LGBTQ Aging Insights

October 7, 2019

“Crash Course in Aging” Features Insights on Aging in the LGBTQ Community

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On October 22 at 6 p.m., the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging presents a “Crash Course in Aging: Fast Paced Facts for Longer Life.” The evening will feature engaging, Ignite-style presentations including a talk by Dan Stewart, special programs coordinator at SAGE of PROMO, Missouri’s statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization.

Stewart works on legislative action, community engagement, advocacy and education for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) older adults. During his presentation, Dan will focus on the background and current progress of this work.

Today, there are more than three million Americans over age 50 who identify as LGBTQ. While there has been a lot of progress made, there are still specific challenges that effect this population. LGBTQ individuals are less likely to have children or be partnered, and they have a high need for community supports and services. These barriers, along with experiencing public stigma and a lack of government policies, often lead to personal concerns about approaching service providers and if they do, there is concern about being turned away.

Stewart’s presentation will bring attention to these issues to education the audience on this “invisible group of an already invisible population.”  Stewart believes that because of a lifetime of wins and losses pertaining to equality, understanding the LGBTQ community’s challenges and strengths is important. As presenter, his goal is to inform the audience about ways they can engage and possibly help change the trajectory of this vital population.

For Stewart and the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging, the idea is to bring awareness to issues concerning the LGBTQ population across the age spectrum, because all ages can get involved and make a difference. As the aging community grows, and given the lack of people trained in working with this particular population, Stewart suggests there is opportunity. “Get to know older adults, hear from them directly about what is important, their wants and needs, because ultimately, hopefully, we’ll all age one day,” he says.

Stewart’s presentation, Aging with Pride: LGBTQ Older Adults in America, and other aging-related topics such as older drivers, lifelong learning and music therapy in hospice care, will be presented during the Friedman Center “Crash Course in Aging”, Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. at the Umrath Lounge, Umrath Hall, Danforth Campus. Read more about the event and register.