In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Michael Adams, Chief Executive Officer of Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders (SAGE) which is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT older adults founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City. Recently SAGE has announced it has joined forces with HELP USA and BFC Partners to develop New York City’s first senior housing with services designed specifically for the LGBT community. Ingersoll Senior Residences and Crotona Senior Residences will collectively provide nearly 230 units and bring comprehensive LGBT culturally competent services to older adults at both sites. Located in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn Ingersoll Senior Residences will be the nation’s largest LGBT-welcoming elder housing development in the nation with 145 affordable units. Crotona Senior Residences will provide 82 units located in Crotona Park North, Bronx and will be developed as part of a collaboration between HPD, HELP USA, NY State Homes and Community Renewal and SAGE. As President Obama recently stated in his Pride Month Proclamation LGBT elder housing is a national issue and these new developments will address this need by weaving together affordable housing and comprehensive on-site services. We talked to Michael about providing our LGBT elder pioneers access to safe housing where they can be themselves and his spin on our LGBT issues.
When asked what he would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years Adams stated, “We spend a lot of time in our movement, as has been necessary, fighting for equal rights, legal rights, for marriage equality. We have made good progress but we still obviously have a long way to go to ensure that we are protected against discrimination since in many parts of the country we’re not; so many parts of the country it’s perfectly legal to discriminate against us in housing, in employment and other parts of life. So the fight to win anti discrimination protections is very important. Equally important is ensuring all of our work in all of our communities is inclusive and supports all parts of the community and what we’ve seen is we have groups within the community that too often get left behind. That includes transgender folks and certainly includes elders in our community and so really ensuring that the progress we make is progress for all including our most vulnerable, most marginalized member of the community to me that is really critical.”
Michael Adams is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Harvard College. Prior to becoming Chief Executive Officer at SAGE he was the Director of Education and Public Affairs for Lambda Legal. Prior to that Michael spent a decade leading cutting-edge litigation that established new rights for LGBT people, first as Associate Director of the ACLU's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project and then as Deputy Legal Director at Lambda Legal. He has authored numerous publications on an array of LGBT issues. SAGE offers national supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and their caregivers, advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people and provides training for aging providers and LGBT organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. With offices in New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago, SAGE coordinates a growing network of 29 SAGE affiliates in 21 states and the District of Columbia.
For More Info: sageusa.org