Friday, July 19, 2024

SAGE Board of Directors dedicates $1 million to trans elders

SAGE, the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ elders, is proud to announce the Transgender and Non-Binary (TGNB) Elder Program Equity Fund.

Trans Awareness Week is the perfect opportunity to share SAGE’s year-round efforts to honor the influence and legacies of trans elders. The decision to create the Fund emerged following SAGE’s collaboration with Trans Equity Consulting (TEC), led by Cecilia Gentili and Cyd Nova, to develop our organization’s strategy to build more TGNB-related services and advocacy for elders.  

The TGNB Elder Program Equity Fund will dedicate $1 million to support TGNB-focused services and advocacy at SAGE, both in New York and nationally. These opportunities are vital to TGNB members of SAGE’s community, as trans older people are at a higher risk of discrimination, marginalization, health disparities, and poverty as they age.

“It feels particularly appropriate to announce this initiative during Trans Week of Awareness because the need to amplify and recognize trans experiences is the very core of the TGNB Elder Program Equity Fund,” said SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “Decades after Stonewall, which was led by TGNB people, TGNB elders are still pushed to the margins in society and even within the communities they helped to create.”

“Equality cannot be achieved without action to dismantle the anti-TGNB oppression that many of our transgender and non-binary elders still face today. The TGNB Elder Program Equity Fund is what that action looks like,” said Joanna Rivera, SAGE’s Manager of TGNB Outreach & Community Engagement. “This initiative allows us to continue honoring our TGNB elders while they are still with us, letting them know that we see them and embrace them as valuable members of our community.”

“Transgender and non-binary elders have survived and fought for equality in various capacities over the years, and this recognition through the TGNB Elder Program Equity Fund is a definitive step towards the respect, change, and acceptance we deserve,” said SAGE constituent Sandi Salas.

The TGNB Elder Program Equity Fund was created with a gift from the Estate of Jack Dowling to honor his friendship with legendary transgender activist Marsha. P. Johnson. The two formed a bond from their time spent together during the community heyday of Chelsea Piers and became close acquaintances and kindred spirits. Dowling, who passed away in February of 2021 due to COVID-19 complications, wanted Johnson’s legacy to live on for trans elders for years to come through his generous gift to SAGE.

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This article was first published on SAGE Matters. SAGE is the USA's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults. For more info visit

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