Around the world today, millions of dollars will be raised in support of charities, non-profit organizations, and community groups working to affect positive change. Following the commercial frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday encourages us to lend our time and resources to charitable causes and to celebrate and encourage philanthropy.

2017 has been a year unlike any other in our lifetimes. The current administration has emboldened racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and transphobia. LGBT older adults, as well as other marginalized groups of older Americans, have been targeted by federal legislation and policy proposals that have sought to strip us of our civil rights. New threats at the federal level are being directed at vital programs that support seniors, such as Medicare and Medicaid, which disproportionately affect our LGBT communities.

Here at the LGBT Elder Initiative, we fight to have a place at the table to ensure that LGBT aging issues remain a priority, both within the LGBT community and the aging services network. We build bridges between LGBT older adult communities and the agencies and professionals responsible for providing us with care as we grow older. We work with state offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, healthcare institutions, and aging services organizations to further develop LGBT inclusivity within aging services. We are working alongside state agencies in Pennsylvania to improve the ways that data is collected on sexual orientation and gender identity to better understand the needs of the state’s LGBT population.

On this Giving Tuesday, please consider supporting the LGBT Elder Initiative and our work to create an aging services system where people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are to be served with dignity and respect.

Despite the political times we are facing, we are firmly committed to working tirelessly to ensure that LGBT older adults have access to the resources and services that they need to age successfully at every age.

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