10 posts categorized "Arts & Culture"

August 21, 2014

Rethinking the Term “Senior Citizen”

Today is National Senior Citizen’s Day, which is a great opportunity to look at the role age and aging play in all of our lives. Many people are familiar with terms like racism or sexism—but here at SAGE we spend a lot of time thinking about ageism. Ageism is the act of stereotyping and forming prejudices about people or groups based on their age. It can take many forms, from assuming that all teenagers are irresponsible to passing over an older adult’s job application because of their age.

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One important way that we combat these different ‘-isms’ is to learn how to speak to others with respect and understanding. The language we use in our everyday lives has a tremendous impact, not only on our personal relationships, but on the national conversation around diversity and inclusion. For example, when I’m conduction our LGBT cultural competency trainings, I have all the participants say ‘LGBT’ out loud four of five times. After this activity people that have never even said the word LGBT can say it smoothly and without stumbling over the letters, which is an important way to demonstrate that you’re an ally to the LGBT community!

Given the power of language, today is a great time to explain why SAGE chooses not to use the term “senior citizen” in our work. Calling someone a senior citizen places them into a category simply based on their age. Along with this category come many other assumptions about what older adults can and cannot do.

‘Senior citizen’ is just one of a few terms used to describe older adults that are increasingly rejected. A 2012 article in the New York Timesdiscussed this shift in language, noting that other terms like ‘elderly’ are also falling out of favor.

Whatever the label, anytime you see someone first and foremost as a member of a group, it makes it more difficult to see that person in all of their uniqueness. At SAGE we strive to see everyone as individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses, not just as members of a certain generation. Removing ageist assumptions or language for our collective vocabulary is an important part of doing our work, and that’s why we don’t call our constituents senior citizens.

There may be times when it’s very important to talk about older people as a group, and in those moments we prefer the term ‘older adults’. It allows us to speak to a set of shared experiences, without bringing along a lot of the baggage and stereotypes associated with ‘senior citizens’.

After all, as one style guide points out, we don’t refer to people under age 50 as ‘junior citizens,’ so why create a special category just for older people?

What term do you use to describe yourself? Which terms do you love, and which do you dislike? Let us know in the comments! 

--Posted by Tim Johnston, PhD

March 12, 2014

Celebrating Women's History Month

IMG_1123SAGE's strong women's community has led to many women-centric programming throughout the organization. The arrival of Felicia Sobel, LCSW, as our Women's Programming Coordinator in 2011 solidified our committement to providing quality events and programs to reflect the breadth of interests of LBT women. 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.

IMG_1692This month, in honor of Women's History Month, we are highlighting all of our women's programs and events. Feel free to stop by The SAGE Center or SAGE Harlem to take part in one of our many women's groups, or attend one of our upcoming dances or lectures!

Special Events:

SAGE & Henrietta Hudson St. Patrick's Tea Dance
March 16, 2014
3:00 - 9:00 pm at Henrietta Hudson, 438 Hudson Street, NYC
Celebrate and dance the day away at a special St. Paddy's Day Tea Dance at the legendary Henrietta Hudson! $10 at the door and all proceeds go to SAGE!

Celebrate Women's History Month with SAGE
March 21, 2014
7:00 - 8:30 pm at The SAGE Center, 305 7th Avenue, 15th Floor, NYC
Hear published women writers read from their work and join us for a Q & A session.  This stimulating event will feature readings by novelist Kathleen Collins; author-publisher Jan Freeman; playwright Barbara Kahn; writer Jaye McNeil; and poet Chocolate Waters. Contributions appreciated, but not necessary and all are welcome!

The Best Women's Dance in NYC: Spring Edition
May 4, 2014
3:30 - 8:30 pm at Club LQ, 511 Lexington Ave, NYC
The Best Women's Dance in NYC is back in May after a successful winter dance in January! Celebrate with friends, old and new, and join us for our triannual tradition! $20 in advance/$25 at the door - get your tickets here!

Special Programs:

Ask the Docs For Women: Workshop on Women's Health
March 24, 2014
3:00 - 4:30 PM at The SAGE Center, 305 7th Avenue, 15th Floor, NYC
The SAGE Center has partnered with Beth Israel Medical Center to provide a monthly series addressing health concerns that LGBT older adults face.  Join us this month for a workshop specifically geared towards women’s health.

SHE (Strong. Healthy. Energized) Fitness Program
April 2, 2014 - June 18, 2014
2:00 - 3:00 pm at The SAGE Center, 305 7th Avenue, 15th Floor, NYC
SAGE has announced its second offering of the SHE (Strong. Healthy. Energized) FREE fitness program, which is a holistic series of 12 sessions that include exercises, nutritional and cooking information as well as discussions. The goal is to help participants (overweight lesbians and bisexual women over 60) approach fitness and weight issues in a comfortable, fun atmosphere.  RSVP to Felicia: fsobel@sageusa.org or call her at 212-741-2247.

Ongoing Programs/Groups:

Women: Our Evolving Lives with Felicia
Weekly on Tuesdays
6:00 - 7:30 pm at SAGE, 305 7th Avenue, 6th Floor, Conference Room 1, NYC
Women-only discussion group for those who wish to talk in a welcoming and open environment.  Please contact Felicia for more information.

Women's Support Group
Weekly on Wednesdays
3:30 - 5:30 pm at The SAGE Center, 305 7th Avenue, 15th Floor, NYC
A welcoming support group for women who need to need to talk or listen in a comfortable and supportive atmosphere. Experience the empowerment of this peer-led group.

Women's Group: Relationships with Felicia
Weekly on Thursdays
3:30 - 5:30 pm at The SAGE Center, 305 7th Avenue, 15th Floor, NYC
This free group requires pre-registration. Contact Felicia for more information and to register. This women-led group is a safe place to talk about relationships and whatever else is going on in life. 

Trans Women's Group
2nd Thursday of the Month
6:30 - 8:30 pm at The SAGE Center, 305 7th Avenue, 15th Floor, NYC
A recent discussion group faciliated by Jackie and Asia. Open to all transgender women who would like to talk about life and issues in a supportive and welcoming environment.

SAGE Harlem Women's 40+ Support Group
1st Friday of the month
6:00 - 8:00 pm at SAGE Harlem, 2090 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd., Suite 201, NYC
Support Group by and for lesbian and bisexual 40+ women.  Refreshments served and new-comers welcome.  Come meet friends and SAGE staff in a supportive and welcoming atmosphere.

February 4, 2014

SAGE Celebrates Black History Month

February, in addition to being LGBT History Month in the U.K., is African American History Month. SAGE will be celebrating with a variety of programs designed by The SAGE Center and our SAGE Harlem teams. We will also be highlighting the stories of our SAGE members from around the country in the next few weeks, so be sure to bookmark the SAGE Blog and visit often!

Patricia_fraserThe following post was written by Patricia Fraser-Morales, SAGE Harlem Program Assistant.

SAGE Harlem is working on some exciting offerings to commemorate Black History Month. Our staff and volunteers have created an art exhibition on the walls of the Harlem Center to showcase the diverse talents of our constituents. This begins an initiative we hope to continue all year long, with revolving art pieces and poetry selections to illustrate our chosen theme: “Life in Harlem.”

 To keep consistent with the arts theme, SAGE Harlem is collaborating this month with the Romare Bearden Foundation, located on the second floor of the historic Hotel Theresa Building.  We will be offering small group tours of the Bearden archive, which features art pieces, writings, and other memorabilia of the famous artist. 

More Black History Month Events:

All of SAGE has been invited to attend a special afternoon screening of The New Black at the Film Forum. The New Black is a documentary that tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the gay rights issue in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights. SAGE is planning to have a Q&A with the creators of the film at a later date.

SAGE Harlem is offering multiple screenings of the classic Paris is Burning at the Harlem Center.  On February 18, there will be a presentation on the history of the ballroom scene given by scholar/activist Michael Roberson, who is the Father of the House of Garcon.

Harlem Nights_piece by Harlem Constituent Frances Gordon
Harlem Nights, painted by SAGE Harlem Constituent, Francis Gordon

Our regular programming for the month includes all support groups and activities:

  • Women’s 40+ Support Group on Friday, February 7
  • Latino Men’s Group on Tuesday, February 11
  • Men’s 50+ Support on Friday, February 14
  • Grief Group on Saturdays, February 8 & 15
  • New Beginnings every Tuesday afternoon
  • AA Meditation every Monday night
  • Spirituality Group on the 2nd and 4th Mondays
  • Buddy to Buddy on Thursday, February 20

The H.E.A.T. Meeting and Social Hour on Friday, February 21st, and Fabulous Friday on Friday, February 28th round out the month-long celebrations.  Please “like” us on Facebook, and check out the website for more information on dates, times and more offerings.

 

January 22, 2014

Stu Maddux to Receive the SAGE Advocacy Award at Creating Change 2014

StuSAGE is pleased to announce that the 2014 recipient of our annual SAGE Advocacy Award for Excellence in Leadership on Aging Issues is Stu Maddux, the award winning producer and director of independent documentaries about LGBTQ and LGBTQ history, including the remarkable and massively influential Gen Silent—which chronicles the lives of six LGBT elders as they navigate aging, caregiving, terminal illness, and loss.

In the last few decades, documentaries have had a profound impact on shifting public opinion, on raising awareness about important-though-neglected social issues, and on propelling forward a justice movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. But in the context of LGBT aging, no film has had a more profound impact on bringing to light the struggles of LGBT older people in the long-term care system than the documentary, Gen Silent. The award-winning documentary follows the lives of six LGBT elders in Boston—a beautiful though heart-wrenching film journey—yet its broader gift has been to animate a grassroots movement in support of LGBT elders, inspiring activists of all ages, all along the way.

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July 29, 2013

Extra! Extra!

Read the latest issue of SAGEMatters, Summer 2013 edition! We've got articles on LGBT affordable housing, a rundown of our achievements over the past 5 years, features on our national programs and more! Download your own copy or use the Issuu reader below.

 

July 17, 2013

SAGE and The Moth Present....

Did you know that SAGE and The Moth colloborated in two SAGE Story workshops this Spring and Summer? The Moth, an award-winning storytelling program, taught SAGE members how to craft and share their own personal story in a unique and vibrant way. Today, we share a special slideshow of the two workshop finales and the stories of two members, Frans Bloem and Charles Fattone. Watch, like and share!

Interested in learning more about SAGE Story? Visit us on the web and share your story today

 

 

July 12, 2013

A New Documentary on LGBT Aging

BeforeYouKnowIt-460x460Near the end of June, SAGE had the pleasure of screening the film, Before You Know It, at The SAGE Center, just a few days after its New York City premiere at Lincoln Center. This moving documentary follows three older gay men from different parts of the country, painting portraits of three very different lives.  The film’s Facebook page describes its subjects this way:

“Born before the Civil Rights era, these men have witnessed unbelievable change in their lifetimes, from the Stonewall Riots and gay liberation, to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and Queer Nation, to gay marriage and Lady Gaga, and have lived to become part of an unprecedented ‘out’ elder generation. BEFORE focuses on the lives of these three gay seniors, but reminds us that while LGBT elders face a specific set of issues, aging and its challenges are universal. An affirmation of life and human resilience told with a refreshing humor and candor, BEFORE confirms that you are never too old to reshape society.”

Before You Know It holds a special place in SAGE’s heart, because one of the three men starring in the movie is SAGE’s very own Ty Martin, Harlem Community Liaison at SAGE Harlem in New York City. Over the course of a couple of years, the film’s director & producer PJ Raval and producer Sara Giustini, along with their film crew, spent quite a bit of time with Ty, constituents of SAGE Harlem, and in the Harlem LGBT community. What emerges is a story of an incredibly warm and supportive community, joyfully celebrating advances for LGBT equality while acknowledging the difficulties and struggles of being gay, older and African American.

PJ, Sara and their crew took incredible care with Ty’s story, and presumably took the same care with the stories of the film’s other two protagonists, Robert and Dennis. Robert is from Galveston, Texas, where he owns the state’s oldest gay bar. Dennis splits his time between Florida and Portland; a widower in his 70s, he has only just started to explore his sexual identity. Together, these three men’s experiences weave a picture of strength, resilience, and the importance of being surrounded by friends and peers who understand and support each other. The film also provides a window into the diverse lives of LGBT older adults, busting through common ageist stereotypes and showing viewers that there is no singular “LGBT elder story.”

Visit the official site of Before You Know It to view the trailer. Before You Know It will be screened next in Los Angeles at OutFest, on July 14. Other screenings in July include Philadelphia, Dallas, Galveston, and Denver. If you’re in one of these cities, get your tickets now and see this film!

April 23, 2013

On the 60th Anniversary of The Lavender Scare, Don’t Forget About LGBT Employment Discrimination

1lavToday SAGE is pleased to present a guest post from Josh Howard, director of the upcoming film The Lavender Scare, described as "a bold new documentary film that shines a light on this topic… and one of the biggest witch hunts ever." Here, he tells you a bit about the film, which highlights a little-known part of American history, and ways you can get involved with making sure more people see it. 

Did you know that this year marks the 60th anniversary of a witch hunt against gays and lesbians that was as aggressive and vicious as any in modern American history?

Some SAGE members may have experienced this travesty firsthand and remember it all too well.  Others may have friends and family who were impacted.  Called The Lavender Scare, this appalling act was launched 60 years ago this month by the federal government and still reverberates in ongoing employment discrimination today. 

Please join The Lavender Scare Kickstarter Campaign and help us finish a documentary that exposes this shameful, decades-long witch hunt of gays and lesbians in federal jobs.  Not many people know the story, which is outlined in my film trailer.

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April 8, 2013

How an Old Lesbian Learned New Tricks

This is a guest post by Pam Chamberlain, former educator and producer of an independent documentary film  based on a Boston LGBTQ youth theater troupe.

When I retired last spring from a career in education and research, I wondered what effect the transition would have on my identity. I was joining the first big wave of LGBT baby boomer retirees. What did that mean? Would I feel liberated, at loose ends or useless? Little did I know that my ideas about identity would be challenged in such fundamental, and intellectually curious, ways by a new generation of queer activists.

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February 13, 2013

Sharing Your Story Through Video

This post is brought to you by Christina DaCosta, Online Media Manager for SAGE. Christina will be teaching a 4-week course titled “Sharing Your Story Through Video” for LGBT older adults in the NYC area, as part of SAGE Story. SAGE Story is a national digital storytelling program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. The purpose of our program is to strengthen the storytelling skills—and draw on the unique life experiencesof LGBT elders to diversify the public narratives on aging, long-term care and LGBT rights.

Video storytelling has become a powerful tool for nonprofits, the largest for-profit corporations in the world, and everyday people. Why? Because stories have power. From Greek mythology to fairy tales, to campfire ghost-stories, people love to tell and hear stories. Nowadays, videos, and the ease of creating and posting videos online, are the modern-day equivalent of storytelling. The rise of affordable smartphones, tablets and webcams has led to more and more individuals and companies uploading their own content to the web to tell their storyand you can, too!

Reports show that 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. You read that right, every minute! With that staggering fact, you may wonder if your story is important enough to share, and I’m here to tell you, IT IS.

As a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) older person, the story of just one experience out of the many in your life can create a ripple effect! You could help change a Senator’s mind on the Older Americans Act; you could give a young lesbian girl hope; you could create respect in a work environment; you could inspire someone to volunteer—and so much more.

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