As queer people, we're no strangers to the feeling of ostracism. As the struggle for rights and visibility continues to weigh on us, we must not forget those who came before us.
Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) seeks to improve the lives of older members of the queer community. Founded in 1978, the national organization offers support services and consumer resources to older LGBTQ adults and their caregivers. They drive public policy change that meets the specific needs of their members while providing training for aging providers and LGBTQ organizations.
"We're all getting older, and we are a community that even more than the mainstream, often tends to see aging in a negative way," says Susan Herr, chief engagement officer of SAGE. "We've got these elders who've figured out how to shape their lives and have pioneered how to be gay, and we're not necessarily supporting them. We're turning our backs on them."
In an attempt to strengthen and unify the LGBTQ community across multiple generations, SAGE is partnering with AARP to host a national SAGE Table dinner on May 18. Inviting anyone who wants to host or attend, the event encourages LGBTQ people to interact with each other, young and old. It's a simple cause that goes not to fundraising, but cultivating a sense of community when we need it the most.
Pledged hosts and attendees include Whoopi Goldberg, Andy Cohen, Jane Lynch, and Sia among many others. To host or attend, all one has to do is register at SAGE Table to find their dinner companions. It can be anything from a potluck in someone's dining room to a four-course dinner at a five-star restaurant.
"The idea was that we wanted to start building connections between younger and older LGBT people," Herr says. "So we developed SAGE Table as an opportunity to launch conversations where LGBT people come together, young and old. It's just an effort to help us get building this LGBT family for all ages."
To find your own LGBTQ family, become a host or join a table at SAGE Table. Watch the video below to learn, more: