The change in seasons can symbolize new beginnings. It often sets in motion a new slate of activities. And it’s a time to reminisce and celebrate the months before it. For SAGE, summer brought on a variety of highly visible successes, which we profile in this issue of SAGEMatters. And as we move into the fall, the launch of many new initiatives cements SAGE as the premiere national organization dedicated to LGBT aging!
As profiled throughout the latest issue, early summer kicked off an array of impressive achievements for SAGE and for LGBT older people nationally. Through its cutting-edge partnerships with leading national organizations, SAGE continued to pave the way for breakthroughs and historic moments. In late June, SAGE partnered with the White House and StoryCorps to host a landmark “generations of pride” event at the White House that featured older people and young people exchanging their stories about being LGBT in this country—as veterans and transgender people, as people of color and as people of faith, and as much more. A month prior, SAGE joined forces with the Diverse Elders Coalition and ACRIA (AIDS Community Research Initiative of America) to issue eight concrete recommendations that could transform the lives of older adults with HIV; this report, coupled with a national teleconference that gathered hundreds of callers nationwide, served as a call to action to our country’s top leaders to help end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, especially as it increasingly affects LGBT older people.
This summer, we also partnered with the Administration for Community Living and Administration on Aging to release a new learning tool, "Building Respect for LGBT Older Adults," which offers aging service providers an introduction to LGBT aging. SAGE had worked with leaders from HHS—as well as our peer organizations in Washington, DC—to inform and develop this essential tool—and it now exists on the website for SAGE’s National Resource Center for LGBT Aging. Every month, thousands of people visit this site for unique educational resources related to LGBT older people—and now they can access a new tool endorsed by our federal government in a unique partnership with SAGE.
In the summer issue of SAGEMatters, we also feature programs that engage lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LBT) women around the country. Our experience as an LGBT aging organization has shown us that too often the lives and contributions of LBT women are not sufficiently addressed by leaders in the LGBT sector, or in the aging and long-term care field. This leaves many LBT women without the supports or the advocacy platforms to affect the change they envision. In contrast, SAGE affiliates around the country, as well as The SAGE Center in New York City, shared with us some lessons from their programs that LBT women. This growing focus on LBT women falls perfectly in line with SAGE's current strategic plan, which emphasizes our critical role in promoting diversity and inclusion in our fields and communities.
Finally, what’s a summer recap issue that doesn't celebrate Pride? We have so much to be proud of in this historic moment as LGBT people, across the age spectrum. As older people, SAGE’s constituents continue to advance LGBT rights and shape the innovations that make SAGE's mission possible for millions of LGBT older people around the country. In this spirit, we thank you for your generous support of SAGE. And we thank you for joining us in making LGBT aging the focus of so much Pride.
Executive Director, SAGE