Creating Change a Great Success. Our Top 3 Moments!
The 25th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change was a rousing success. More than 3,000 participants from around the world attended to advance LGBT equality in their communities. SAGE was there to ensure the perspective of LGBT aging was included and to work with the many participants, advocates and leaders on coming up with creative and new ideas to address the issues faced by LGBT older people. While we had many amazing and powerful moments, we narrowed it to down to the top 3!
The Top 3 Moments for LGBT Elders at Creating Change
1) SAGE Story Kicks Off
Armed with markers and paper, SAGE representatives asked conference participants to answer the following question in 5 words or less: “What would help you live a joyful and healthy life as you age?” Many of the responses were shared on Twitter and Facebook during the conference. Here are some highlights:
- “Health. Financial Security. Family Support. My Partner,” said one older lesbian Latina
- Another older lesbian just wants to be, “Sassy. Sexy. Secure. Safe.”
- For an older gay couple, they shared their secret for living joyfully and healthy as they have aged: “Being together for 42 years.”
The purpose of SAGE Story is to strengthen the storytelling skills—and draw on the unique life experiences—of LGBT elders to diversify the public narratives on aging, long-term care and LGBT rights. Creating Change was the launch, but the program has just begun. Tell your story today!
2) LGBT Elder Day-Long Institute
More than 60 participants attended the institute on Thursday, January 24 to learn about LGBT aging inclusive policy, share best practices and experiences from their own work and learning about the unique issues LGBT elders face. Participants were from diverse communities, of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. The energy was palpable as participants spoke passionately from their own experiences, while gaining new perspective from the many experts in the room. As one older participant shared:
"Creating Change is able to happen because of the protesting and fighting for LGBT rights that many of us in this room were involved in. We lived during a time when we faced severe hostility for being who we are. As I’ve seen this conference grow, and I see all the youth here having a safe space to be themselves, I know the fight was worth it. And as I have gotten older, I face new issues I never planned for and know it’s important, now more than ever, that we have space to talk about aging as LGBT people and I am just so touched that we are here today to discuss those issues."
3) SEARAC Receives SAGE Advocacy Award for Excellence in Leadership on Aging Issues
During “The State of the Movement” address on Friday, January 25 featuring The Task Force’s Executive Director Rae Carey, Michael Adams, Executive Director of SAGE presented the 2013 SAGE Advocacy Award for Excellence in Leadership on Aging issues to Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC).
Doua Thor, SEARAC Executive Director, accepted the award on behalf of the organization. Read more about SEARAC’s amazing work.