"We refuse to be invisible"
According to the New York State Office for the Aging, LGBTQ+ elders are less likely than heterosexual elders to access many services for the aging.
Inspired by the Stonewall Uprisings, a group of activists in New York joined together in 1978 to form “Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders,” currently known as SAGE. SAGE is the largest and oldest organization in the US dedicated to LGBTQ+ elders. Their services range from providing healthcare to creating safe and welcoming community spaces.
The Rainbow Seniors
In 2020, when COVID-19 caused Out Alliance, Rochester’s leading LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, to suspend its operations, LGBTQ+ seniors were left wondering who to turn to for services. Advocates gathered together to form The Rainbow Seniors ROC Inc. Anne Tischer, a long time LGBTQ+ advocate in Rochester, was one of the original members to help establish the organization.
The mission of the Rainbow Seniors ROC Inc. is “to help older adults live their ‘best lives’ connected to the community, engaged in enjoyable activities, and securely linked to the social services they need to thrive.”
Rainbow Senior organizations have been created throughout Western New York and in the Berkshires.