Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is celebrated annually in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots, and works to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) Americans.

Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBT Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that LGBT individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

For older adults in particular, coming out as LGBT can be a tense process – not only because of life-long fears about society’s prejudice, but also because older adults often depend on others for their care. However, now more than ever, now more than ever, older LGBT folks are active and present in our community. AARP has just launched a brand new LGBT Pride section of its website that includes a large number of resources. The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging provides a vast array of resources on everything from mental health and racial equity to housing and legal support. And the world’s oldest and largest advocacy organization for LGBT elders, SAGE, just opened an affiliate in Western Massachusetts. These organizations will give you plenty of reading material to start with.

The LGBT elder community in the Mystic Valley region is vibrant and growing. MVES will reconvene its monthly Mystic Tea gathering sometime this fall, providing an affirming, comfortable get-together for LGBT older adults and anyone who wants to meet, eat and socialize with a lot of very interesting and welcoming people.

The LGBT Aging Project is a local non-profit organization “dedicated to ensuring that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender elders have equal access to the life-prolonging benefits, protections, services and institutions that their heterosexual neighbors take for granted.” They partner with elder service agencies to host special senior meals for LGBT elders. MVES Other frequent activities include dances, concerts, lectures, and film screenings.

Contact MVES at [email protected]  or 781-324-7705 to learn about LGBT activities in your community and more about MVES’s Mystic Tea gathering.

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