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17 posts from March 2013

March 29, 2013

SAGE Women’s Programming in New York City

Felicia Sobel, LCSW

Every Friday in March, which is Women’s History Month, the SAGE Blog is featuring posts by and about LGBT older women. Links to previous entries are at the end of this post. Today’s entry in our Women's History Month series is by Felicia Sobel, LCSW, Women’s Programming Coordinator. She came to SAGE in June 2011 with the goal of expanding programs for women.

When I had the opportunity to become a SAGE employee, I was hardly new to the community, but in my new role as Women’s Programming Coordinator, I was delighted to invest my energy in a project near and dear to my heart—the development and facilitation of events and programs designed specifically for LGBT older women in and around New York City.

My goal was to create an array of events and programs to reflect the breadth of interests I knew this population represented.  Too often, aging is equated with decline and diminishing strengths. On the contrary, growing older means reaching a life stage where friendships deepen, values intensify, goals (old and new) crystallize, wisdom emerges and interests often flourish.

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March 28, 2013

Inside the Supreme Court Marriage Equality Hearings

This is a post by Aaron Tax, SAGE’s Director of Federal Government Relations. He attended the Prop 8 and DOMA hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, and tweeted live from the steps of the Supreme Court. Visits twitter.com/sageusa to follow all the latest news.

I had the good fortune to attend the Supreme Court hearings this week on Prop 8 and DOMA. However, after standing in line in the dark and the cold on two long consecutive mornings, the last thing I wanted to hear from the Supreme Court was anything about standing (albeit standing of a different variety).  Given the long and circuitous procedural paths each of the cases took to get to the Supreme Court, that was, however, one of the common themes over two days of arguments on same-sex marriage.  The first day focused on whether individuals have a Constitutional right to get married  to someone of the same sex. The second focused on whether the federal government must recognize those marriages.  I was fortunate to be able to spend some time with Edie, the named plaintiff in the second case, Windsor v. United States.


Aaron Tax and Edie Windsor


Continue reading "Inside the Supreme Court Marriage Equality Hearings" »

A Veteran's Love Story: "What Marriage Means to Me"

Denny Meyer
This is a guest post by SAGE Constituent Denny Meyer.

In the sweet summer of 1973, when I was in my late 20s, I met the love of my life.  He was a cream-de-cacao man my age who reached out and gently took my arm as I circled past him for the tenth time around a large busy bar; and he said, "You might as well say hello...."  I was smitten even before we spoke; so tongue tied by his handsomeness that had he not reached out, the next twenty years together might never have happened.

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March 27, 2013

Edie’s Day in Court

Today the Supreme Court will hear the case United States v. Windsor, the indomitable Edie Windsor’s challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Her case highlights how DOMA prevents older same-sex couples from equal access to key supports like Social Security, Medicaid, veterans benefits and retiree benefits like spousal health care coverage—which has real and lasting impacts on LGBT elder’s health and financial security. As Edie takes her fight—which has become the fight of all LGBT older people—to our nation’s highest court, SAGE is proud to stand alongside her.

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March 26, 2013

5 Possible Outcomes for Today's Historic Prop 8 Case

Supreme Court clerk, Aaron Tax and others waiting for the Prop 8 case to be heard
This is a guest post by Aaron Tax, SAGE’s Director of Federal Government Relations

Today, the Supreme Court is hearing the “Prop 8 Case,” officially called Hollingsworth v. Perry.  It’s the first of two marriage cases the Court will hear this week—the other being SAGE constituent Edie Windsor challenging DOMA. As framed by scotusblog, the two issues at stake in today’s case are:

  1. "Whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman; and
  2. whether petitioners have standing under Article III, § 2 of the Constitution in this case.”

Continue reading "5 Possible Outcomes for Today's Historic Prop 8 Case" »

March 25, 2013

Ten Things Every LGBT Older Adult Should Know About Diabetes

Tomorrow is National Diabetes Alert Day. According to the American Diabetes Association, National Diabetes Alert Day is a one-day "wake-up call" asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

The Diabetes Risk Test asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Access your risk by taking the test now.

Studies have shown that LGBT older adults are less likely to access mainstream health care providers, have health insurance, and seek treatment or care. This puts them at greater risk for poorer overall health, and for developing chronic, but manageable, conditions such as diabetes.

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March 22, 2013

Evie’s Story: “If Hitler Didn't Kill Me, You Will”

Evie and her beloved dog
March is Women’s History Month and in honor, the SAGE Blog will feature relevant LGBT aging stories every Friday. Read the other posts by scrolling to the bottom of the page.

Evie is an older Jewish lesbian living in New York City. Her parents are Holocaust survivors and because of their hardships and history, they instilled in her the key messages of acceptance and social awareness. So when Evie came out to her mother at age 23, she was shocked when her mother spit on the floor and said to her, “If Hitler didn’t kill me, you will.” It’s been 40 years since this moment, yet there has been slow progress in Evie’s relationships with her family. “There has been little tolerance in my family about me coming out…The very lesson they ingrained in me, they could not do themselves.”

Listen to Evie’s story now.

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March 21, 2013

A Company that Really Cares About LGBT Elders

Did you know that today is “Companies that Care” day? SAGE works with many companies that are dedicated to LGBT aging issues and our nationwide work to improve the quality of supports and services available to LGBT older adults. Today, we’re highlighting one of those companies: Continuum Health Partners.

Continuum Health Partners, Inc. was formed in 1997 as a partnership of three venerable institutions — Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Luke's Hospital, and Roosevelt Hospital. They are important partners in ensuring that LGBT older adults are living healthy lives and aging successfully. Led by one of their partner hospital programs, Beth Israel LGBT Health Services, Continuum is working with The SAGE Center on a number of initiatives. These include sending a visiting nurse to The SAGE Center twice a week to provide basic health screenings and preventive care to LGBT elders in a friendly environment, and helping LGBT elders navigate care at Beth Israel through a recently launched 7-month series titled “Ask the Docs.”  Ask the Docs is a monthly health education workshop, held at The SAGE Center, where healthcare providers do screenings and cover topics relevant to LGBT aging.

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March 18, 2013

Diverse Elders Coalition Blog Re-launches!

Meme1The Diverse Elders Coalition is made up of five national organizations dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for this country’s diverse aging communities.

Together, we represent a growing majority of millions of older people throughout the country—racially and ethnically diverse older adults; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults; and poor and low-income older adults. We have come together to promote policy changes and programmatic solutions that respond to this demographic shift and will remove the barriers facing our communities. We envision a world where all older adults can live full and active lives as they age.

Read about the re-launch here.

March 15, 2013

Women’s Pride in the Pines: A History (Women’s History Month Feature)

Joi Cardwell & Linda Gottlieb
Today’s blog post is from Linda Gottlieb, founder of the popular annual event Women’s Pride in the Pines. Linda will be honored at this year’s event for her generous support of LGBT organizations. To learn more about Women’s Pride in the Pines and to buy tickets, visit SAGE's events page.

March is Women’s History Month and in honor, the SAGE Blog will feature relevant LGBT aging stories every Friday. Read last week’s post about an older transgender female living with HIV or scroll to the bottom of the page.

For many years, I supported charities in the Pines, and always noticed that the attendance was usually predominately male.  As a longtime supporter of several LGBT organizations, I always valued giving back to the community and wanted to do more than just write a check.   I decided the time was right to produce a women’s event in the Pines that would benefit several charities.  

Continue reading "Women’s Pride in the Pines: A History (Women’s History Month Feature)" »