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15 posts from April 2013

April 30, 2013

Equality & Justice Day: Sending a Clear Message to Congress to Pass GENDA

Today's post is by Alli Auldridge, SAGE Policy Associate.


SAGE at E & J Day 027
E&J Day 2012
This morning I boarded a bus at 6:30 am, along with SAGE constituents and fellow staff. We are traveling three hours from New York City to the capitol building in Albany for Equality & Justice Day (simply known as E&J Day). This annual lobbying event is organized by the Empire State Pride Agenda for LGBT New Yorkers—a time for rallies and workshops, networking with statewide advocates and meetings with legislators. SAGE advocates have attended E&J Day every year—indeed 2013 will mark constituent Rodney Adams' 12th year of participation!


This year, LGBT advocates of all ages are hoping to send a loud and clear message to elected officials: pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA). GENDA would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression and offer uniform protections for transgender New Yorkers across the state. Recent GENDA campaigns by Housing Works, New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), the Empire State Pride Agenda and others have highlighted the personal stories of discrimination and bias experienced by transgender New Yorkers and increased the call for the passage of GENDA in 2013. All of us at SAGE are eager to join with other LGBT advocates and make our voices heard at E&J Day.

Stay tuned to SAGE's Facebook and Twitter pages for updates from Albany throughout the day!

April 29, 2013

Allen Matthews: Cancer Survivor of 26 Years

April is National Cancer Control Month. According to President Obama, "This month, we rededicate ourselves to securing better outcomes, reducing new cases, and advancing cancer research."  Read the President's full statement here.


CancerButtonSAGE constituent Allen Matthews, 70, has been living with lung cancer for an astonishing 26 years. He attends the weekly Men’s Cancer Support Group hosted by SAGE in partnership with Cancer Care where he continues to inspire others with his story of survival and strength.

Cancer came in to Allen’s life literally with a bang. In 1987, Allen was hit by a car crossing one of Manhattan’s busy thoroughfares. Badly injured, he was rushed to the emergency room where doctors x-rayed him to determine the extent of his injuries. Allen describes the car accident as both a blessing and a curse because, though badly injured, this was the moment that doctors first discovered that he had a large tumor growing on his lung.

Continue reading "Allen Matthews: Cancer Survivor of 26 Years" »

April 26, 2013

Marriage Equality: Veterans Face a Different Battle

During the month of April, SAGE will be featuring stories relating to the importance of marriage equality for LGBT older adults every Friday.  These stories are also part of our SAGE Story series. Do you have a story you would like to share? Tell us today!

Today, we feature two videos with different stories. Gary and Ose talk about their relationship, marriage and the issues surrounding Ose being a U.S. veteran. Denny Meyer, a previous contributor to the SAGE Blog, tells us about his issues being a vet and falling in love with his partner—who he met in the Philippines. What these stories have in common is the lack of benefits for veterans' partners—whether legally married or not.

April 23, 2013

National Volunteer Week: Volunteerism Is at the Heart of SAGE

Did you know? April 21-27, 2013 is National Volunteer Week!

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Lucio (in yellow) and Jeannette (to Lucio's right) have been matched for 1.5 years and are very attached to each other.

According to the week’s official sponsor, National Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. It’s about demonstrating to the nation that by working together, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.

At SAGE, our volunteers embody the spirit of service. They are an important part of our family, spending their available time with us to lead programming at The SAGE Center, offer mature job-seekers tips on finding work through SAGEWorks or work with LGBT elders in their own communities across the nation through SAGENet. Without these valuable members of our community, we could not do all that we do.

In fact, one of our oldest and most recognizable volunteer programs, the Friendly Visiting program, is led by an outstanding SAGE volunteer, Matilde Busana. The SAGE Friendly Visitor program, founded in 1979 and the first of its kind in the U.S., matches volunteers from the community with LGBT older adults ("friends at home") to form relationships that are mutually rewarding and build community.

Continue reading "National Volunteer Week: Volunteerism Is at the Heart of SAGE" »

On the 60th Anniversary of The Lavender Scare, Don’t Forget About LGBT Employment Discrimination

1lavToday SAGE is pleased to present a guest post from Josh Howard, director of the upcoming film The Lavender Scare, described as "a bold new documentary film that shines a light on this topic… and one of the biggest witch hunts ever." Here, he tells you a bit about the film, which highlights a little-known part of American history, and ways you can get involved with making sure more people see it. 

Did you know that this year marks the 60th anniversary of a witch hunt against gays and lesbians that was as aggressive and vicious as any in modern American history?

Some SAGE members may have experienced this travesty firsthand and remember it all too well.  Others may have friends and family who were impacted.  Called The Lavender Scare, this appalling act was launched 60 years ago this month by the federal government and still reverberates in ongoing employment discrimination today. 

Please join The Lavender Scare Kickstarter Campaign and help us finish a documentary that exposes this shameful, decades-long witch hunt of gays and lesbians in federal jobs.  Not many people know the story, which is outlined in my film trailer.

Continue reading "On the 60th Anniversary of The Lavender Scare, Don’t Forget About LGBT Employment Discrimination" »

April 19, 2013

Marriage Equality: Finding Each Other & Acceptance

Dr. Imani Woody and Andrea Macko were married in 2010 and are staunch supporters and advocates for LGBT older adults in Washington, D.C. and beyond! Listen to their SAGE Story podcast and learn how they met, got involved and eventually received acceptance from their family.

Can’t play the podcast here? Go to SAGE’s Podomatic page to hear it.

Dr. Imani Woody was recently featured in The Washington Blade for her panel appearance entitled "Aging with Pride" and is the head of our SAGENet D.C. Affiliate. Both women are involved in Mary's House—a residential facility committed to providing LGBT friendly, safe and affordable housing.

April 17, 2013

Health Equity for LGBT Older People of Color

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Screenshot of SAGE's new policy report

This is a guest post by Robert Espinoza, SAGE's Senior Director for Public Policy and Communications. April is National Minority Health Month and in today's post, Robert writes about the health disparities faced by LGBT older people of color and the release of SAGE's new policy report "Health Equity and LGBT Elders of Color.” The report can be downloaded here.

This post was originally featured on the Huffington Post, and can also be seen on the Diverse Elders Coalition’s website

Helena Bushong is 60, transgender and living with HIV/AIDS. In 2002, she was dually diagnosed with HIV and AIDS and given six months to live. Ty Martin is an aging advocate who leads a support group for older gay black men with HIV/AIDS in the historic Harlem neighborhood of New York City. His group members grapple with stigma, the questions related to accelerated aging as HIV-positive people, and a general longing for community. Both Helena and Ty are LGBT and people of color. And both of them combat the health disparities and socio-economic challenges associated with aging as people who are marginalized on multiple fronts—a reality rarely discussed in the mainstream aging field or in the popular LGBT rights movement. The virtual silence on this subject lives out in their personal and political lifespans. 

Continue reading "Health Equity for LGBT Older People of Color" »

April 16, 2013

National Healthcare Decisions Day

Today marks the 6th annual National HealthCare Decisions Day.  The purpose of this day is to inspire, educate & empower the public & providers about the importance of advance care planning.

To educate the LGBT community about advance care planning, SAGE’s National Resource Center on LGBT Aging worked with Tom Sciacca, a Trusts and Estates attorney, and SAGE Legal Clinic volunteer, to create informational videos about the importance of wills, advance directives and the legal impact of marriage.  Watch the videos below and stay tuned for SAGE events later in the month around advance directives.


April 15, 2013

American Planning Association’s National Planning Conference

The following is a guest post by Serena Worthington, Director of Community Advocacy and Capacity-Building at SAGE.

I am looking forward to presenting at the American Planning Association’s (APA) National Planning Conference in Chicago tomorrow. Because what I know about urban planning I learned from Bette Midler on Charlie Rose (I was surprised as anyone to learn that Ms. Midler has a deep passion for urban planning), I had to ask, “What is planning?”

According to the APA website, “Planning, also called urban planning or city and regional planning, is a dynamic profession that works to improve the welfare of people and their communities by creating more convenient, equitable, healthful, efficient, and attractive places for present and future generations.”

Continue reading "American Planning Association’s National Planning Conference" »

April 12, 2013

Two for Equality: Linda & Clayton's Story

The fight for marriage equality is fought not only by LGBT people, but also by the straight allies who love them. Today’s blog post is about Linda and Clayton, a couple who believe that their son Nicholas should have the right to marry Andrew, his partner of 12 years—turning Andrew from their “son without law” to a son-in-law.  This story is also part of our SAGE Story series. Do you have a story you would like to share? Tell us today!

Linda_claytonLinda and Clayton hail from Missouri—the heartland of America—and are both strong and supportive parents. Missouri may be the land of “traditional family values” but theirs is an open and accepting household. When their son Nicholas, at age 16, asked to have a family meeting, Linda said, “it wasn’t at all unusual. She just assumed Nicholas wanted to make an ordinary teenage announcement like, “I’ve chosen the college I want to go to.”

So Linda wasn’t quite prepared when Nicholas came out to his parents as gay.

Continue reading "Two for Equality: Linda & Clayton's Story" »