SAGE Table gatherings tackle pervasive loneliness for LGBTQ+ elders, one meal and conversation at a time[New York, NY] – On November 8, in more than 150 locations across the U.S. and the globe, thousands of LGBTQ+ people and allies gathered as part of the intergenerational LGBTQ+ initiative, SAGE Table.
The event — which had a successful debut last year with the help of many high-profile stars including Whoopi Goldberg, Zach Quinto and Sarah Paulson — was created to address the prevailing challenge of loneliness for older LGBTQ+ people as they age. SAGE Table encourages younger and older LGBTQ+ people and allies to come together on the same day, share a meal, and build lasting connections to help LGBTQ+ elders thrive.
“We’re so proud to celebrate another successful SAGE Table event, and to see such an incredible amount of enthusiasm from people across the country and beyond, to build and strengthen relationships between younger and older LGBTQ+ generations,” said SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “Loneliness and social isolation threaten everyone as we age — but they’re more likely to be problems for LGBTQ+ older people, who are twice as likely to grow old single and living alone and four times less likely to have children to support them. We have the power to change the impact of these statistics through the power of connection, which can begin at SAGE Table.”
SAGE Table was championed in Chicago, D.C., Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City this year by SAGE Table’s 2018 National Host Committee, which was co-chaired by Harvey Abrams and Anthony Sis.
“As a senior myself, I am drawn to SAGE’s mission of improving the lives of LGBTQ+ elders,” said co-chair Harvey Abrams. “It was a gratifying experience to witness people of all ages working together for a common cause, from people in their twenties to people close to 80. While the immediate success of SAGE Table can be counted by the number of participants and the excitement generated at each of these events, its ultimate success will depend on its growth from a small grassroots moment to a dynamic, national movement where people are working toward solving the issues facing LGBTQ+ elders.”
This year’s event stretched beyond the U.S., with SAGE Table events happening across the globe in Canada, France, the U.K., Peru, and Burundi.
“It made me so happy and proud to see this diverse LGBTQ+ group communicate excitedly over dinner and drink, exchange experiences and eventually Instagram accounts and phone numbers,” said Tarrah von Lintel, an LA-based member of the National Host Committee. “I saw some of the older participants provide answers, contacts and solutions to problems faced by the younger crowd. The younger generations brought vigor, hope, and enthusiasm. These gatherings are vital to facilitate friendships and mentorships.”
After this year’s success, SAGE will be launching a yearlong series of actions to transform SAGE Table from a one-day event into an ongoing series of activities, as well as volunteer opportunities. More information can be found at sageusa.org/sagetable or www.sageusa.org/volunteer.
SAGE is the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ+) older people. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBTQ+ older people and their caregivers. SAGE also advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBTQ+ elders, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBTQ+ community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging, and cultural competency training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE also coordinates SAGENet, a growing network of affiliates in the United States.