29 posts categorized "SAGE Story"

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



June 16, 2013

Celebrating Fatherhood and Family

Wayne Steinman and Sal Iacullo have been together for nearly 41 years and were the first gay couple in New York State to legally adopt a child. This Father’s Day, we honor them, and fathers everywhere, by telling their SAGE Story.

First Father's Day
Sal, Hope and Wayne Celebrate their 1st Father's Day

We became dads when our daughter, Hope, was placed in our arms in August 19, 1987 in New York City and she was four months old at the time. Sal was actually the lead parent in the adoption―he was the first openly gay male to experience single-parent adoption. However, we were both Hope’s dads. We had legal papers, the court made sure from the get-go that we had both guardianship papers and wills so that if anything happened to Sal, Hope would become my child. We did our second parent adoption in 1994 or ’95, to make it official, but quite honestly, I never felt any different. It was love at first sight and we knew she was our daughter. Papers didn't matter.


WandS July 2011 b
Sal and Wayne Celebrate
We were together for nearly 41 years and it was the same thing! We didn't have any papers in the beginning either, but we knew our love was real. When we could get legal documents, we did, in order to protect ourselves and our daughter. In 1994, we applied for a Domestic Partnership in New York. We had a Civil Union ceremony in Vermont on October 7, 2000 with Hope as our witness. When same-sex marriage became legal in Canada, we went across the border and were legally married in Toronto on August 27, 2003―our 10 year anniversary is coming up!


We celebrate Father's Day and Mother’s Day. It's nice to be able to share cards and special moments together. We note how much we accomplish as dads. Sal's dad is still alive and we have supportive families surrounding us with birthdays and other things at this time of year, so it's just a big celebration. We also all plan a trip to Provincetown for Family Week in August, which is a nice way to stay in touch and celebrate our family within the LGBT community.

Hope is now 26 and she is a strong, independent, intelligent woman―we couldn't have asked for a better daughter. When she was placed with us 26 years ago there were all sorts of issues―health and otherwise― but we gave her all of our love and support. By fourth grade, she was in the gifted program. She got into Staten Island Tech, a top school and graduated from Wesleyan University. She actually came out in high school, so we have a daughter-in-law as part of the family now too! Hope is now in L.A. and we wish she lived closer, but we're proud of her and ourselves as parents. Happy Father's Day to all!

June 14, 2013

SAGE and Freedom to Marry Host Marriage Equality Event

Today, Aaron Tax, SAGE’s Director of Federal Government Relations, tells us about an event on marriage equality held earlier this week.

SAGE, like many others in the LGBT field, is anxiously awaiting a decision by the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which is expected by the end of the month. In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision, on June 10, SAGE and Freedom to Marry organized an event at the National Press Club that provided the aging network the opportunity to speak out against DOMA and express its support for marriage equality.  The panel, moderated by political strategist Hilary Rosen, and featuring aging leaders, policy experts, and a local LGBT older adult, discussed the harms DOMA causes to older same-sex couples. If you’re interested in what the panel talked about, visit SAGE’s marriage equality page, where many of the points brought up during this discussion are found.

At the event, Freedom to Marry also debuted a new, touching video about the 54-year relationship between Bill Campbell and John Hilton. While they were registered as domestic partners in New York, the marriage equality did not come to them soon enough—Bill passed away before it became it a reality in New York state.

We are thankful to the following individuals and organizations for participating in the event: Sarah L. Byrne, senior legislative representative, Alliance for Retired Americans; Paul Nathanson, executive director, National Senior Citizens Law Center; Web Phillips, senior legislative representative, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare; Stacy Sanders, federal policy director, Medicare Rights Center; Thomas Sciacca, NY attorney with expertise in estate and disability planning; and Imani Woody, co-chair of SAGE Metro DC and director and founder of Mary’s House for Older Adults.

For more marriage stories from older LGBT couples, visit SAGE Story.

May 31, 2013

Untold stories of Asian & Pacific Islander LGBT Elders: “I think the need to be accepted overcame their need to be themselves.”

The following is a guest post by Bryan Pacheco, National Coordinator of the Diverse Elders Coalition.


Three things to know as May ends and we look towards June:

  1. May is Older Americans Month.
  2. It’s also Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.
  3. And I worked for the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults, SAGE.

So, what does this mean?

George Takei, Copyright: georgetakei.com
Well, for me, it made me really think: What are the stories being told about older LGBT AAPI people? Are they even being told? Outside of the amazing George Takei, I can’t think of another prominent openly gay Asian American older person. Can you?


I am Puerto Rican, gay and not yet 30 years old, so the stories of older LGBT AAPI people are not my personal story. Therefore, it was important that I find individuals who could tell and share these stories… And that was difficult.

For starters, it took me some time to locate older LGBT AAPI people who were willing to share their stories publicly. Even at The SAGE Center, located in a diverse city that is generally LGBT-friendly, I found this to be true. After speaking to a number of people, I quickly learned that silence and visibility are issues within this segment of the community.

For example, I heard:

Continue reading "Untold stories of Asian & Pacific Islander LGBT Elders: “I think the need to be accepted overcame their need to be themselves.”" »

May 27, 2013

Memorial Day: A Veteran's Story

Thanks to Robert, and all of our LGBT vets, for their service.

In honor of our LGBT veterans, we wanted to share a special story told to us by Kathleen Sullivan, Director of Senior Services at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

For the past three years, the LA Gay and Lesbian Center has worked closely with the Los Angeles Regional Office of the Veterans Health Administration and Veterans Benefits Administration to provide cultural competency training to their staff and connect LGBT older adult with military programs and services at the VA. As a result of their groundbreaking work, Robert, an 88-year old World War II veteran finally got the help he needed—68 years after he served his country bravely and honorably. Listen to our podcast to learn more.

LAGLClogoYou can also learn more about issues facing LGBT veterans by visiting our Veteran's Issue Page on our site. SAGE is also launching a special National Telephone Discussion Group for LGBT Military Service Veterans Aged 60+ with American Veterans For Equal Rights (AVER) in June. Read more about the veterans group here.


May 3, 2013

Married, Yet Denied a Greencard

April may be over, but we wanted to share one more story relating to the importance of marriage equality for LGBT older adults.  These stories are also part of our SAGE Story series. Do you have a story you would like to share? Tell us today!

Even though Matilde and Bronwyn are legally married in New York State and Bronwyn is a U.S. Citizen, Matilde is not recognized as such by marriage and must obtain a visa in order stay in the country. Their plight is a common one for LGBT couples - married or not. Watch as they tell their story.

Continue reading "Married, Yet Denied a Greencard" »

April 29, 2013

Allen Matthews: Cancer Survivor of 26 Years

April is National Cancer Control Month. According to President Obama, "This month, we rededicate ourselves to securing better outcomes, reducing new cases, and advancing cancer research."  Read the President's full statement here.


CancerButtonSAGE constituent Allen Matthews, 70, has been living with lung cancer for an astonishing 26 years. He attends the weekly Men’s Cancer Support Group hosted by SAGE in partnership with Cancer Care where he continues to inspire others with his story of survival and strength.

Cancer came in to Allen’s life literally with a bang. In 1987, Allen was hit by a car crossing one of Manhattan’s busy thoroughfares. Badly injured, he was rushed to the emergency room where doctors x-rayed him to determine the extent of his injuries. Allen describes the car accident as both a blessing and a curse because, though badly injured, this was the moment that doctors first discovered that he had a large tumor growing on his lung.

Continue reading "Allen Matthews: Cancer Survivor of 26 Years" »

April 26, 2013

Marriage Equality: Veterans Face a Different Battle

During the month of April, SAGE will be featuring stories relating to the importance of marriage equality for LGBT older adults every Friday.  These stories are also part of our SAGE Story series. Do you have a story you would like to share? Tell us today!

Today, we feature two videos with different stories. Gary and Ose talk about their relationship, marriage and the issues surrounding Ose being a U.S. veteran. Denny Meyer, a previous contributor to the SAGE Blog, tells us about his issues being a vet and falling in love with his partner—who he met in the Philippines. What these stories have in common is the lack of benefits for veterans' partners—whether legally married or not.

April 12, 2013

Two for Equality: Linda & Clayton's Story

The fight for marriage equality is fought not only by LGBT people, but also by the straight allies who love them. Today’s blog post is about Linda and Clayton, a couple who believe that their son Nicholas should have the right to marry Andrew, his partner of 12 years—turning Andrew from their “son without law” to a son-in-law.  This story is also part of our SAGE Story series. Do you have a story you would like to share? Tell us today!

Linda_claytonLinda and Clayton hail from Missouri—the heartland of America—and are both strong and supportive parents. Missouri may be the land of “traditional family values” but theirs is an open and accepting household. When their son Nicholas, at age 16, asked to have a family meeting, Linda said, “it wasn’t at all unusual. She just assumed Nicholas wanted to make an ordinary teenage announcement like, “I’ve chosen the college I want to go to.”

So Linda wasn’t quite prepared when Nicholas came out to his parents as gay.

Continue reading "Two for Equality: Linda & Clayton's Story" »