June is LGBTQ Pride month. Around the world, LGBTQ people celebrate progress, love and life for a group that has historically suffered discrimination, rejection and violence. This month marks the 50th anniversary of the first Pride March, which in turn commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Riots, considered by many to be the birth of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. The purpose of Pride is to give the community a sense of hope, connection, and visibility. Among those honored and celebrated are LGBTQ Elders, people who paved the way for so much of the progress seen in the half century since the first Pride March. This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic raising concerns about physical interaction, the world-wide LGBTQ community has adjusted to provide virtual activities and resources.
SAGE Celebrates Pride.
A nationwide resource for LGBTQ Elders, SAGE has been advocating for this important part of the community for over 40 years. According to their story, “SAGE is more than just an organization. It’s a movement of loving, caring activists dedicated to providing advocacy, services, and support to older members of the LGBT community.” This year. SAGE is sponsoring Pride in Place, a series of events throughout the month of June to engage, educate and entertain LGBTQ Elders and their allies. Check out the calendar.
Pride in the Washington DC Area
Washington DC, and the surrounding area has had a vibrant, active LGBTQ community for decades. This year, Capital Pride will be hosting a variety of events, including #StillWe Entertain, a video about the community. The LGBT Community Center has a series of events that includes a weekly coffee drop-in for LGBTQ Elders, hosted by the Center Aging and currently being held via Zoom. While most of the in-person Pride events in the area, including those in Washington, DC, and Rockville, MD, have been cancelled, take advantage of the virtual opportunities to join the local community.
Pride Around the World.
Most years, it would be impossible to attend a LGBTQ Pride parade in San Francisco and New York, because these events are held on the same day. This year, a silver lining of the shelter-in-place orders is that the cities are moving their celebrations online. In fact Global Pride 2020 will be hosting a virtual event on June 27, 2020 on Facebook and YouTube. With virtual rallies, dance parties, and other cultural events, LGBTQ Elders and their allies can travel to these cities from the safety of home.
According to the American Psychological Association there are 2.4 million LGBTQ Elders in the United States and that number will more than double in the next ten years. Aging in the LGBTQ community presents unique challenges. Less likely to have children or even a relationship with their biological family due to their sexual orientation, LGBTQ Elders suffer disproportionately from isolation and the related challenges of aging. In addition to SAGE, there are many resources for LGBTQ Elders, and all of them have adapted to the shelter-in-place recommendations by increasing their virtual services and outreach. During these frightening, and often lonely times, reach out and connect with people who care.
SmithLife Homecare is proud to have over 160 LGBTQ Gold Certified and trained caregivers with cultural competency in Montgomery County, Md supporting aging adults. SmithLife Homecare
celebrates all of its clients, including the members of the LGBTQ Elder community who have entrusted us with their care. We wish them a safe and happy Pride. For more information about our services, contact us today.