The struggles and triumphs of LGBT elders will be remembered during a night of laughter, inspiration and recognition at Baltimore’s upcoming National Honor Our LGBT Elders Day event.

The celebration will take place Thursday, May 16th from 5:30 to 8 pm at Baltimore Center Stage, featuring storytelling vignettes from community leaders as well as a buffet dinner. General admission tickets are $30 and are available at Tinyurl.com/elderday2019.

We asked the Center’s director, Sam McClure, to share a preview of the event and discuss its importance:

Why is it so important to set aside a day and hold a celebration to honor our LGBT elders?

It’s not only important to set aside a day, it’s important to celebrate elders every day. Respect for those with more experience is an essential element of civility. In intergenerational dialogues, we discover we have differing opinions based on our experiences and perspectives. I love seeing elders and youth learning from each other.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. How has that milestone influenced this year’s National Honor Our LGBT Elders Day?

There’s an energy in the air. We’re thinking about our movement and the pace at which change has come, and we’re also stinging as we see and feel so much progress moving backward. This is a dynamic LGBT people are all too familiar with. We have marriage equality, but we don’t have federal non-discrimination protections. We have an out gay man running for the highest office, but transgender people are banned from military service. I know our elders will remind us that we must continue to do the hard work required for real change and visibility has always been at the heart and soul of that work, so we’re excited to celebrate and honor them with our storytelling event on May 16th at Center Stage.

The day is now in its fourth year of celebration. What has the community response to this effort been, both here in Baltimore and nationwide?

This is a beloved community tradition here in Baltimore and we get lots of inquiries from other cities that want to start celebrations.

How does National Honor Our LGBT Elders Day fit in with the other work the center is doing to support LGBT elders?

This celebration is the centerpiece of our work to nurture and care for our elders. Our number one concern for our LGBT elders is social isolation. We have support groups, and Lunch & Learn events that create opportunities to get out and meet folks. At Chase Brexton, we’re lucky enough to count some of our founders among our Elders and we continue to learn from them. 

To join in Baltimore’s celebration of National Honor Our LGBT Elders Day 2019, visit Tinyurl.com/ElderDay2019. For more on The LGBT Health Resource Center’s older adult programs and services, go to Chasebrexton.org/LGBTelders.

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