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January 2, 2019

December 2018/January 2019 Rainbow Elders Newsletter

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Rainbow Elders Newsletter-Dec 2018/Jan 2019

For Boulder County's LGBT older adults, their families, and allies


Jared Polis elected as Colorado's Governor!

History was made on election night, Nov. 6, 2018 when Colorado elected it's first openly gay Governor with Jared Polis, the Democratic congressman from Boulder who beat Walker Stapleton, Colorado's Republican treasurer. This sends a message of positivity to all LGBTQ folks that you can do whatever you set your mind to, including winning public office. To read more, visit The Denver Post.

Also worthy of note is the Rainbow Wave that took over during this Election. Dozens of LGBT candidates across the nation won seats in multiple local, state and federal positions. To learn more, visit National Public Radio.


Project Visibility

General Training

A three-hour general Project Visibility training will be offered on Thursday, Jan. 17 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Longmont Senior Center, at 910 Longs Peak Avenue. The Boulder County Area Agency on Aging's Project Visibility is a dynamic, cultural-sensitivity training that addresses the particular needs and strengths of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Award-winning, and one of the first of its kind in the nation, the training features a film that highlights the experiences of local LGBT older adults. Project Visibility offers important information, perspectives, and practical tips for working competently with this often invisible population for all caregivers, and others engaged or interested in the lives of older adults. Free and open to the public, but registration required. To register, email Michael Chifalo or call 303-441-4518 by Wednesday, Jan. 16. To watch a short video and learn more, visit the Project Visibility website.

coffee klatch

Our Coffee Klatch is taking a different shape and form for 2019! Instead of meeting at the same place multiple times per year, we're taking the Klatch on the road with a year-long series of topics with rotating times and locations. Our Winter series, begins in January with our kick-off event on Jan. 16 from 9-10:30 at the Lafayette Senior Center at 103 S. Iowa Avenue. Please join us for a reveal of our calendar of topics, including info on Medicare, Advance Directives, Healthy Aging, Nutrition, Recreation and Spirituality.


The Lavender Gala, held at Nissi’s in Lafayette Dec. 2 was a total success! Nearly 150 people attended to celebrate Boulder County’s LGBTQ older adult community. With top-notch entertainment from Ostevetto Jazz Duo, Jackie O. Nassis and Nina Montaldo (pictured here with emcee and LGBT Program Specialist Michael Chifalo), as well as Dancin’ Divas DJ Susie Pringle, the audience had a fabulous time ringing in the holiday cheer. Thanks to Nissi’s staff for providing a delicious meal. Additional thanks to the individuals, organizations, and businesses who donated gift baskets, gift cards and money to our door prizes. Special thanks to the volunteers who helped make this event possible. We couldn’t have done it without all of your support! Happy Holidays!


Volunteer of the Quarter

Our BCAAA volunteer of the quarter for Fall 2018 is Diana Mapes, Rainbow Elders Supper Club Facilitator. Diana, or Di as she prefers, is not only a joy to be around every time you see her with her bright smile, tight hugs and warm voice, she puts in the extra effort to guarantee the success of our Rainbow Elders monthly Supper Club. Prior to each meeting, Di sends out a reminder email to the group list that she maintains, describing that month’s get-together. Her use of language to create brave spaces for our Rainbow Elders even through the medium of email is unique and appreciated. Recently, the group was at a crossroad where they needed to decide if they were going to continue rotating between potlucks at the Longmont Senior Center and Italian at Pinocchio’s restaurant. Di was able to eloquently present all sides of the issue in a way that honors many voices. Her communication creates safe spaces for group members to express their opinions even if they differ from popular opinion. Her dedication to and love of her volunteer work for the Rainbow Elders Supper Club can be summed up through the following quote from one of her emails, “The main thing to remember is that we all want more community and friendship in our lives. People are what matter most. I deeply want to celebrate and grow this wonderful network of like-minded and good-spirited souls, and provide the space for newcomers and old returners to connect and reconnect.”

Our next Rainbow Elders Supper Club will meet Thursday, January 10 from 5:30- 7:30 at Pinocchio's on Ken Pratt in Longmont. Contact Diana Mapes for more information.


I began attending Rainbow Elders Supper Club in Longmont from its beginning in 2016, then I was “promoted” to volunteer coordinator which I served as for over a year. I still attend because I believe Supper Club is a vital part of building relationships and creating community in the older LGBTQ community. As my full-time day job, I also serve as one of the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Medicare counselors. To learn more about the Medicare Counseling Program, click here.

Born and raised in Arkansas, I moved to Colorado 31 years ago. Longmont is my home now. After graduating from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, I worked for the Bureau of Business and Economic Research as an economic analyst then as director for county computerization projects. Once in Colorado I worked as a programmer/supervisor and finally operations manager. I started my own environmentally focused business in 1994. Sold that business in 2010. After that, I worked five years in financial services, but never quite felt satisfied. I loved the Medicare part of the work and kismet led me to Boulder County. I hope to finish my work life as a Medicare Counselor under Healthy Aging at the AAA. I absolutely adore my job. I work within a team of amazing people and this work checks all my happy boxes.

As for hobbies, I am an urban farmer. I fight squirrel-wars and have become a crazy bird lady. I am fascinated with passive solar and have big projects in mind. I married my beyootiful wife in Longmont at St Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Jan. 2017 (the weekend before the inauguration). We spent our honeymoon at the Women’s March in Denver. After eleven years together, she is the light of my life. My faith and my church are extremely important to me and to us as a couple. We serve together in homeless sheltering and meals. We each have our own interests that we like to minister in. I’m an evangelical Episcopalian!

I recently heard a woman on NPR say that old white women must be activists because “they won’t shoot us." That sentiment struck a chord deep in me. Fight back! I’ve been officially out since 1972 and have seen a lot of changes for the better. BUT we must never become complacent. We must build familial units of choice to be there for each other as we age. Many of us don’t have kids or have other blood-kin nearby to help us in times of trouble. Our families of choice must become our relations and we need to be there for each other.

"I am a witness to the changes I’ve seen in my lifetime from growing up in a rural Southern town to today marrying in my church and filing a joint tax return! I honor those that came before my generation, those who gave up their tomorrow’s, so we could have our today. Remember if you are fortunate enough to live to be old, be grateful.”


Help Sustain

LGBT Programs

for Older Adults!

A third of our program budget comes from the Aging Services Foundation of Boulder County, a partner local nonprofit that helps the Area Agency on Aging raise funds to build and sustain effective and much-needed programs like Rainbow Elders and Project Visibility. A little help goes a long way in our work, and your support is a direct investment into the longevity of our programs. Please consider making a donation today! If you’d like to offer your time and brainpower, you can also help us sustain our programs by joining the ASF Board of Directors. The ASF Board is seeking someone who can serve as an LGBT advocate, helping our programs attract donations, seek and apply for grants, and be a liaison for the ASF and LGBT programs in our community. If this is something you want to learn more about, learn more here or contact Jacob Bielecki at 303-441-1979.


The Aging Advisory Council (AAC) is currently recruiting new members, including people who have served in the past and have spent at least one year off of the board. Applications will be accepted through Friday, Jan. 11. The AAC serves in an advisory capacity to the Area Agency on Aging. The AAC helps in the administration and planning of the Older Americans Act programs by gathering information and ideas that help to coordinate the delivery of services and by responding effectively to the strengths and needs of older adults throughout Boulder County. The AAC meets the first Friday of every month from 9 a.m. to noon, except for July and November.

Read more about the AAC here

Apply for a position with the AAC here

For questions, please email Lindsay Parsons.


To learn more about the Boulder County Courthouse historic designation, watch video here.