Celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month in June with Institute on Aging

lgbt seniors bill of rights californiaEveryone deserves to grow older with dignity and pride, and without having to hide who they are. At Institute on Aging (IOA), we strongly support LGBTQ rights and feel that older adults, who had to spend much of their life hiding, deserve to celebrate who they are. These aren’t special rights: These are basic human needs that are just, fair, and moral. That’s why we are honored to celebrate Pride Month with our amazing LGBTQ community and everyone else who wants to join in.

This is the seventh year we’ve been participating in Pride Events. They are incredibly important to us and our mission of helping older adults live the way they want to live, with dignity, independence, and yes, with pride. As Kristina Lugo, our interim vice president of health services, says, “There was a time when they didn’t feel recognized for who they are and now they are being celebrated.”

Please join us as we dedicate the month of June to the community’s pride, history, and the progress we’ve made, knowing we can never give up fighting. It’ll be a month-long celebration of our LGBTQ family and a pure expression of our belief that you are always you, and you should be proud of who you are. Age on with us as we celebrate Pride Month in the Bay Area.

Pride Flag Drop: June 1st at 12:30 p.m.

IOA Lobby below the bridge

Our pride flag will be hanging in the lobby all month, reminding visitors that no matter who you are or where you come from, we’re all humans with the same needs, hopes, and fears. As we get older, this sense of solidarity becomes more important and more clear. The things that divide us are false, and the flag is a month-long reminder of that essential truth.

Screening of When We Rise

Wednesday, June 14th from 5:30-9:30 p.m. (episodes 1 and 2)

Post-screening speakers: Roma Guy and Diane Jones

Thursday, June 15th from 5:30-9:30 p.m. (episodes 3 and 4)

Post-screening speakers: Ken Jones and Cecilia Chung

Weinberg Auditorium, IOA

View a moving four-part documentary about the gay rights movement, from Stonewall to the present day. Relive the stories of the people who fought for justice, freedom, equality, and love. Screening is free, but seats are limited. Please reserve your spot on Eventbrite.

LGBTQ Senior Prom: June 17th from 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Weinberg Auditorium, IOA

A new tradition, this is quickly becoming one of the highlights of our calendar. So many LGBTQ seniors weren’t able to go to their actual prom with the person they wanted, as the prejudices of the time wouldn’t allow it. Even now, it can be hard for LGBTQ high schoolers. So our prom is a multigenerational shindig that is open to all LGBTQ seniors, their caregivers, and any LGBTQ high schoolers. This is a traditional non-traditional prom: decor, dress, and dancing. Come with someone or just come to party! The event is free, but please reserve a spot on Eventbrite.

The San Francisco LGBT Dementia Care Project: June 20th, 12:30-3:30 p.m.

Weinberg Auditorium, IOA

Our team at IOA is proud to present the San Francisco LGBT Dementia Care Project: Increasing Access to Dementia Capable Care for the LGBT Community. During this event, the Alzheimer’s Association, in partnership with Openhouse and the Family Caregiver Alliance, will be offering a free, three-hour training for aging-service providers to be educated on the dementia care needs of older LGBTQ adults. Attendees can also earn continuing education credits. For more information or to register, visit Eventbrite.

Pride Parade: June 25th, beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Downtown San Francisco

Join IOA’s staff, volunteers, board members, friends, and family at the most historic and colorful Pride Parade in the country. We’ll be walking (and dancing!) the whole route. We’d love for you to walk with us, to show the vibrancy of the Bay Area’s senior LGBTQ culture. Our theme this year is “Keep America Diverse,” reflecting and reinforcing that, no matter what, IOA welcomes all genders, races, ethnicities, and religions. We’re all humans. The march will celebrate that and our human ability to have fun!

It’s Personal For All Of Us

Many of our members participated in the great struggles for LGBTQ rights, starting with the Stonewall Riots of 1969. They marched in the first Pride parades in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and here in San Francisco. They lived that heroic history, battling discrimination, prejudice, and violence so that the next generations of LGTBQ members can live freely. They should be celebrated.

As our own Timothy Riel the Volunteer Coordinator at The Friendship Line said:

I celebrate Pride in honor of my LGBTQ brothers and sisters that have fought so I can stand proud and loud as a queer individual. The fight is far from over, but for me, the fight for our equality and acknowledgment is easier because of the brave individuals who stood up and risked everything to live as they are or love who they love. Every Pride, I look back at our history … I’m so humbled to be part of the LGBTQ community and so grateful for the contributions that many, particularly queers of color, have made so I and millions of others can celebrate so freely.

Pride Month is so important to us. The discrimination LGBTQ people feel can become worse when mixed with ageism, and after many years being forced to hide, we want to celebrate the hard-won freedom to love who you love and live how you live. Celebrate with us in June and join in the chorus. Add your voice to the mixed, jumbled, diverse, and beautiful voices singing as one.

At Institute on Aging, we believe that everyone has the right to age without discrimination, abuse, or fear. We believe, simply, that you should be able to love who you love. Our programs and services help all seniors live with dignity and independence. Connect with us today to learn more.

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