SAGE at The White House Gay Pride Event
By Michael Adams
(Click here to read Michael's blog post, "Why We're Going to the White House" on The Bilerico Project)
SAGE was enthusiastic about participating in the White House Pride Reception held on June 29, 2009. We wanted to make sure that senior members of our community were visible and represented and had the chance to drive home to President Obama the importance of making timely progress on LGBT issues in general, and LGBT senior issues in particular. The very presence of Renee Rosenfield, 91, and Madelin Alk, 86, was a poignant reminder that we can't afford to wait. Renee and Madelin were positioned in the front row directly in front of the podium from which the President spoke. They got the chance to meet Michelle Obama as the Obama's entered the room. Probably the most exciting part of the day for SAGE was securing a personal meeting for SAGE member Jerry Hoose with President and Mrs. Obama. Jerry, who smartly insisted on wearing his SAGE t-shirt under his sports jacket, had the opportunity to explain why the concerns of LGBT seniors are so important and need attention now. He said the President and Mrs. Obama were extremely gracious and supportive. Of course there is no way of knowing where such conversations might lead. But it's safe to say that if LGBT older adults and their concerns were not known to the President before today, they are now. Among other things, the White House photographer got some great photos of Jerry with President and Mrs. Obama. We'll be posting them to the SAGE website once we receive them. All in all, it was a good day for SAGE and LGBT older adults at the White House!