Many seniors are familiar with SAGE, the preeminent organization working to ensure that members of the LGBTQ community do not vanish — and should not be banished — from society when they turn 40. “At a very basic level,” explains SAGE CEO Michael Adams, “our mission is to improve the lives of LGBT older people. We’re a national advocacy and services organization that’s been looking out for LGBT elders since 1978, and we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary.”
For the uninitiated, that means that SAGE focuses on fostering welcoming communities and keeping issues facing LGBTQ seniors part of the national conversation to ensure a fulfilling future for all LGBT people.
And Adams’ roster of members grows daily, since there are more people living their lives authentically and out these days, and because for the first time in a generation, HIV/AIDS isn’t causing premature deaths in the community.
“People think that gay culture is entirely youth-centric,” Adams says, “and there is some validity to that notion. “But the reality is that our entire society is youth-centric and ageist. History, experience, and wisdom – all things that correspond with aging – seem to be consistently regarded as having little value; but we know differently.”
Count on SAGE to move the needle on paying more attention to LGBTQ seniors, both in terms of the resources they require, and the experience they have to impart. “We believe that aging is a complex conversation that needs to be had—across generations—and SAGE attempts to facilitate those conversations,” Adams likes to say. “We do this with intergenerational programs and by promoting vibrant, interesting, and awe-inspiring LGBT elders in the media, and sharing their stories, whenever we can. With Stonewall 50 and World Pride on the horizon, we hope that younger folk see the value and power of their elders, and that we all come together so that the LGBT community is stronger with our combined wisdom and fierceness.”
Get a ticket to SAGE’s 33rd annual Toys party on Sunday, December 9th! Learn more here!
Last modified: January 7, 2019