History of the LGBT Aging Project
The LGBT Aging Project was founded in 2001 by a group of advocates from both the aging service network and the LGBT community who recognized that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender elders are invisible to mainstream elder service providers and that older LGBTs are invisible within LGBT community as well.
The LGBT Aging Project hosted a LGBT Aging Summit with over 100 agencies and activists which resulted in a written action plan that outlined the goals of our work, ranging from training of mainstream elder care providers to civil marriage rights and expanded social activities for LGBT elders themselves.
In most cases our aim was to facilitate change in existing systems, not provide direct services ourselves. We projected completion of most of our work plan within three years. However we have exceeded this timeline due to tremendous culture change and receptivity to LGBT issues over the past few years.
The LGBT Aging Project’s work is focused in Massachusetts, but we are also founding members of the National Roundtable on LGBT Aging, hosted by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF – The Task Force) which allows us to collaborate with colleagues throughout the country and address national policy issues together.
Since its inception the Aging Project has collaborated with community partners to conduct research among LGBT elders and mainstream providers, engaged scores of LGBT elders themselves, provided training to more than 2,000 people and increased public awareness of LGBT elders and caregivers, and the issues that impact their lives. We are proud of our pioneering and innovative work within both the mainstream and LGBT communities.