SAGE Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders
2011 Annual Report


Dear Friends,

More than 30 years ago, a small group of committed and passionate advocates realized that members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities did not have the supports and services they needed as they aged. So, they founded SAGE, the country's first organization focused on LGBT older people. They didn't know it then, but they were planting a small seed that would grow from a vital local agency into a leading organization with the commitment and will to change the national landscape on LGBT aging.

In 1978—and for many years following—few LGBT organizations were paying attention to aging issues, and few aging organizations were aware of LGBT issues. SAGE was often the lone voice combatting ageism in our communities and the broader society, and one of the few organizations to realize that our country's aging network was ill-prepared to effectively meet the needs of the rapidly growing population of older Americans, especially LGBT elders.

It is with this history in mind that we reflect back on SAGE's accomplishments in 2011. We are living in a time of great opportunity for LGBT aging issues, and over the past year, SAGE saw many of the initiatives for which we had laid the groundwork flourish. As you navigate through the pages of this annual report site, you'll see how SAGE's increased leadership in the federal policy arena and our partnerships with other national aging organizations have led to important breakthroughs for LGBT older adults—from the extension of spousal impoverishment protections to same-sex couples struggling to pay for long-term care, to ensuring that the increasing numbers of LGBT older people living with HIV/AIDS have the support they need.

SAGE also saw deepening interest from leaders across the aging field in learning more about the barriers that face LGBT older people, and shaping solutions to those challenges. This is evidenced by our partnership with the National Academy on an Aging Society (the policy institute of the Gerontological Society of America) to produce a groundbreaking issue of their influential policy journal focused entirely on LGBT aging. And in perhaps one of our most exciting accomplishment of the last year, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that SAGE had received a grant to create The SAGE Center, the country's first municipally funded LGBT senior center—a dream many years in the making.

As this annual report shows, SAGE also sowed the seeds for many more changes to improve the lives of LGBT elders. Through steady advocacy, backed by our well-respected policy briefs and reports, we are making strides toward naming LGBT older people as a population of "greatest social need" in the Older Americans Act, an action that has the potential to channel substantial funding toward LGBT-affirming aging programs in communities across the country. In addition, SAGE's National Resource Center on LGBT Aging launched a much-in-demand national LGBT cultural competency training curriculum for aging providers, helping to create welcoming agencies and relevant services for LGBT older people no matter where they live.

Recently, we heard from one of SAGE's founders, who told us, "I think we knew that SAGE would thrive, but we could never have imagined the multiservice agency it is today, with the programs all over the country. It's heartwarming to think about how many people have been helped by SAGE, and I'm so proud to be part of helping to create an LGBT community that includes its elders." This is indeed a great accomplishment, and it would not have been possible without our founders, or our many friends and supporters. On behalf of SAGE's Board of Directors, Staff, volunteers and constituents, thank you for your steadfast commitment to our mission! You have nurtured the seeds of change alongside SAGE, ensuring that LGBT older people receive the support they need to age successfully now and for years to come.

Rosalyn Richter
Board Co-Chair
David W. Canter, Esq.
Board Co-Chair
Michael Adams
Executive Director

June 2012


Copyright © 2012 Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE). All Rights Reserved.


Rosalyn Richter


David W. Canter, Esq.


Michael Adams