Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Transgender elders shine in new Pride Month campaign

The Trans Legacy Campaign from SAGE and Trans Equality Consulting aims to raise visibility of our most vulnerable group.

SAGE, the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ older people, has announced the launch of a new Trans Legacy Campaign in honor of Pride Month. The campaign, in collaboration with Trans Equity Consulting, aims to increase the representation of transgender elders amidst the ongoing struggles facing the community.

Transgender elders are arguably the most vulnerable group within the LGBTQ+ community. They have lived their lives in a society where being their authentic selves means suffering from harassment, discrimination, and prejudice. This disparate treatment leads to profound disparities that result in poor health, financial insecurity, and lack of community support.

Despite these challenges, transgender elders have persevered through adversity and been an integral part of the movement for equality for LGBTQ+ people nationwide. This resilience is portrayed in the Trans Legacy Campaign, which gives the public an inside look at the experiences and challenges they faced in their quest to live as their authentic selves.

“Transgender elders are a cornerstone for our community,” said Michael Adams, CEO of SAGE. “We wouldn’t have the rights we have today were it not for transgender people — and especially Black transgender women — fighting back. With anti-trans legislation at an all-time high, it’s never been more crucial to share their stories and increase their visibility as we continue the fight for full equality.”

The Trans Legacy Campaign features a gallery of photos of six local transgender elders. Photos were captured by viento izquierdo ugaz & Oscar Diaz, who implemented both digital and film 35mm photography as a way to visualize time while capturing the portraits of the models. 

Each poster-size image is accompanied by quotes from the elders as they describe their experiences as members of the transgender community. Quotes will also be translated into Spanish and Cantonese to make the gallery as accessible as possible.

“I remember the Civil Rights movement. I was in the service during the Vietnam War. I remember Stonewall. There was a time when we had nothing,” said Miss Genevieve, one of the campaign participants. “And look at the changes that have been made. Look at the people we’ve influenced and still influence just by our existence.”

The campaign aims to celebrate the vibrancy and resiliency of transgender elders and why they choose not to be invisible. This includes legendary spokeswoman and iconic performer Miss Simone of the West Village, who has faced discrimination and transphobia over her lifetime.

“Many transgender people are in an environment where people may try to lower our self-esteem,” said Miss Simone. “It’s important to be around people that are actually behind you and help you live your truth, your true life.”

Local New Yorkers can celebrate the campaign’s launch by attending the Trans Legacy Gallery Launch, a free public event, on Friday, June 3, starting at 5 p.m. EST at Stonewall House, the country’s largest LGBTQ-welcoming elder housing development, in Brooklyn, New York. Space is limited. RSVP at the link here: sageusa.org/TransLegacyRSVP.  

The gallery will also be released nationwide digitally at sageusa.org/TransLegacyCampaign.

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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 www.sageusa.org

SAGE Matters has 26 posts and counting. See all posts by SAGE Matters

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