Kate Walter
Interview with SAGE Advocacy and Services for LGBTQ elders

Photo: Kamila Harris

SENIOR PLANET
June 3, 2021

Kate Walter
interview with Aaron Tax, Director of Advocacy SAGE, and Christina DaCosta, Senior Director of Communications.

SAGE  Advocacy Services for LGBT Elders was founded in 1978 and has grown over the decades since. It is now the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT+ older people.

LGBT older people are twice as likely to be single and four times less likely to have kids than their straight and cisgender counterparts.  This presents challenges for socializing, managing finances, going to the doctors, even changing a light bulb. These are all the things other older people rely upon their families for. LGBT older people generally don’t have that support network in place.

One of the stereotypes about the LGBT elder community is that they are better off financially but that’s not true. On the whole, LGBT seniors are worse off financially.  The stereotype creates challenges when we are advocating public policies that will help LGBT older people.

We are finding that while there are many folks who come out later in life due to greater societal acceptance of LGBT+ people, the opposite is also true – some LGBT+ elders actually go back into the closet. This can happen when trying to access eldercare, housing, and other services geared toward older people where staff and policies are not LGBT-friendly or culturally competent. SAGE’s National Resource Center on LGBT Aging is a great place for people to get resources and information.

Read the entire interview on Senior Planet

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