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CEO Notes June 2017

CEO Notes June 2017

Our CEO, Dr. Imani Woody
Dr. Imani Woody

Remarks: Dr. Imani Woody, Honorary Co-chair

National Equality March for Unity and Pride. June 11, 2017.


Hello Family,

I’m so glad to see you; to see US – in our Nation’s Capital, marching unapologetically as LGBTQ/SGL people and allies in real time. WE ARE NOT INVISIBLE! WE ARE NOT INVISIBLE! WE ARE NOT INVISIBLE!

I’m remembering last year when the White House was bathed in Rainbow Colors. Do you remember that??!! And celebrating June as Pride Month and having tea in the White House - which for a time was considered a House for all of the People.

HOMES SHOULD BE OUR HAVENS – Where we can feel SAFE ENOUGH TO BE OURSELVES AS LGBTQ/SGL PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY AS WE AGE. Yet too often this aspiration does not match our realities.

Research and experience show that when LGBTQ/SGL people apply for housing in independent senior living communities, or attempt to rent and buy apartments and homes, we routinely encounter discrimination, and our housing choices become even starker.

Moreover, a lifetime of discrimination has reduced the support networks and economic security of many of our LGBTQ/SGL elders, leaving us vulnerable to housing instability at a critical point in our lives. At Mary’s House for Older Adults we often receive cries for help for housing for an LGBTQ/SGL Elder.

A case manager wrote: I recently learned about Mary’s House for Older Adults through an Internet search.  I am currently working with a 60 year old man who is gay, homeless, and an undocumented immigrant.  He is in need of housing and supportive social services and his options are limited by his immigration status. Can you help?

AND a 70 something lesbian who has led an amazing life (she was standing a couple of rows from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King when he gave his, "I Have A Dream Speech"). Her current residence is being sold by the owner. She can't do a huge number of stairs and can afford about $400-$450 per month, asking “Can we help?”

We know that in a recent national investigation, almost half (48%) of older same-sex couples experienced at least one form of adverse differential treatment when inquiring about housing;

1 in 4 transgender older Americans report discrimination when seeking housing; and

78% of older LGBT people are interested in LGBTQ friendly affordable housing.

That's what SAGE is doing with its National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative where Mary’s House for Older Adults is a partner. We refuse to be invisible or allow the voices and issues of Older Adults be erased.

CAN YOU HELP? Yes you can! Consider elders in all the work (and play) we do; seek their counsel, hear their issues. In all likelihood, they’ve been there and done that! Maybe just not on an ipad.

I’m just saying that we remember all of our communities, young and old and the intersectionalities that exist. We ALL need safe and brave spaces to thrive.

Thank you.




Dr. Woody presents affordable communal housing at the first White House LGBT Housing Initiative.

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