26 posts categorized "Elders of Color"

March 8, 2013

Helena Bushong: "I am a 60-Year-Old Trans Female Living with HIV" (Women's History Month Feature)

 

Helena Bushong
Helena Bushong
March is Women’s History Month and in honor, the SAGE Blog will feature relevant LGBT aging stories every Friday. The first post of the series is a guest blog post by Helena Bushong, a 60-year-old trans woman who lives with HIV. This post originally appeared on the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging’s website.

 

My name is Helena and I am a 60-year-old transgender female living with HIV. I am not a victim. An HIV/AIDS diagnosis is NOT a death sentence, but is similar to living with breast cancer or diabetes, which through some lifestyle changes, are manageable diseases.

I was diagnosed with HIV and AIDS in 2002, and was told I would not live more than six months, and at best, a year. Along with my doctors, I believe that I was a "late tester," meaning because I was diagnosed with AIDS—a late stage infection—and not HIV, I likely contracted HIV 15 to 20 years before showing any sign or symptoms. Because people can carry HIV/AIDS asymptomatically, it is important to be tested on a regular basis to avoid a late test and spreading the disease.

Continue reading "Helena Bushong: "I am a 60-Year-Old Trans Female Living with HIV" (Women's History Month Feature)" »

February 28, 2013

The Struggle of Her Life: Finding the Strength to Recover from a Stroke

FrancesIn honor of Black History Month, the SAGE Blog featured a post on LGBT aging in the black community every Thursday during the month of February. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to read the other posts. Women’s History Month begins next week and similarly, the SAGE Blog will feature a post on LGBT older women every Friday during the month of March. Today’s post is in honor of both Black History Month and Women’s History Month. 

Frances Gordon is a health fanatic, who prides herself on doing Zumba, lifting weights and eating well. And all at age 72!

But in 2012, Ms. Gordon began to overheat during a workout and had to be rushed to the emergency room. She was shocked to discover that she suffered a stroke (an element of cardiovascular disease).

Continue reading "The Struggle of Her Life: Finding the Strength to Recover from a Stroke" »

February 21, 2013

Looking to Harlem – Creating a Safe Space for the Older Black LGBT Community

Harlem Pride
SAGE Harlem Volunteer & Participant Enjoy Harlem Pride 2011
In honor of Black History Month, the SAGE Blog will feature a post on LGBT aging in the black community every Thursday during the month of February. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to read the other features. 

Harlem is undoubtedly one of the most well-known African-American neighborhoods in NYC and the nation. Part of its rich history includes the Harlem Renaissance, a literary movement celebrating black cultural identity in the 1920s and 30’s. It is also home to the Apollo Theatre, a cultural landmark that has hosted influential black icons and leaders such as President Barack Obama, Chaka Khan and Michael Jackson. What might not be as well-known, however, is that there are a number of local black and gay-owned businesses in the community such as Harlem Flo and Billie’s Black, showcasing that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people exist in Harlem.

There is also a significant aging community. One in three Harlem residents are age 50 and older, according to 2006 estimates from The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. And as an outreach coordinator for SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders), I also know well that a significant number of these older adults are LGBT.

Continue reading "Looking to Harlem – Creating a Safe Space for the Older Black LGBT Community" »

February 7, 2013

HIV/AIDS is Still an Issue for Older Gay Black Men

 

TyandSherman
Ty Martin & SAGE Constituent Sherman Walker
In honor of Black History Month, the SAGE Blog will feature a post on LGBT aging in the black community every Thursday during the month of February. February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, so our first post in the series is on HIV/AIDS in the black community by Ty Martin, Community Liaison at SAGE Harlem.

 

I am black.

    I am gay. 

        I am an older adult.

            I am resilient. And so is my community.

Continue reading "HIV/AIDS is Still an Issue for Older Gay Black Men" »

January 25, 2013

SAGE Presents Advocacy Award to Southeast Asia Resource Action Center

SAGE is thrilled to present the 2013 SAGE Advocacy Award for Excellence in Leadership on Aging Issues to the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC). SAGE, in partnership with The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, presents this award each year at Creating Change to honor an organization or individual committed to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults.

Michael Adams, SAGE Executive Director, will present the award to Doua Thor, SEARAC Executive Director, today during Creating Change’s plenary session at 1:30 pm EST. For those of you in Atlanta for the conference, the plenary session will be in the Grand Ballroom. If you’re not in Atlanta, you can watch the session live at the Task Force’s Livestream channel!

Watch live streaming video from thetaskforce at livestream.com

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January 19, 2013

Honoring MLK Day of Service: How One SAGE Volunteer Gives Back

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"

- Martin Luther King Jr.

IMG_2726
SAGE Harlem Program Assistant, Patricia Fraser and Volunteer Shelly Montrose
(Click Photo to Enlarge)

January 21, 2013 will mark the official Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day of Service, empowering individuals and communities to come together and volunteer their time to get involved and give back. Americans are encouraged to help out where they can, whether it’s serving food at a soup kitchen or organizing a clothing drive for those in need. Together, we can begin to create solutions to social problems, moving us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community.

At SAGE, our volunteers embody the spirit of service. They are an important part of our family, spending their available time with us to lead programming at The SAGE Center, visit a homebound LGBT older adult through Friendly Visitors or work with LGBT elders in their own communities through SAGENet. Without these valuable members of our community, we could not do all that we do.

This year, SAGE is celebrating MLK Day of Service a bit early with the White House. In honor of this day, we are highlighting the story of Shelly Montrose, an African American female volunteer at our SAGE Harlem program. A neighborhood program based on affinity, SAGE Harlem is dedicated to creating a safe haven for LGBT older people in Harlem, East Harlem and the Bronx and connecting them to services in their community. Shelly, an older lesbian herself, is a longtime Harlem resident and has been volunteering with SAGE for almost a year. Shelly told us how she became a volunteer:

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