Seattle Aces Meetings at Gay City

Seattle Aces

Seattle Aces, the asexuality meetup group for the Greater Seattle area, meets regularly at Seattles LGBTQ Center, Gay City.   The event is described as “A comfortable space to share and discuss the broad spectrum of asexuality and your experience and questions with others in the community.” The meeting usually takes place on the second Saturday of the month at 11:00 AM.  Be sure to check the Gay City calendar to confirm the date and time.

In addition to the monthly discussion groups, Seattle Aces holds occasional happy hours and other informal gatherings in the greater Seattle Area.   Find out more about Seattle Aces at www.seattleaces.org.

Gay City promotes wellness in LGBTQ Communities by providing health services, connecting people to resources, fostering arts, and building community.  Find out more about Gay City at www.gaycity.org.

 

David Richardson Running for District 27 House of Representatives

David Richardson

David Richardson, currently serving in the Florida State House of Representatives, is running to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 27th District.    If he succeeds, Richardson will be the first openly gay man elected to Congress from Florida.

David Richardson is a bold progressive running for US Congress in order to advocate for responsible and forward-thinking solutions to the problems we face on the local, state and national levels. Upon winning election to the Florida House of Representatives in 2012, David became the state’s first-elected openly gay state legislator. In Tallahassee, he quickly earned the respect of his colleagues thanks in part to his groundbreaking work on criminal justice and prison reform, support for sensible gun violence prevention measures, promotion of traditional public schools, and steadfast commitment to equal rights for the LGBTQ community. In Washington, David will stand up to the Trump Administration by fending off its assaults on our progress while offering sensible alternatives to the extremist Republican agenda.

He’ll work to implement a single-payer healthcare system, reinstate the Paris Climate Accord, reform our prison and criminal justice systems, and protect as well as expand upon the great strides we have made in this country on the rights of women, Hispanics, African Americans, the LGBTQ community and other minority groups.

David is exactly the kind of fierce and tenacious Democratic lawmaker we need in DC right now. His candidacy presents us with our best opportunity in the entire country to send a courageous and principled progressive to Congress, to flip a Republican district blue, and to fight back against a president who lacks the moral authority to lead.

Find out more at www.davidforflorida.com.

Illinois Inclusive Curriculum Bill Introduced to Teach LGBTQ History

LGBT History Illinois

From Equality Illinois: –Students in Illinois would learn about the significant historical events and contributions by LGBTQ people under the Inclusive Curriculum Bill introduced in the Illinois legislature, according to Equality Illinois and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance.

The Inclusive Curriculum Bill, SB 3249 and HB 5596, was introduced late Thursday and is sponsored by state Sen. Heather Steans of Chicago and state Rep. Anna Moeller of Elgin. The bill is an initiative of Equality Illinois, the state’s civil rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Illinoisans, and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, which promotes safety, support, and healthy development for LGBTQ students in Illinois schools.

“As a former first grade teacher, I know how an inclusive education system can create change within a community,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. “By including information in public school curriculum about the contributions of LGBTQ people and the historical events they were involved in, we will get closer as a state to telling the whole story of our shared history.”

“We work with students across Illinois, and we consistently hear from them that they don’t see themselves or their identities in their classrooms,” said Rodrigo Anzures-Oyorzabal, Policy and Advocacy Manager for the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance. “This bill will help LGBTQ students see their own history across fields and practices, creating better outcomes for them in school.”

The Illinois School Code already ensures inclusion in history curriculum of the contributions and experiences of other historically marginalized communities, including of people of color, women, immigrant communities, and people with disabilities, so SB 3249/HB 5596 is consistent with current state law.

“An inclusive history will affirm for LGBTQ students that people just like them existed and made significant contributions to society,” said Johnson. “This inclusive history will also benefit non-LGBTQ students, who would be taught the whole story about the achievements of LGBTQ people and the historical events that impacted all of us.”

This curricular approach is consistent with our shared values of inclusion and respect that have made Illinois the civil rights leader in the Midwest. Equality Illinois and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance thank Sen. Steans and Rep. Moeller for leading this effort to ensure that students in Illinois are taught the whole picture of history. The Inclusive Curriculum Bill will be a key lobbying component of LGBTQ Advocacy Day on April 11 in the Illinois Capitol.

Since there is no requirement to include the roles and contributions of LGBTQ people in the Illinois School Code, the historical representation of LGBTQ people, events, and contributions is not discussed in most classrooms across the state.

Some examples: The nation’s first gay rights organization, the Society for Human Rights, was formed in 1924 in Chicago. Illinoisan Jane Addams, the mother of social work, founder of the Hull House, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, was in a committed 40-year relationship with her partner, Mary Rozet Smith. The organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, was a gay man. And Sally Ride, the first U.S. woman in space, was a lesbian.

“We should be proud of this history. Instead, the teaching of history has been set a little too straight. Our identities have been erased by omission. Now, it is time for our public schools in Illinois to tell the whole story,” Johnson said.

An inclusive curriculum can have positive, affirming benefits and help counteract some  disturbing trends. Sadly, in schools across Illinois and the United States, LGBTQ students are told, through bullying, harassment, and exclusion, that they do not belong. These conditions have created a school environment where LGBTQ students are forced to hide their identity simply to protect themselves. According to the 2015 School Climate Survey by GLSEN, a national organization supporting LGBTQ youth in schools, 89 percent of LGBTQ students in Illinois have heard the word “gay” as a slur. And only 27 percent of LGBTQ students were taught anything positive about LGBTQ people in classrooms.

Inclusion of LGBTQ history in curriculum can have a positive effect on the educational outcomes and success of students. Nationally, more than 75 percent of LGBTQ students in schools with an inclusive curriculum said their peers were accepting of LGBTQ people (compared to just 39.6 percent of those in schools without an inclusive curriculum). LGBTQ students in schools with an inclusive curriculum also say they were less likely to say they might not graduate high school.

SB 3249/HB 5596 would include the contributions of LGBTQ people in the teaching of Illinois and American history, make awareness of LGBTQ contributions to society part of school curriculum in Illinois, and ensure that instructional materials are non-discriminatory and accurately reflect Illinois’ diversity. SB 3249/HB 5596 is modeled after existing provisions in the Illinois School Code that ensure the inclusion of the contributions of historically marginalized communities as well as on a similar law passed and adopted in California in 2011. Illinois would be only the second state in the country to ensure inclusion on a statewide level of the contributions and roles of LGBTQ people in curriculum.

Find out more at www.equalityillinois.us

Anti-LGBT Bills Defeated in Georgia

Georgia LGBT Equality

From Georgia Unites: For the fifth year in a row, a coalition of hundreds of business, faith and other community leaders and thousands of individual Georgians has defeated legislative attempts to enshrine anti-LGBT discrimination into Georgia law.

The session started with an early victory: Lawmakers speedily passed a long-awaited overhaul of Georgia’s adoption and foster care system. HB 159 was unfinished business from the last legislative session. The bill was heading for passage when extremist lawmakers tainted it by adding an anti-LGBT amendment, thereby ensuring it wouldn’t advance in 2017.

The Senate Judiciary Committee stripped that amendment this year, allowing the bill to sail through both chambers before Governor Deal signed it on March 5th.

But soon anti-LGBT lawmakers were back with another attempt to discriminate against LGBT Georgians. They rolled the anti-LGBT amendment that had been attached to HB 159 into a stand-alone bill, SB 375. That bill would have given taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies a License to Discriminate against LGBT youth and same-sex couples.

Child welfare were adamant that such legislation would not improve Georgia’s adoption and foster care system. In fact, they said, children would wait longer for loving homes if qualified LGBT parents were excluded. And since SB 375 would have allowed agencies to refuse to work with LGBT youth, it essentially guaranteed they would stay longer in foster care, reducing the likelihood they’d be adopted at all.

Business groups also worried about the effect such a License to Discriminate would have on Georgia’s economy—specifically on the state’s $9.5 billion film industry and the Atlanta metro area’s chances of snagging Amazon’s second headquarters.

In the end, although the Senate advanced SB 375, it never gained traction in the House and had not received any additional attention as of Sine Die on March 30th. Extremist lawmakers tried several last-ditch attempts to attach discriminatory language to the hundreds of bills that the legislature considered from March 27th to 30th, but all attempts were unsuccessful.

This is something we can celebrate—but we can’t rest until LGBT Georgians are protected from discrimination by law. We’re committed to keeping the pressure on lawmakers until LGBT-inclusive civil rights is the law of the land in Georgia.

Find out more at: www.georgiaunites.org.

DC Prep Campaign Partners with Trans Latinx Community

DC Prep Campaign Partners with Trans Latinx Community

According to a 2017 report by the DC Department of Health (DOH) HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration (HAHSTA), 12,964 people residing in Washington D. C. live with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

For that reason, HAHSTA is launching the “Pledge to be PrEPared” campaign this month to educate the transgender community living in Washington D. C. about the importance of taking Preexposure Prophylaxis or PrEP.

PrEP is a pill taken once a day, and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that can prevent the HIV infection. Taken daily, PrEP is safe and over 90% effective at preventing HIV.

This unique campaign was created with the close participation of the Latin transgender community in Washington D. C. and Alexa Rodriguez, the Director of Trans-Latin@ DMV. It was developed based on HAHSTA’s ability to recognize the way the transgender community has been perceived in the past. The transgender representation is important to allow this community to communicate their values, their role in society, as well as their needs.

The transgender community participation in the campaign took place from the strategic planning and focus groups to the inclusion of real transgender Latina women in the promotional materials. This resulted in trusted messages in hopes of building trust among this community when deciding to take PrEP, as well as understanding its benefits.

“It’s important to educate the transgender community, as well as to break barriers and taboos about taking PrEP, and understand the real benefits of taking it, especially to prevent HIV,” Alexa said. She added that “the DC Department of Health’s efforts to benefit the transgender community are a big step, but there is still a lot to be done.

Michael Kharfen, HAHSTA’s Senior Deputy Director, agreed with Alexa’s statement, adding: “At DOH we are pleased to introduce this campaign created in collaboration with the transgender community, but we understand these are just the first steps, and that there is more to do in order to fulfill our commitment and dedication to supporting this significant community residing in Washington D. C.”

To participate in this important campaign and get more information, visit #PrEPpledge, PrEPpledge.com or cdc.gov/hiv/risk/prep/index.html.

More Color More Pride #morecolormorepride

#morecolormorepride

In 2017, Philly activists the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs added black and brown stripes to the classic rainbow flag to center LGBTQ+ People of Color. The More Color More Pride flag flew in Philadelphia for the first time on June 8th, 2017 More Color, More Pride new LGBTQ flag In support of racial diversity, equality and inclusion in the LGBTQ neighborhoods of the city.

Puchase these More Color More Pride Buttons and Accessories here:

tinyurl.com/morecolormorepride

More Color More Pride
#morecolormorepride

Melissa Sklarz Poised to Make History in New York

Melissa Sklarz

In 1999, Melissa Sklarz broke new ground as the first transgender person to hold an elected office when she was elected as a judicial delegate in the 66th Assembly District. In 2004 Sklarz made history again, this time as New York state’s first transgender elected delegate to the DNC. Now, she is poised to break another barrier by becoming the first transgender person elected to the New York State Assembly. Sklarz is running in the Democratic Primary for the District 30 Assembly seat, an area where she has lived and been politically active for more than a decade.

Melissa currently serves as Secretary for the Northern Regular Democratic Club and is a member of the Powhatan Democratic Club, which honored her in 2013 her work on civil rights. She previously served as president of the Stonewall Democrats of New York City. Melissa is also a member of the U.S. Electoral College, serving as a delegate during the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC) and in 2008, as a member of DNC Rules Committee.

Melissa stated on her facebook page: “After the 2016 election, I realized that now, more than ever, my years of experience in Albany and NYC advocating for equality will be put to good use representing the voters in my district. With our transportation network in crisis, the Trump budget assault on New Yorkers, and women still lacking proper representation in all sectors, I will make sure all voices are heard in Albany.”

You may also remember Sklarz from her appearance in the 2015 film, Transamerica, starring Felicity Huffman.

Find out more at www.melissa2018.com.

Equality California Endorses LGBT Candidates Across State

Equality California

Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, announced the endorsements of 10 openly LGBTQ candidates running for local office in 2018. The candidates are among a surge of out LGBTQ Californians seeking public office across the state — and a record number of LGBTQ candidates running throughout the country this year.

Equality California has endorsed the following candidates in their respective races:

San Francisco Board of Supervisors: District 8

Equality California has dual-endorsed Supervisor Jeff Sheehy and City College Trustee Rafael Mandelmanfor the Eighth District of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Jeff Sheehy, who was appointed by the late Mayor Ed Lee in January 2017 to fill Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) vacant seat, is a longtime HIV/AIDS activist and LGBTQ civil rights advocate who previously served as president of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club and as then-Mayor Gavin Newsom’s HIV/AIDS advisor.

“Supervisor Sheehy is a pioneer in our community’s fight for full equality and social justice and has been an incredible advocate for people living with HIV over decades,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. “A self-described ‘activist,’ Sheehy is committed to making San Francisco more affordable and safer for all.”

Rafael Mandelman is an urban development attorney and member of the San Francisco City College Board of Trustees, previously serving as the Board’s president. A San Francisco native, Rafael has dedicated his career to building affordable housing and revitalizing commercial districts in the Bay Area.

“Rafael Mandelman is a tireless advocate for San Francisco’s LGBTQ community and a champion for the city’s students and for San Franciscans experiencing homelessness,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. “We’re proud to endorse Rafael and are confident he would bring bold ideas, energetic leadership and a fresh perspective to City Hall if elected.”

San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools

Equality California has dual-endorsed Gary Waddell and Nancy Magee for San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools.

Gary Waddell, who currently serves as Deputy Superintendent of the Instructional Services Division, was previously an award-winning principal and school counselor. He has also received endorsements from California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Congresswoman Jackie Speier and the California Teachers Association of San Mateo County, among other elected leaders and organizations.

“Dr. Gary Waddell is a champion for LGBTQ equality who has devoted his life to ensuring access and opportunity for all students and communities,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. “We are impressed by his vision of equity and inclusion and are excited to support his campaign for San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools.”

Nancy Magee, who currently serves as the County’s Associate Superintendent for the Student Services Division, was previously an award-winning high school English teacher for 20 years before becoming a high school librarian. She has also received endorsements from San Mateo County Board of Supervisors President Don Horsley, County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos and County Controller Juan Raigoza, along with a growing list of local elected leaders and educators.

“Nancy is a proven leader and LGBTQ civil rights advocate with a long track record of fighting to ensure all our children have a shot at success,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. “We are thrilled to support her campaign for San Mateo County Superintendent of schools and are confident she will work tirelessly to ensure that our schools are safe and supportive learning environments for LGBTQ youth.”

Davis City Council

Equality California has endorsed Linda Deos and Eric Gudz in their campaigns for the Davis City Council. There are nine candidates running for two open seats on the Council.

The daughter of a school teacher, Linda Deos is a consumer protection attorney who has taken on big banks and worked to establish the first help desk for underrepresented clients at the Sacramento Federal Court. Deos is the current President of the Northern California Bankruptcy Forum, Treasurer of the Yolo County Progressives and a member of both the Davis Democratic Club and the Yolo County Democratic Central Committee.

“Linda Deos is a dedicated, passionate community advocate dedicated to standing up for those who need a helping hand,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. “We’re excited to see Linda bring that passion with her to the City Council and continue fighting to ensure the voices of all Davis residents, including members of our LGBTQ community, are heard.”

Eric Gudz is an Eagle Scout and retired Army captain, who has led drug policy reform efforts in Davis in recent years. After returning from Afghanistan, Gudz worked with the Army’s Warrior Transition Unit, supporting the recovery process for other returning soldiers. Gudz currently serves on the City of Davis’s Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission.

“As an Eagle Scout, Army veteran and accomplished community leader, Eric Gudz has dedicated their life to serving others,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. “We’re confident that Eric will continue fighting for Davis families, small businesses and our LGBTQ community on the City Council”

Rancho Mirage City Council

Equality California has endorsed Robert Mueller in his campaign for the Rancho Mirage City Council. Robert is one of three candidates challenging the three incumbents on the Council seeking reelection to their at-large seats. Mueller has spent five decades as a top executive with Sony, JVC Kenwood and Panasonic and has been a strong community advocate for LGBTQ civil rights and social justice.

“Robert Mueller will bring experience, drive and a fresh vision to Rancho Mirage’s City Hall,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. “If elected, he’ll prioritize reducing crime, increasing government transparency and strengthening the city’s public schools — helping to ensure that every child in Rancho Mirage has access to a safe and supportive learning environment.”

Kern County Board of Supervisors, District 2

Equality California has endorsed Whitney Weddell for the Second District of the Kern County Board of Supervisors. Weddell has been a school teacher for nearly thirty years and a longtime community activist. She previously spent a decade building coalitions around the fight for marriage equality, traveling all over the Central Valley recruiting community organizers and volunteers.

“Whitney Weddell has a proven track record of thirty years of LGBTQ advocacy in Kern County, and we are convinced she will continue to lead as a Supervisor for the residents of the Second District,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. “She cares deeply about improving the lives of Kern County families and will bring a fresh perspective to the Board of Supervisors.”

San Diego City Council, District 2

Equality California has endorsed Dr. Jen Campbell for the Second District of the San Diego City Council. Campbell is an active community leader, having served on the Clairemont Town Council Executive Board, in a number of capacities in the San Diego County Democratic Committee and California Democratic Party and as a Board Member and interim Executive Director of The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, a local LGBTQ nonprofit. She is a physician and practiced family medicine for 37 years.

“We’re proud to support Dr. Jen’s campaign for San Diego City Council and know she will be an excellent advocate for our families and small businesses in the Second District,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. “She will be a strong addition to LGBTQ San Diegans’ representation on the Council and will continue to fight for civil rights and social justice for our community.”

Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, District 4

Equality California has endorsed Jimmy Dutra for the Fourth District of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors. Dutra currently serves on the City Council in Watsonville and as the Mayor Pro Tem. The first openly LGBTQ member of the City Council, he has worked to enhance city contracts and legal documentation to protect the LGBTQ community and has expanded support for the local shelter for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. Dutra also serves on the Board of the LGBT Caucus at the League of California Cities.

“Jimmy Dutra is a committed leader with a proven track record of getting results for his community,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. “As County Supervisor, Jimmy will continue to be a strong advocate for progress toward a Santa Cruz County that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ residents.”

Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org

From GLSEN: 10 Ways Educators Can Support Asexual Students

Asexual Students

For many GSAs and school communities, the topic of asexuality is either unseen, unheard, or not present. Whether or not you currently have any out asexual people in your GSA or school, celebrating asexual visibility is an important supportive act and may help asexual people discover, or come out about, their identities.

To begin in your support of asexual students, start by knowing these definitions:

Asexual: Someone who does not experience sexual attraction. (Defined by AVEN)

Aphobic/Acephobic: The discrimination against asexual or aromantic people.

Demisexual: Someone who only experiences sexual attraction after an emotional bond has been formed. This bond does not have to be romantic in nature. (Defined by AVEN)

Heteronormativity: The assumption that heterosexual identity is the norm, which plays out in interpersonal interactions and institutional privileges that further the marginalization of people who are not heterosexual, such as asexual, lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.

Here are some ways to deepen your practice in supporting asexual youth:

1. Remember that identity is multifaceted. A student’s identity as asexual will be impacted by other identities they hold such as their race, sexual orientation, gender, ability, and/or class. All these various identities may affect the way that this person interacts with their asexual identity and how others may perceive their identity operating outside of heteronormativity. That being said, students may hold multiple identities such as being asexual and also lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and/or trans.

2. Learn about the asexual identity spectrum. This will provide a foundation for learning about the nuances between asexual identities and establish a common language to speak about them. In doing your own research, you shift the burden of education away from the marginalized community and provide them the space of sharing their lived experiences instead of generalities or feeling like they are representing an entire identity.

3. Respect all types of relationships. There are nuances between asexual identities and relationships. Your students, including your asexual students, may be interested in romantic or non-romantic relationships, and that’s okay. Know that wherever they fall on the asexual spectrum, their relationships are valid, too.

4. Approach asexuality with an open mind and avoid misappropriation. Use resources such Information for Educators, provided by AVEN, and Ace Inclusivity by the Safe Zone Project to learn more about asexuality. Put in the effort to learn the correct terms and to use them in appropriate ways. It’s fine to have questions, but be open-minded and receptive while listening to those who decide to share, and again, be sure to start by doing your own research.

5. Promote asexual visibility. Celebrate Asexual Visibility Week every October! Also continue throughout the year by including asexual identities, experiences, icons, and history in topics talked about with your students.

6. Protect asexual students who’ve received aphobic harassment. Validate student experiences of harassment that are shared with you. Check the anti-bullying policies for your school and see how they can help you to intervene on behalf of your asexual students.

7. Affirm their experiences as asexual people. Listen to how people identify and affirm experiences that are shared with you, rather than questioning them. Use terms that students use to describe themselves, their feelings, and their relationships.

8. Include asexual-inclusive sex-ed curricula and consent information. Consent should be at the foundation of any topic regarding relationships, and asexual relationships should be included in these discussions. Sexual health educators should teach that not everyone is sexually active and also discuss the asexual spectrum with their students .

9. Don’t affirm asexuality for the wrong reasons (e.g., “Well, now no one has to worry about you getting pregnant or getting STIs anymore!”) Affirming should look like listening and validating what students share with you about their identity and experiences.

10. Understand what allyship looks like. If you yourself are not asexual, you hold a perspective that may prevent you from fully grasping the unique and abstract concepts that impact the daily experiences of members of the asexual community. This is a practice and not a destination. Continue to defer to people in the asexual community; learn from them sharing, and advocate for their visibility and integration whether they’re present or not.

When implementing these asexual-inclusive practices, understand that as educators and GSA advisors, you should provide education and conversations around asexual identity. If you have out asexual GSA members, be sure to create space for them to share and lead the conversation should they choose to. You can invite them to educate others with their own experiences and challenge misconceptions and stereotypes about asexual people.

As the adults in school, you can support your students by continuing to learn about all of the identities and experiences that they have. To keep learning about asexual people and identities, follow these links:

AVEN (Asexual Visibility and Education Network)

Demisexuality.org

Asexuality Archive

Asexuality: The ‘X’ In A Sexual World

The Invisible Orientation

Asexuality Top Ten

(reprinted from the GLSEN website)

Join the Age-Friendly Pride Movement

Join the Age-Friendly Pride Movement

SAGE has created this checklist of age-friendly practices for Pride celebrations.   The framework is based on the World Health Organization’s domains of Age-Friendly Communities.  However, age is just one part of a larger commitment to embracing the diversity of our community.

Outdoor Spaces and Structures

There is a broad range of characteristics of the urban landscape and the built environment that contribute to age-friendliness.

  • Events are held in venues that can accommodate individuals with limited mobility
  • Activities and services for LGBT older people are clustered together to minimize travel distance
  • Pathways are well-maintained, level, non-slip, with low curbs that taper, and wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs
  • Reserve seating is provided
  • A shaded cooling center and hydration station is provided
  • Convenient restroom access is a priority

Communication and Information

Regardless of the variety of communication choices and the volume of information available, the central concern is to have relevant information readily accessible to older people with varying capacities and resources.

  • Information about the Pride events are disseminated to LGBT older adult audiences where they can conduct their usual activities such as wear they live, senior centers, and faith communities – not just LGBT settings
  • Age-friendly printed materials describing Pride activities are provided (large type, clear headings)
  • Outreach specifically to older LGBT individuals is conducted through the postal service, email, and social media
  • When communicating with LGBT older adults, information about the event, its accessibility and transportation options is included

Civic Participation

An Age-Friendly Community provides options for older people to contribute and to be engaged.

  • Pride advisory councils, planning committees, boards and staff include LGBT older adults with representation from transgender communities and communities of color
  • Begin or maintain collaborations with Racial Justice organizations – building relationships and working together on issues important to LGBT elders of color.
  • The skills and interests of LGBT older adult volunteers are matched to positions that take advantage of their skills, and appeal to their interests
  • Volunteers are supported in their work, for example, being offered rides to and from meetings or having the cost of transportation from meetings or having the cost of transportation reimbursed for low-income elders

Social Participation

The capacity to participate in formal and informal social life depends not only on the offer of activities, but also on having adequate access to transportation and facilities.

  • Support exists to enable LGBT older adults to participate, such as reserved seating, aids for the hard of hearing, and transportation
  • LGBT older adults have the option to participate with a friend or caregiver
  • Elder-oriented activities are offered and the times are convenient for LGBT older people
  • Committees are charged with finding ways to encourage more LGBT elder participation
  • Partnerships with elder-serving organizations are formed to encourage more participation through cross-postings, co-hosting, and developmental activities

Transportation

Being able to move freely determines social and civic participation

  • When a parade terminates at an inaccessible location, alternate arrangements for older adult contingents are made such as allowing them to exit the parade before the end of the route or providing shuttles back to the parade route, parking lots, or public transportation
  • Access to reserved parking is provided
  • The walking route from parking lot to venue is free of trip hazards
  • Shuttles to and from parking lots are provided
  • Assistance for individuals with sight or mobility issues is provided
  • Shuttles to and from senior buildings and residential communities are provided

Respect and Social Inclusion

The extend to which older people participate is closely linked to their experience of inclusion.

  • LGBT older adult contingents are placed at the start of the Parade (both to honor their contributions and to assure that LGBT older adults don’t have to queue for a long time)
  • Older adult inclusion strategies and outreach tactics are specifically inclusive of transgender older adults and older adults of color
  • The lives, challenges overcome, and historical accomplishments of the older LGBT community are acknowledged and celebrated
  • There is an application of resources to – and visible action on – issues that resonate most with African American, Latinx, Asian Pacific Islander, and Native American LGBT older adults
  • LGBT older adults are consulted on ways to better include them in Pride events
  • Partnerships and collaborations with organizations that serve transgender elders and elders of color are established
  • For those older adults wishing to be in the parade, alternatives to walking and riding on floats – such as golf carts, buses, and trolleys – are provided
  • LGBT older adults wishing to be in the parade

Make a commitment to have an inclusive Pride celebration this year.  To sign the SAGE pledge online, visit sageusa.org/welcometopride