As you may have heard by now I am leaving my current post as LGBT Program Specialist with the BCAAA to move to Boston at the end of this month. I cannot tell you how much I have loved being able to serve you as Project Visibility Coordinator and Rainbow Elders Outreach Leader.
So many of you have touched my heart by sharing your stories, your hardships, your triumphs, and your lives with me over the last year. Your openness has encouraged me to learn and grow as an advocate for LGBT Elders and I am very happy to report that I plan on pursuing a Masters Degree in Social Work during my time in Boston with a focus on life transitions and special attention paid to LGBT Aging. I simply cannot put into mere words how thankful I am for my time here and with you.
Sincerely and with a heavy heart,
Ash Bell (pictured on the left with LGBT Program Volunteers and Nancy at the 2016 Volunteer Luncheon)
P.S. Don't worry, the new LGBT Program Specialist will be starting in June or July. Rainbow Elders and Project Visibility are and will be still going strong!
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) along
with Senate & House Democratic Leaders and the bipartisan LGBTQ Equality
Caucus reintroduced the Equality Act, which would ban sexual orientation and
gender identity discrimination in employment, housing, credit, education, in
organizations that receive federal funding, and for jury service.It would also amend the Religious Freedom
Restoration Act of 1995 so that it could not be used to allow
lawsuits have been filed by Lambda Legal in Idaho, on behalf of a transwoman
who has not been allowed to change her gender marker on her birth certificate, and
in Mississippi, on behalf of a widowed gay man who was refused service by a
funeral home unwilling to cremate his late husband.
On April 4,
the Seventh Circuit court of Appeals ruled that employment discrimination based
on sexual orientation violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
District Court for the District of Colorado ruled on April 5 that a Gold Hill,
CO property owner’s refusal to rent to a lesbian couple, one of whom is
transgender, and their children was in violation of the Fair Housing Act and
Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.
Did you know that the Boulder County Area Agency on Aging has many programs that work together to support older adults in Boulder County—Rainbow Elders is just one piece of a wonderful pie! This edition’s BCAAA Program Spotlight is Project HOPE. Here’s a success story of one of Project HOPE’s participants:
Mr. M has been a Project HOPE client for almost three years. He is 76 years old and has multiple medical challenges, including, Congestive Heart Failure, Glaucoma, Diabetes, Parkinson’s, and Arthritis. His biggest challenges, though, were related to his loneliness, and a constant struggle to manage the depression he has had most of his life. Mr. M sold diamonds and cigars in NY City, and enjoyed collecting unusual antiques during world travels. He spent years on the “Nursing Home circuit,” telling jokes and performing magic with his late partner: He and his partner enjoyed sharing their talents with the residents.
Project HOPE started working with Mr. M when he was struggling to find joy or quietness in his declining health. Happily, he had been able to remain independent and in his own home, but he was struggling with doing the things he needed to care for himself, like housekeeping and cooking. He was also dealing with the isolation that occurred with limited vision and mobility. His depression had become unmanageable.
Imagine, if you will, how you would address the following events:
You no longer see well enough to read packages at the grocery store;
You need help with housekeeping, cannot afford the cost, and your Niece has threatened to place you in a “Home” if you “Fall. One. More. Time”;
Yesterday, you temporarily couldn’t remember how to find your way home when out taking a walk;
You no longer bathe because it is too difficult to get in and out of the tub;
You are no longer able to drive.
Now, think how relieved you would be if you had access to individuals and services that could help you with these challenges. Applicants who meet age, income and functional qualifications are able to receive the type of individualized attention and support that will allow them to remain in their homes with freedom and dignity. Project HOPE participants can receive supportive services which may include homemaking or personal care, nutrition, transportation, and care coordination.
Through Project HOPE, Mr. M received frequent contact with his network of caretakers, recurring visits from his caseworker, and assistance with getting out of his apartment. He was able to get help with personal care and housekeeping. While his physical challenges continue, his bouts with depression have decreased. Mr. M has been able to stay in his home with the supports that Project HOPE provides.
If you, or someone you know, would benefit from Project HOPE, please contact Rebekah Van Sweden, MSW, our Boulder County AAA Project HOPE Coordinator. You may reach her at 303-441-3945, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love is Strange (2014) Starring Alfred Molina, John Lithgow, and Marisa Tomei.
A gay couple in their 60’s finally marry, only to experience an employment
crisis that leads them to live separately at their childrens’ homes. This movie
features some of my favorite actors, was universally lauded by critics, and won
Best Film, Best Male Lead, Best Supporting Male, and Best Screenplay
Independent Spirit Awards. Available on DVD, or to rent through cable,
YouTube, or Amazon.
Intentional Living Community Targeted to 50+ LGBTQI Local community members are working to create a diverse intentional living community, targeted primarily to age 50+ LGBTQI, friends and family, but absolutely inclusive of others. They are seeking people who wish to live in close community with others for friendship, mutual support, and resource sharing. The community will initially be 12 new condominium flats in a 3-story, elevator-served building with private garages in Louisville. Each person/s will purchase their own separate unit directly from the builder. There will likely be an option to rent, for those who don’t choose to purchase. There is an option to add a second 12-unit building, if more people want to be part of this community. There are also adjacent new single-family homes, duplexes, and townhomes if some people want to be in community, but want a larger type of home. Commitment to purchase would be required by mid-summer 2017, with construction completion and move-in likely in fall 2018. Purchase price will be about $400,000 for a 2-BR, 1,130 square foot condo, with some 1-BR and 3-BR options. For more information, please contact Elisabeth Borden (she/her/hers) at email@example.com.
are your passions? How are you brave?Local
photographer Heidi Wagner has created two ongoing projects, The Passions
Project and Be Brave, and she is looking for LGBT older adults to
participate.The Passions Project is a
photo series of older adults sharing their passions in life, from cello, to
cats, to motorcycles. Heidi’s goal with this project is to show “aging as an
exciting time filled with vitality and wellness, wherein each day ahead has
purpose.”Her latest project, Be Brave,
showcases people of all ages sharing the ways that they are brave in their
everyday lives, and Heidi would love for some LGBT older adults to be included
in this project as well.Check out the
beautiful portfolio of The Passions Project at www.ThePassionsProject.com, and if you are willing to
participate and share your passions and everyday bravery, please contact Heidi
at 720-933-1567 or Heidi@ThePassionsProject.com.
Disclaimer: Community Connections info is shared as a courtesy as these items may be of interest to Rainbow Elders, but BCAAA is not affiliated with and does not endorse these entities.
May 12 Dancin’ Divas Un-Prom Dance: You don't need a tux, a gown, corsage or a date - just come and have fun! 6:30 pm-10:30 pm. $10 at the door, Avalon Ballroom, 6185 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder.
May 18 Project Visibility Train the Trainer in Denver
June 4 Out Boulder Presents The Garden Party from 4pm-8pm
June 9 Dancin’
Divas Annual Retro Dance Tunes from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, from 7pm-11pm, $10 donation,
Avalon Ballroom, 6185 Arapahoe, Boulder.
Boulder County presents Longmont Pride 2017 on Saturday, June 24th from
2 PM - 6 PM on 4th between Main and Emery
This on-going social group for LGBT
adults age 60+ (or close) meets monthly on second Thursday nights
May 11th at
5:30pm at Pinocchio’s, 210 Ken Pratt Blvd Suite 160, Longmont, in the
private East Room. $10 menu option. Sponsored by the BCAAA and hosted by volunteer, Maggie Benton to RSVP email Maggie at firstname.lastname@example.org
June 8th at 5:30pm Potluck at St Stephen's Episcopal, 1303 S Bross Lane in Longmont
This conversation group meets the
second and fourth Wednesday mornings. All LGBT people age 60+ are welcome at
Lafayette Senior Center, 103 S. Iowa, from 9-10:30am. Free pastries and Panera
bread, donations for coffee. For further info, contact coordinator Gladys
Lopez at email@example.com put “coffee klatch” in the subject line. Sponsored by the BCAAA.
The Out! Café is just one of a myriad
of offerings from Out! Boulder County; it’s a drop-in gathering that meets at
the Pride House, 2132 14th St., Boulder, on second and fourth
Wednesdays from 5:00-6:30 PM, and at Out BoCo office, 463 Main St. Longmont
every Monday from 4:00pm-5:30pm. For anyone on the LGBTQI continuum who seeks
community. See current info and complete community calendar at http://www.outboulder.org/
For more information about any of the above events please contact infoLGBTelders@bouldercounty.org
BCAAA LGBT Programs are supported by
the Dave Ensign Charitable Foundation and many individual donors like you.