Congressman Ted Deutch introduced a resolution Friday celebrating LGBT elders.
The motion comes on National Honor Our LGBT Elders Day.
Deutch (FL-22) chairs the House LGBT Elders Task Force. He shared statistics from SAGE noting there are three million LGBT American adults over the age of 50 and that population is expected to grow to seven million by 2030.
Older LGBT Americans, Deutch said, carried the banner for many years, oftentimes under hostile circumstances, and are largely responsible for the gains the community enjoys today.
"The elder generation of the LGBT community helped our country make significant strides toward equality, and they continued that fight in the face of decades of bigotry and, too frequently, violence," said Deutch. "We should celebrate this population for who they are and what they have accomplished to help bring about incredible change for all LGBT people. As we strive for greater equality for the LGBT community and a more robust safety net for older Americans, it is important that we ensure LGBT older Americans have access to culturally sensitive and clinically competent services and care."
In a press release, LGBT elders service providers praised Deutch’s efforts.
“I am very grateful to Representative Deutch for this historic resolution for National Honor Our LGBT Elders Day," said Sam McClure, executive director of The Center for LGBTQ Health Equity of Chase Brexton Health Care. "Our elders endured indignities and violence and yet they still laid the groundwork for the equality movement. Now the next generations must pause to honor our elders and to learn from them. Our rich history will inform a more just and equitable future.”
“Every day, we strive to honor the LGBTQ+ elders in our community through vital, engaging services that celebrate, nurture and empower,” said Robert Boo, CEO of The Pride Center at Equality Park. "The largest weekly gathering of LGBTQ+ Seniors in the United States is at The Pride Center with our Tuesday morning 'Coffee and Conversation.' Over the past few months, we’ve watched beautiful Active Agers fill The Residences at Equality Park. The new 48-unit development on our campus represents Florida’s first affordable housing community with customized supportive services for the LGBTQ+ active aging community. This joyous culmination of a seven-year process means these local seniors now have a safe, welcoming home where they can be their authentic selves. Our staff continues to triage the needs of countless Active Agers struggling through a pandemic. And plans are underway for our 12th Annual Virtual Active Aging Expo on October 16. This provides LGBTQ+ adults with a unique, comprehensive overview of community resources, with exhibits and resources reflecting health, finance, insurance, legal, travel, entertainment, retirement, and a number of helpful community organizations. Honoring our elders means not only celebrating — but meeting real needs in ways that lift and connect people to supportive communities."