Today, SAGE will stage its first-ever National Day of Advocacy in Washington, D.C., bringing together LGBT trailblazers, older people living with HIV, and allies from across the country to meet face-to-face with their elected officials. SAGE’s National Day of Advocacy is held in conjunction with the annual leadership conference for SAGE’s 30 affiliates, hailing from 20 states and Puerto Rico.
While progress has been made toward LGBT equality, a directive issued yesterday by the Trump administration gives transgender troops and recruits until April 12 to enlist in their preferred gender or receive a diagnosis of “gender dysphoria.” This, and other attacks on the LGBT community, ensure that LGBT elders must still fight for their right to live their lives openly and with dignity and respect as they age. That’s why LGBT elders and older people living with HIV are sharing their their personal stories today with their senators and representatives, emphasizing the critical need for Congress to support federal legislation that protects and supports LGBT older people and those living with HIV.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, SAGE also announced today the launch of its campaign “Still Out in Front: 50 Years of Pride.” From now through June, SAGE will highlight the LGBT pioneers who, 50 years ago, sparked the modern LGBT rights movement and have been blazing trails at the forefront of LGBT activism ever since. While progress has been made toward LGBT equality, LGBT elders are still fighting for their right to live their lives openly and with dignity and respect as they age.
“Despite significant steps forward, the LGBT community, and LGBT elders in particular, still lack basic legal protections and face severe discrimination in states across the country,” said SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “I am honored to be in Washington, D.C., standing beside so many extraordinary LGBT and ally activists as we call on Congress to do their part in better protecting and supporting LGBT older people and those living with HIV.”
Adams continued, “Today, with the launch of SAGE’s Stonewall 50 campaign, we honor the Stonewall generation by highlighting the founders of our LGBT movement, those who stood up on that fateful day in 1969 and said, ‘No more,’ laying the groundwork for the movement for LGBT equality.”
Through the National Day of Advocacy and its “Still Out in Front: 50 Years of Pride” campaign, SAGE is bringing together thousands of voices from across the country to advocate for the rights of LGBT elders and those living with HIV. Those not attending in person are encouraged to participate by sending letters to their representatives at sageusa.org/still-out.