.The month of June is coming to a close and soon the rainbow flags will be still, the parades will be over and the focus on LGBTQ+ communities will slow. It happens every year, and we are grateful that Pride continues to pull people together in celebration for all the many gains in securing the rights and wellness of LGBTQ+ people. In the face of the recent Masterpiece Cakeshop decision, and the building religious freedoms legislation which is happening on a national scale, we are seeing that there is still work to be done. Read more here.

In working with our clients, we see the many faces of aging and work hard to develop creative solutions to common problems. The majority of our clients have experienced hospitalization or placement in a long term care facility. And many LGBTQ+ clients have real fears of being exposed in those environments to the point they risk their own well-being by becoming isolated. We have clients who become withdrawn and lose contact with loved ones because they want to stay in their own homes and avoid risk of not being accepted.

Already 78% of LGBTQ+ older adults go back in the closet when in long term care settings. Cases like that of Marsha Wetzel are a good example of why. Marsha moved into a facility which has a religious affiliation and after coming out, she found herself the victim of verbal and physical harassment. The staff was ill equipped to support her and resolve the conflict. With our help, Marsha eventually moved out of the home into a more LGBTQ+ friendly environment. You can learn more about her experience here

One of the ways in which we address the lack of education within health and aging systems is through training. We provide cultural competency and ethics trainings for social workers, nurses, and other professionals nationwide. You can see our upcoming training opportunities below. We develop video content which is inclusive of the needs and strengths of LGBTQ+ people. A recent interview conducted with Jackson Stacy talks about the value of intergenerational caregiving and how to build relationships. Please take a moment to watch the video and reach out to an older adult.

We are proud of all the LGBTQ+ older adults finding their way, surviving and thriving in the face of constant change. We are proud of the efforts we make year round to cultivate new pathways for LGBTQ+ people to age well. We are proud of you as consumers of healthcare and citizens, questioning the status quo and advocating for yourself and your neighbors.

We hope to see you at some of our upcoming events this summer, and encourage you to share our information with someone in your circle. Take good care!