In late October, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced plans to establish the first national resource center to assist communities across the country in their efforts to provide services and support to older lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
The announcement was applauded by National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders (SAGE), which have been working collaboratively as part of the New Beginning Initiative to advocate for the needs of LGBT seniors. The initiative, a collaboration of more than 20 national LGBT organizations, aims to promote change within federal agencies to improve the lives of LGBT people, including aging issues as its priority.
“This announcement from HHS marks a critical step to address the needs of a highly vulnerable and largely invisible aging population. This national resource center will provide critical information and resources to mainstream aging organizations and to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organizations that want to reach out to their aging community,” commented Rea Carey, executive director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Up until now, such services have been few and far between.”
Locally, Montrose Counseling Center’s Seniors Preparing for Rainbow Years (SPRY) provides services and support to Houston’s LGBT seniors. – by Nancy Ford