The struggles and triumphs of our community’s older adults will be remembered in a night of stories and commemoration at the Baltimore Eagle to celebrate National Honor Our LGBT Elders Day on Tuesday, May 16th. Members of Baltimore’s LGBT community will share stories of LGBT elders who made a difference in their life, and a ceremony will honor prominent older adults from the community. The event is scheduled for 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16th at the The Nest, the performance space in the Baltimore Eagle (2022 North Charles Street, Baltimore). Tickets and additional information are available at Tinyurl.com/2017lgbtelderday.

National Honor Our LGBT Elders Day was established as a national day of recognition in 2016 by the LGBT Health Resource Center of Chase Brexton Health Care.

Among those sharing a story on May 16th will be Merrick Moses of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. We asked Merrick to discuss his thoughts on the importance of LGBT elders.

Why is it important to remember the contributions of the older members of our LGBT community?

Our elders are living history. They are our connection to the past, which anchors us to humanity. They must be treasured, protected, and appreciated.

Do you feel that those contributions are widely recognized in the community?

Unfortunately, much of LGBTQ culture is very youth-centered and focused. Ageism is a real barrier in our community, and leads to our elders not being recognized and appreciated. I hope that events like these change many hearts and minds.

Who will you be honoring in your presentation, and why are they important to you?

I will be honoring Deacon Carlton Smith. He is important to me because he poured into my life an amazing word right before I became an ordained deacon. His example of courage and tenacity in the face of seemingly impossible odds is something I try to emulate daily. “The Duchess” is a fierce example of resilience and perseverance.

What else have you learned from the older members of our community?

From the same-gender loving elders I’ve learned resilience and self-love. I have learned to trust the Creator and to keep moving toward higher ground.

What do you hope that those participating in National Honor Our LGBT Elders Day learn from the event?

I hope we all learn to honor our elders, living and deceased. I hope that we learn to keep loving ourselves and striving for better. There are same-gender loving, bisexual, and gender-variant kids coming up, and they need to know that there is nothing new under the sun. They need to know that we have a history– a beautiful history that is complex, diverse and absolutely fabulous!

The LGBT Health Resource Center of Chase Brexton Health Care is to provide LGBTQ individuals and their families with welcoming access to expert health information and resources that will enhance wellness and quality of life. For more information, visit ResourceCenter.lgbt.