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Mayor Sets Aside Funding for First Full-Service LGBT Senior Center

Friday, May 06, 2011

WNYC

Mayor Michael Bloomberg set aside between $3 million and $5 million in his budget to fund 10 'innovative senior centers'--including one for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered New Yorkers.

Advocates estimate there are more than 100,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered New Yorkers over 65 living in the five boroughs — and they are twice as likely to be living alone and much more likely to be childless and disconnected from their families.

"Many LGBT seniors feel like they have to go back into the closet as they age," said commissioner of the city's Department for the Aging, Lilliam Barrios-Paoli. "Every senior center is a place where people feel welcomed. It's difficult to feel that way when you can't be who you are. This center will be like every other center except LGBT people will be welcomed and accepted for who they are."

Many LGBT seniors feel they need to hide to avoid being mistreated by home care attendants or at nursing homes, executive director Michael Adams of Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (or SAGE) said.

LGBT advocates in the city say they’ve been working to open such a place for years. It’s expected to become a reality in January 2012 and will be located somewhere in Manhattan.

More details on all 10 innovative senior centers will be announced by the Department for the Aging this fall.

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Comments [5]

Bob Mack, Brooklyn New York

Each Boro has a "SAGE" unit. The Unit in
Brooklyn is call "GRIOT" downtown at 25
Flatbush Ave. All of the SAGES are short of
funds. They address the same issues.

One location in Manhattan may be hard for out
Boro folks to travel to? But the effort is still good
news.

May. 09 2011 08:33 AM
Brooks from NYC

@Greg Freeman from Brooklyn:

This is the 21st century, so pay attention: "lifestyle" involves choice. Vegetarianism, racing cars, wearing fur, or living in the suburbs are examples of lifestyle.

Sexual orientation is innate and immutable, like skin or eye color. It is not chosen. People ARE straight, gay, or bisexual. If you, Greg, can choose the objects of your sexual attraction, it means you're bisexual. Which is fine, but the rest of us don't have that luxury.

Finally, gay people make up 5% to 7% of the population, and the percentage is higher if you include bisexuals. Don't know where you get your stats from.

May. 07 2011 11:07 AM
Barry Blitstein from NYC

Many senior centers are de facto unfriendly to LGBT seniors. The new centers will not exclude anyone who wants to visit or join. They will give LGBT seniors a safe and welcoming environment in a condition of equality which current centers often do not.

May. 07 2011 09:30 AM
Greg Freeman from Brooklyn

Studies show that less than 1% of the population commits homosexual acts and then chooses that lifestyle for the rest of their lives. For a mayor who claims to be a pragmatist, this "fiscal" decision is clearly pandering.

May. 07 2011 12:53 AM
Rebecca from Manhattan

It's my (very close to the players) understanding that ONE of these ten new senior centers will be devoted to serving the city's LGBT population. One will also be devoted to the seeing and hearing impaired.

May. 06 2011 06:51 PM

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