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January 23, 2013

SAGE Story: Bring Your Story to Life

“Fundamentally, I started writing to save my life. Yes, my own life first.” –Cherrie L. Moraga

Fb3wlogoSAGE is proud today to launch SAGE Story, a new digital storytelling initiative for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults.  SAGE knows from firsthand experience that LGBT older people are among the most effective advocates for changing inequitable aging policies. They have survived a lifetime of discrimination and endured monumental changes throughout this country’s history. Many have helped pave the way for the social changes we now enjoy. And many still experience discrimination and stigma in their families and in the long-term care system. LGBT elders’ stories have the power to effect change in people’s attitudes, in public policy, and in the systems that all of us rely on.

But how do we distill the most essential parts of LGBT elders’ experiences, and get those stories out to policy makers and leaders in the LGBT and aging fields? That’s where SAGE Story comes in.

The purpose of the program 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. To meet this goal, SAGE Story offers storytelling skill-building workshops in New York City, and maintains an online story booth for digital submissions, as well as an online platform showcasing the stories of LGBT older people. We will also partner with storytelling experts and policy-based organizations to bring these stories into the current public and political conversations.

If you’re in New York City, consider taking one of our workshops. Offerings currently include a basic storytelling workshop, and digital videography courses. Because we know that storytelling can take many forms, in the coming months, we will also host workshops across various creative formats, such as essay writing, illustration, podcasting and much more. We will also conduct workshops on various policy areas; we want to bring the experiences and the perspectives of LGBT elders to the popular debates on aging. In addition, in coming years, we will expand workshops to other locations outside of New York City.

In addition, we hope you’ll consider submitting your story online today. It’s easy to upload a photo or video link, or write out your story. If you’re not sure what story to tell, consider answering this question:

What would help you live a joyful and healthy life as you age?

And if you’re at Creating Change this week, keep an eye out for SAGE’s table in the exhibit area, and SAGE staff stationed throughout the conference. We’ll be asking conference attendees to answer the question posed above in one to five words, and photographing their answers. For examples of how some people have already answered this question, see this collection of photos. You’ll get the chance to participate in this photo project if you attend any of SAGE’s workshops or events, stop by our table, or meet up with any of our staff. We can’t wait to hear your story!

SAGE Story is led by Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) and is made possible through the generous support of the Ford Foundation.

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glbtcolorado.org under programs sage of the rockies telling your story is a blog that has existed since last september. The telling group meets on mondays with 12 to 20 individuals reading or telling a story based on a topic for the week. Some of these are put on the blog Mondays through Friday.

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