free rental clause. And yes, we had no closing costs to pay or no buyers trampling through our house looking in every nook and.... Read More
Jay Kallio gained nationwide visibility in 2012 when he shared his story about navigating the healthcare system as a transgender man living with breast cancer. Now in the midst of a new battle, Jay talks about how a younger community of activists has connected him to newfound strength and courage.
Photo Credit: Rosa Goldensohn/DNAinfo.com
Timothy Wroten: Earlier this year, you were diagnosed with a new condition: terminal lung cancer. Many of us.... Read More
The History & Future of the Black Trans Rights Movement
On February 23rd, 2016, Jevon Martin and Mya Vazquez hosted a talk on the History and Future of the Black Trans Rights Movement at SAGE Center Midtown. The speakers discussed the past, present and future of the black trans rights movement throughout history, while facilitating an ongoing discussion with those who attended.
In recognition of Transgender Awareness Week and the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), SAGE and the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging are highlighting resources for the transgender and gender variant communities. TDOR honors the memory of those murdered because of anti-transgender prejudice and is observed in late November in recognition of the 1998 murder of Rita Hester. Rita was a highly visible member of the transgender community in Boston, where she worked locally on education around transgender issues. On Saturday, November 28, 1998, Rita was murdered in her apartment. TDOR was started as a vigil in her honor and has since become an international event for communities to come together and remember.... Read More
LGBT media has been buzzing lately with the arrival of a trailer for the new movie “Stonewall,” a fictional cinematic account of the riots at the Stonewall Inn that launched the modern-day LGBTQ movement. What has received less media attention, shamefully, is the fact that the film – directed by a white, cisgender, gay man – is centered on a fictional white, cisgender, gay male character instead of the transgender and gender variant people of color who actually incited the Stonewall riots.
This omission felt very striking to me as I also read news of the death of Tamara Dominguez, a Latina trans woman who was violently mugged and murdered in a parking lot on August 18th..... Read More
Support Groups for Survivors: Commemorating National Minority Cancer Awareness Week
In 2013, the National LGBT Cancer Network and LGBT HealthLink surveyed over 300 LGBTQ-identified cancer survivors and found that, overwhelmingly, our communities needed LGBTQ-targeted support. Mainstream, “straight-identified” cancer support groups too often left our people’s cancer experiences shut out of the dialogue. LGBTQ survivors also told us that doctors were not open enough to our needs and sometimes were overtly hostile. Cancer support groups by and for LGBTQ members were the number one request made by survivors who participated in.... Read More
A Response to “It’s Never Too Late To Make a Change”
This blog post was written by SAGE‘s Executive Director, Michael Adams, as a response to “It’s Never Too Late To Make a Change,” a New York Times article focusing on transgender aging and originally appeared on the SAGE Blog.
As “It’s Never Too Late To Make a Change,” New York Times, March 8, 2015, demonstrates, more and more transgender people are making the decision to embrace their gender identity later in life. As the New York Times points out, the pull to live your life as who you truly are runs deep at every stage of life. The stories shared by the Times.... Read More