May 12, 2017

Remember: We Refuse To Be Invisible!

May 10, 2017

Vigil to Be Held for Murdered Transgender Woman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASESage blue logo

May 10, 2017

 

Brenda Bostick died May 4 after sustaining severe head trauma 8 days prior, making her the 10th trans woman to be murdered in the U.S. in 2017.  

[NEW YORK, NY] A vigil will be held on Friday, May 12, 2017, at 5:30pm for Brenda Bostick, 59, a transgender woman who died May 4. She was found unconscious and unresponsive with head trauma on April 25 near 29th Street and 7th Avenue in New York's Chelsea neighborhood.

Bostick later died at Bellevue Hospital. Her death was ruled a homicide, making her the 10th trans woman to be killed in the U.S. this year. All have been transgender women of color.

Attendees are asked to gather at 29th Street and 7th Avenue, in front of Five Guys restaurant, at 5:30pm. The vigil will begin at 6pm. It is expected to last for one hour. Attendees are invited to SAGE Midtown Center (305 7th Avenue, 15th Floor) following the vigil.

WHAT: Vigil for Brenda Bostick

WHEN: Friday, May 13, 2017 at 5:30pm

WHERE: 29th Street and 7th Avenue, in front of Five Guys restaurant

WHO: Coordinating the vigil for Bostick are following organizations:

  • APICHACommunity Health Center
  • Audre Lorde Project
  • Anti-Violence Project (AVP)
  • Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
  • The Center (The LGBT Community Center NYC)
  • CK Life
  • Community Healthcare Network
  • Destination Tomorrow
  • GMHC
  • Gender Identity Network
  • Housing Works
  • Princess Janae Place
  • NYTAG (NY Trans Advocacy Group)
  • SAGE
  • Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP)

Press Contact: Christina Da Costa, cdacosta@sageusa.org, 917-553-3328

###

SAGE is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and their caregivers, advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competence training through SAGECare. With staff in New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago, SAGE coordinates a growing network of affiliates across the country. Learn more at sageusa.org and lgbtagingcenter.org.

May 1, 2017

SAGE & Global Volunteers: Doing Good Around the World

GlobalVolunteersLogoBE THE CHANGE IN THE WORLD. BE A GLOBAL VOLUNTEER.

SAGE and Global Volunteers partner to bring you exclusive LGBT teams to Cuba and Vietnam!

Join us on a volunteer service program that crosses the generational divide with LGBT volunteers of all ages. Opportunities in Cuba and Vietnam currently available (see below). Be sure to check out more information about Global Volunteers here and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Engage the world in ways you’ve never imagined. As a Global Volunteer, your skills and energy can make all the difference to children and families in need. Friendly and accepting communities welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people to work alongside local people on significant development projects. Volunteer independently on any of our standard teams in 17 countries, or arrange an LGBT service team for your school, youth, arts or professional group in these fascinating and open-minded cultures:

CubaCUBA

Teach English, paint and plant. Learn from farmers, students, artists and community leaders - and share your own experience of daily American life.

Register Now >>

Register for the 2018 Team >>

 

 

 

Pagoda-2096466_640VIETNAM

Work with students of all ages as well as blind career-seekers to provide a passport out of poverty - English language skills. Explore Hanoi and leave a legacy of meaningful service. 

Meet local LGBT community members and allies during your free time!

Register Now >>

Register for the 2018 Team >>

April 14, 2017

Meet Kelly Kent, SAGE's National Housing Initiative Director

Kelly 4

Kelly Kent brings almost two decades of experience to his role as director of SAGE’s National Housing Initiative, a new one at the organization. Kent, who divides his time between his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, and SAGE’s New York City offices, talks about his rich background, what brought him back the Midwest, and the critical need for institutions like Citi that are helping establish models for older LGBT housing communities across the country.

SAGE: How did you end up in Kansas City?
Kelly Kent: I returned to Kansas City a few years ago after being gone for more than 16 years. Since my parents were dealing with so many health issues associated with aging, it was important for me to be accessible to them at this time in their lives. Witnessing their experiences also has helped shape my professional life in the way that it intersects health and housing for aging adults.

You have a long career as an advocate for affordable, fair housing for vulnerable populations. How did you become involved in this area?
My work in affordable and fair housing for vulnerable populations has spanned almost 20 years. I first realized my passion for this work when I volunteered as a buddy at an AIDS housing project in 1995 when I was an undergrad at the University of Kansas. At the time, HIV/AIDS housing was often more assisted living or a hospice. I saw firsthand how affordable housing is a basic foundation in a tenant’s overall healthcare engagement. That experience helped solidify my dedication to that work. I was always interested in social justice and even concentrated much of my undergraduate studies on African-American studies.

Based on those first experiences, I became even more determined to complete my master’s degree in urban planning with an emphasis on housing policy and real estate finance. I interned for the Assistant Secretary of Fair Housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C., and then the rest evolved as my professional education evolved. The passion remained over the course of time. Ensuring vulnerable populations have access to safe, stable housing makes a difference in their lives.

What drew you to SAGE?
Given my background, I have always had an affinity for working within the LGBT community. Once I moved back to Kansas City and experienced my own parents’ engagement with the healthcare system, I became motivated to begin coursework in gerontology to better understand the service needs of our rapidly growing older adult population. This led me to developing and overseeing a local public-private demonstration with a local hospital system, local governments, nonprofits, and corporate partners around the concept of aging in place. This was coupled with care coordination for seniors experiencing high rates of readmission to local Kansas City hospitals. I am convinced this is an issue the majority of communities have yet to effectively engage.

I met some of the SAGE staff at the American Society of Aging conference several years and told them about my interest in housing-related work for this population. When SAGE decided to increase its efforts in providing affordable housing for older LGBT adults late last year, I received a call from them.

How does Citi’s involvement further the National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative?
Citi’s support as a funder in the community-development space is well known. As a leading provider in affordable housing finance, Citi recognizes that providing and developing affordable housing options helps revitalize neighborhoods and build inclusive cities. I feel fortunate to be working with SAGE and Citi on establishing replicable models for communities.

We could all use a little good news these days. Do you see any bright spots on the horizon for providing affordable LGBT housing for older people?<
It is a challenging time, and even more so for the constituents we serve. When I’m feeling low, I remind myself of the shortage of affordable LGBT housing and it reignites my desire to redouble our efforts. I believe there are positive things to point to related to our work. The broader community-development industry has refined a vast amount of evidence-based best practices over the past 25 years in providing housing and services to more vulnerable populations. There is a roadmap on how to engage in this work. It has been proven to be effective. My job is to couple those learnings with expansion activities to educate non-housing providers around its efficacy and help them replicate versions of these models specific to our LGBT brothers and sisters.

I also believe in my heart that we are making great strides as a nation around increased cultural competency with the help of programs like SAGECare. My hope is that the groundwork we are laying now won’t be necessary for my niece and nephew’s generation because we will be at a place where differences like gender identity and sexual orientation will no longer be so divisive. We have a long way to go, but I am hopeful.

How does being based in Kansas City give you a unique perspective on affordable older LGBT housing?
I have been fortunate in splitting my time between Kansas City and SAGE’s New York City office, although I’ve always worked for organizations that required me to travel extensively all over the country. One aspect that I’ve seen reinforced here is that human beings, in this case LGBT individuals, are the same wherever you go. The fundamental needs we share far outweigh our geographic differences. Those basic needs include connection, community, a safe and welcoming environment to live in, and access to support services—when needed—to provide housing stability.

Housing discrimination is not specific to New York City or other major urban areas. In fact, I would offer that it is probably just as or more pervasive outside of the urban centers and coastal cities, and there are fewer services that are LGBT-specific at their disposal. For example, it’s estimated that there are more than 22,000 LGBT individuals living in Kansas City. So the work SAGE and other organizations take on—such as cultural competency or LGBT-friendly developments—in cities like New York City or San Francisco can provide fundamental lessons so we can better replicate similar interventions for our brothers and sisters in smaller communities in all areas of the country.

March 28, 2017

Thanks to all who helped defeat Trump's so-called healthcare bill!

Flags
Dear Friends,
 

Two weeks ago, SAGE asked you to tell Congress to oppose the so-called American Health Care Act. You spoke up - loudly and clearly. Thanks to you, and to thousands of other outraged Americans, we stopped this dangerous legislation in its tracks.   

Last Friday, we were victorious. But there is so much work ahead.
 
Just last week we learned that the federal government's leading survey about publicly funded elder services - the National Survey of Older Americans Acts Participants - has completely eliminated questions that allowed people to identify as LGBT. SAGE fought for years for LGBT older people to be included in this vital survey that informs $2 billion in spending on critical elder services.
 
We only have until May 12 to tell the administration, that "we refuse to be invisible!"  Click here to make your voice heard, and tell the Trump administration that LGBT elders count.
 
Thank you for your activism!
 
Michael Adams, CEO
 
Invisible
March 20, 2017

The Trump Administration is Erasing LGBT Elders

Invisibleelders.jpg

Dear Friends,

It's highly unusual for me to send you two messages in two weeks asking you to stand up and advocate for LGBT elders. But these are highly unusual times. We must be prepared to step up to the plate as often as necessary, whether it's denouncing a plan that would rob millions of older Americans of health insurance, or fighting efforts to make LGBT elders invisible in federally-funded senior services.

Just how effective are those services at supporting LGBT elders? Apparently, the Trump Administration doesn't want to know the answer, or even want to acknowledge that LGBT elders exist. In fact, they're proposing to completely erase LGBT elders from the federal government's annual national survey about elder services.

Our community fought for years to get our elders included in this critically important survey, which helps the government decide how to spend billions of dollars on senior services. And now, with one wave of their wand, the new Administration wants to make our elders disappear from the survey, despite the fact that they have been subjected to discrimination their entire lives and still face discrimination today. 

If there's one thing I know in my heart, it's that we must be a community that cares about our elders. We refuse to allow them to be cast aside. We refuse to be made invisible by the Trump Administration or anybody else.

Today, caring means fighting back. Fortunately, the law gives the American people the right to weigh in before the federal government takes a drastic step like erasing an entire community of elders. It's called a "public comment period." If you care about our LGBT elders, now is the time to act. Step up. Make your voices heard. Submit a comment. Say "NO" to the erasure of LGBT elders by the Trump Administration!

Tell Trump that we refuse to be invisible.

Invisible

In solidarity,

MichaelAdams

 



Michael Adams, CEO

 

March 10, 2017

Health of LGBT Elders is Under Attack

We at SAGE have grave concerns about the potential repeal of Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) and its replacement by the so-called American Health Care Act (AHCA). This dangerous legislation hurts those who can least afford it -- low and moderate income people in their 50s and 60s. The AHCA would eliminate most of the help currently provided to older people so they can afford health insurance and specifically lifts restrictions on charging older people more than what younger people pay.

The implications for LGBT elders are severe. LGBT older people are more likely than other older Americans to have serious health problems and more likely to be poor. That's especially true for older lesbians, transgender elders and LGBT elders of color. Simply put, the AHCA would endanger their health.

And that's not all. The AHCA also would weaken Medicare and put Medicaid (which many Americans need for long term care) at risk. The end result would be millions of older Americans -- including many LGBT elders -- with no health care at all. That's not what caring looks like.

At SAGE, we refuse to sit by silently in the face of this clear attack on older people, especially when so many of our LGBT elder pioneers would be so deeply hurt. We're a community that takes care of our own.

We must condemn and oppose the American Health Care Act. If you care about older members of our LGBT community, take a stand today. Click below to easily send a letter to your member of Congress.

Congress

March 2, 2017

Diverse Elders Coalition Q&A About the ACA

The Diverse Elders Coalition has released a informative and incredibly helpful article outlining the Affordable Care Act repeal in the United States. We urge you to take a look and have many of your concerns settled. After reading, don't forget to check out The Diverse Elders Coalition and all their amazing work! 

" With the confirmation of Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), diverse elders may have more questions than ever about the future of the Affordable Care Act. The Diverse Elders Coalition will make protecting healthcare access a priority in the coming months, and as we learn more about the fate of the ACA, we will communicate that on our blogand social media.

In the meantime, here are some questions and answers about the Affordable Care Act and where things stand right now. If you have additional questions, please reach out to the health navigators at www.healthcare.gov or contact us.

 

Q: If I am enrolled in a Healthcare.gov insurance plan for 2017, can I count on that coverage?
A: Yes, your coverage will be valid through 2017. Your insurance plan through the Marketplace is a contract signed with an insurance company that cannot be repealed, and the terms of the contract are valid for the calendar year after you’ve paid your first premium.

Q: Will financial subsidies still be available for 2017 Marketplace coverage?
A: The advanced premium tax credits which are used to lower monthly premiums have already been set for the calendar year 2017. Should the law be repealed, any new tax regulations would potentially be set for calendar year 2018. Your financial subsidies for 2017 will not likely change.

Q: I get my coverage through my state’s website site instead of Healthcare.gov. Do any changes on the Federal level impact my state’s plan?
A: Yes. If you lose the federal subsidy, your health coverage may potentially no longer be affordable.

Q: I get Medicaid through the ACA. Will this coverage be affected?
A: Yes. Medicaid expansion – a key feature of the Affordable Care Act that brought Medicaid to millions of low-income Americans, many of them uninsured – is one component of the ACA that could be repealed. Individual states would stand to lose the federal funding they need to keep their Medicaid expansion.

Q: Can American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) continue to enroll in plans on the Marketplace?
A: Yes, AI/AN individuals who are members of federally-recognized tribes can continue to enroll in a Marketplace plan at any time of year. Visit https://www.healthcare.gov/american-indians-alaska-natives/coverage/for more information or to get started!

Q: How would an ACA repeal impact Medicare and prescription drug costs?
A: The ACA helped people with Medicare by closing the Medicare “donut hole” and providing free preventive services. According to Justice in Aging, a repeal of the ACA would mean that 9 million seniors and people with disabilities would face higher prescription drugs costs. It is so important that we speak up and ask our legislators to Protect Our Care!

Q: Nondiscrimination protections in healthcare are essential to diverse elders. What happens to those protections if the ACA is repealed?
A: The administration is leaning toward keeping those nondiscrimination protections in place, even if other parts of the ACA is repealed. But, for now, the law is still in place. If you experience discrimination while seeking care, you should contact the HHS Office of Civil Rights. You can even contact them anonymously.

Q: If changes are made to the ACA, how will I learn of them? Will there be assistance available to help me work through these changes?
A: If changes happen, HHS will be communicating them to consumers through their website and social media. We want you to know what is happening! If you have questions about Marketplace coverage, contact Healthcare.gov. If you have questions about Medicaid, call your state Medicaid office. Keep your eye on the HHS Twitter and Facebook pages.

The National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA), a Diverse Elders Coalition member, has a Helpline available to provide assistance with Medicare and Social Security in four languages. Learn more here.

And as always, stay tuned to the Diverse Elders Coalition blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages to stay up to date on changes that impact older adults of color, LGBT older adults, and American Indian/Alaska Native older adults! "

 

February 23, 2017

Cuomo Says New York Stands Behind Trans Students

The federal government may not be standing behind transgender youth, but the elders of SAGE are heartened to know that Governor Cuomo is. In a statement today, Cuomo stated:

“As the federal government seeks to roll back the progress we have achieved toward equality, we in New York will never stop fighting to ensure the LBGTQ community and all Americans are afforded the equal protections guaranteed to them by the United States Constitution."

SAGE thanks Governor Cuomo for doing the right thing and protecting transgender students across New York State.  SAGE and the entire LGBT community refuses to stand for the rollback of transgender students' rights and the rights of our community. We will push forward in the fight for equality!

Read the full release from the Governor's office and SAGE's statement about the recent repeal on Title IX guidelines.

ThanksGov. Cuomo#ProtectTransKids

Our LGBT Community is an Intergenerational Community

 
Any attack on the young affects us all.

[NEW YORK, NY] SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) stands against the Trump Administration's repeal the Department of Education’s Title IX guidance advising federally-funded educational institutions on respecting students’ gender identity.  The LGBT community is an intergenerational community. Attacks on the young affect us all.  Elders stand with young people in opposition to federally-endorsed discrimination.  Restrictions on access to education harm people of all ages, including older people, especially given the rapidly growing numbers of older Americans seeking to continue their education later in life.  Today’s action signals the Administration’s willingness to attack clear legal precedent protecting transgender people not only in education, but also in housing and healthcare.  And it sends a harmful and stigmatizing message to trans people of all ages.  Whether it’s housing, healthcare, or education, we should be reducing barriers for transgender people, not erecting new ones.  

In solidarity with other advocates who oppose Title IX, SAGE has signed on as a sponsor of tonight's Rally to Oppose Trump's Attack on Trans Students in protest of the decision.
 
 
                                                               Transkids copy