SAGE Charlotte?

Charlotte LGBT Older Adults Community Conversation
Monday, October 23, 2017 - 7:00pm

TONDA TAYLOR COMMUNITY ROOM AT TIME OUT YOUTH CENTER
 

If you’re a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender person in your 60s or 70s, how do you identify? Are you part of the Silver Tsunami, a Senior, an Older Adult, an Elder, or Seasoned? And while you may not label yourself, gerontology studies are being conducted around the world about the aging LGBT population. SAGE (Support and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) leads in addressing issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) aging. In partnership with its constituents and allies, SAGE works to achieve a high quality of life for LGBT older adults, supports and advocates for their rights, fosters a greater understanding of aging in all communities, and promotes positive images of LGBT life in later years. Does Charlotte need or want a SAGE Chapter? The community has dozens of LGBT social and service organizations, but who is taking action on LGBT elder Basic Health Care, Caregiving Issues, Financial Insecurity, Social Isolation and Access to Aging Services? sageusa.org

“There are many resources available in our community for older adults,” said Dan Kirsch, organizer of the Community Conversation, “but there is rarely a focus on LGBT people.” Kirsch has spent the past year fundraising for the local LGBT youth organization. “While older adults were happy to contribute to youth programs, they also asked what programs and services were available for LGBT elders.”

A Community Conversation for LGBT Older Adults will be held on Monday, October 23 at 7:00pm in the Tonda Taylor Community Room at Time Out Youth Center, 3800 Monroe Road in Charlotte. For purposes of the initial conversation, Older Adult is considered 55+. Shelley Hamill, Ph.D. will facilitate this first conversation. Shelley is a professor at Winthrop University, and a Master Certified Health Education Specialist. She teaches various courses in Health and Health Education at the graduate and undergraduate level in the Department of Physical Education, Sport and Human Performance. She is also an advisor for Safe Zones, a program designed to increase understanding and provide identified safe spaces for everyone on campus with a specific focus on the LGBT population.  

“I’m looking forward to hearing people’s thoughts on this issue,” stated Kirsch. “There have been other attempts to organize programs in the past. Perhaps this is the time where we can strategize together to build an important resource for the community. Let’s see if there is energy to sustain something. ” The October 23 community conversation is a free event. Questions can be directed to Kirsch via email at charlottelgbtelders@gmail.com. People who are interested in the issue, but not able to attend the October 23 conversation, are welcome to email Kirsch who will start a contact list. Non-profit social service organizations that currently provide services or programs to LGBT older adults are asked to email Kirsch with information that can be shared on a resource list.

Email: charlottelgbtelders@gmail.com

Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)

Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources for LGBT older adults and their caregivers, advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people, and provides training for aging providers and LGBT organizations, largely through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. With offices in New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago, SAGE coordinates a growing network of 30 local SAGE affiliates in 20 states and the District of Columbia. sageusa.org

Mission

SAGE leads in addressing issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) aging. In partnership with its constituents and allies, SAGE works to achieve a high quality of life for LGBT older adults, supports and advocates for their rights, fosters a greater understanding of aging in all communities, and promotes positive images of LGBT life in later years.

SAGE Core Values

  • Diversity and equity
    SAGE operates at the intersection of LGBT and aging experiences. Our work ensures that all LGBT older adults have just and fair access to the opportunities they deserve and are free from ageism.
  • Collaborative teamwork and partnership
    SAGE is a learning organization rooted in community. We value collaborative teamwork internally and partnership externally. We place a premium on robust communication, and on listening to and learning from each other.
  • Innovation 
    SAGE is committed to transformative change for LGBT older people. As such, we value courageous creativity, openness, thoughtful risk-taking and flexibility.
  • LGBT older voices come first
    SAGE is grounded in the spirit of "nothing about us without us." We listen respectfully to the full breadth of voices of LGBT older people.
  • Top performance in a diverse marketplace
    SAGE seeks to positively impact all LGBT older adults. Our work is data-driven, disciplined, and responsive to change. We work hard, continually improve, and are accountable for excellent outcomes.
  • Respect and Compassion
    SAGE values and fosters dignity, caring, and service for LGBT elders.

History

In 1978 New York City, a small intergenerational group of LGBT people recognized that older people still needed a voice in the movement. By that time the LGBT civil rights movement had gained momentum across the country. Unfortunately, the larger LGBT community had overlooked its elders, many of whom struggled to survive amidst poverty and social isolation. Originally known as Senior Action in a Gay Environment, SAGE was founded to create a network of support for these older community members, first in New York City and then nationwide. Today, Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) leads the conversation on LGBT aging.