LEXINGTON ADVOCACY GROUP REACHES OUT TO LGBTQ SENIORS

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – June is Pride Month. It’s meant to recognize the impact LGBTQ people have made in our communities across the country.

SAGE of the Bluegrass in Lexington celebrated Pride Month at the Lexington Senior Center. SAGE provides support and resources for LGBTQ seniors.

“We want to grow cultural competency and quality of life for aging LGBTQ people,” Vicki Stanley says. Stanley is an organizer of the local chapter. “It’s very important because isolation is an issue among many older adults, but particularly in the LGBTQ communities.”

The Pride Center in Lexington is one of the resources that works to make people feel included with something as simple as dinner.

Pride Center coordinator Carmen Wampler-Collins says, “We have youth that are 17 and 18 years old coming in to sit down to dinner with folks in their 70s and 80s. And it’s amazing the kind of connections that are built around that.”

SAGE organizers say the senior LGBTQ community is bigger than people might think. They believe about 150,000 adults in Kentucky are LGBTQ, and that number could be even higher.

“We only know from the questions we ask,” Stanley explains. “So if we’re not asking the questions, we don’t really know. That’s another way of saying that we haven’t been asking who is LGBTQ.”

The co-lead for SAGE of the Bluegrass, Louise Tallen, says society is changing in a positive way to help people embrace who they really are. “I think we’re getting to a place where we are more able, especially here in Kentucky, to have those conversations than we have been in the past,” Tallen says.