The ALGBTCOA is a coalition of community activists, service agencies, LGBTQ organizations, and interested parties who have come together to improve the future for LGBT older adults as we naturally age. The Coalition hopes to encourage service providers and senior services to understand and train their staffs regarding the needs of LGBT clients, residents, and patients. The Coalition was formed to address the question: “What are the LGBT friendly services in Austin?” We would like to make all of them LGBT-friendly.
Here’s an opportunity to make our voices heard
The City’s Commission on Seniors is circulating a survey about seniors’ needs and about their experiences of seeking services. The survey also includes a section on demographics. While there is no specific question about sexual orientation or gender identification, there are two questions that are left open-ended where we could submit responses to let the City know that there is an LGBTQ population. This survey is targeted to citizens of Austin Texas
Please note that the survey responses are anonymous – DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME. You can only access the survey once, so plan ahead what you want to say.
Section 7: General, #17 asks: “Please share any additional comments, questions, or suggestions:”
You could use question #17 to comment about LGBTQ services, like: “I’m a lesbian and like being with other women more than with straight people” OR “I’m a gay man, but don’t want to be segregated into all gay groups” OR “I’m a gay man and only want to be around other gay men” OR “I’m trans and would like to be able to meet other trans people and to find trans-friendly services” OR “I’m HIV+ and am concerned about senior services understanding my medical and medication needs” OR “I’m a queer 80 year old” OR “I’m a lesbian mother, but my children have grown up and moved away and I’m lonely.”
Those are only examples. Please consider how YOU would like to characterize yourself to let the City know you are out there.
Gay/lesbian/bi and trans friendliness is something to comment on in regard to all the questions about accessing services.
Section 8: Demographics, Question #19 asks “What is your gender?” and gives you a field to fill out in your own words. They left it open so it isn’t just M or F. You could answer with sex, sexual identity, LGBTQ status, gender identification, even your pronouns.
Here’s the link to the survey at surveymonkey
Coalition End of Year Documents
SENIOR SOCIAL PROGRAM
Golden Generation Social Scene
The group of regular attendees, which calls itself the Golden Generation Social Scene, gathers from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. The free program, which is the first of its kind in the region, provides a nutritious lunch, fun activities, a welcoming sense of community for the LGBTQ population and its allies, and is open to individuals who are 60+ years of age and their spouses/partners.
The program is not affiliated with the church and non-members are welcome to attend. According to AARP, older members of the LGBTQ population are much more likely to be socially isolated; and research done by the National Institute on Aging shows loneliness poses serious health risks.
The location will be at Metropolitan Community Church, 8601 S 1st Street. MCC is accessible by Austin Metro (Routes 10 and 3).
Lunch is being provided at no charge by Meals on Wheels through a Federal grant administered by the Area Agency on Aging. The Senior Social Program event is open to all ages, but the funding source limits the meal service to those who are 60+, the spouse or partner of someone age 60+, a person who has a disability living with someone age 60+, or a person with a disability living in senior housing.
From 10:30 till lunch will be an “open” time when folks have a chance to get acquainted. Then, following lunch, there will be organized activities a determined by the group (could be games, speakers, movies, discussion groups – whatever the group would like to do).
A flyer from Meals on Wheels gives additional information and details on the program. Click here to access flyer
AustinUP and Amplify Austin
The Austin LGBT Coalition on Aging got its start three years ago in a community conversation on the challenges facing LGBTQ seniors in Austin. That event was sponsored by Austin PrimeTimers and AustinUP, a nonprofit formed by the City of Austin to help implement the City’s Age Friendly Plan. Since that time AustinUP has served as the nonprofit sponsor for the Coalition.
This year AustinUP has qualified for participation in Amplify Austin, the annual city-wide fundraising effort for Austin nonprofits. Amplify Austin Day begins at 6pm on March 5 and runs for 24 hours, but early contributions are already being accepted. Local businesses and corporations donate funds to enhance the community’s contributions making this an ideal time for your charitable contributions (contributions are tax deductible). For more information, check out the Amplify Austin website at amplifyatx.org.
The Austin QWELL project (i.e., Queer Wellness) is conducting a LGBTQ Wellbeing Survey called Get Counted. Here’s a link to:
On the Research & Links Page, there’s a brief description of a study on HIV & Aging by GMHC with a link to the full report.
Austin in the Top 10 — AGAIN!
Once again Austin is in the top 10 LGBTQ-friendly retirement cities in the U.S. In 2019, SeniorAdvice.com named us the #8 best place for LGTBQ people to retire to.
Top 20 Cities for LGBTQ Retirement in 2019:
Here’s their write-up on Austin:
The vibe in Austin is a welcoming one no matter if you are gay, straight, young or old. With its friendly residents, low-crime rate, warm weather, array of dining and entertainment options, arts, recreational activities, lush greenbelt, lakes, and gay-owned businesses, Austin is an oasis for LGBTQ seniors who make up just over 5 percent of the city’s population.
Scoring a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index in 2018, Austin continues to prioritize its advocacy for the LGBTQ community. In 2017 the Austin city council formed the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Quality of Life Advisory Commission to advise on issues regarding the LGBTQ community and work to enhance government accountability.
What began in 1976, as a Gay Pride Week, has turned into a Gay Pride Festival which draws over 25,000 attendees each summer. There is a strong support network for the LGBTQ crowd living in Austin as indicated by the local resources below:
- Austin Prime Timers
- Austin LGBT Coalition on Aging
- Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce
- AustinUP Resources
- All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival (aGLIFF)
- Austin LGBT Meetups
The overall cost of living in Austin is average compared to the national average and Texas has no state income tax which is an attractive perk. The senior population in Austin is 8.4 percent and growing.
This is why the work of the ALGBTCOA is important. Is Austin prepared for such an influx? We want to make sure services for older adults understand and respond to our issues as openly gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer, etc
Austin LGBT Coalition on Aging
The first goal of the ALGBTCOA is to Strengthen Our Community by creating a coordinated LGBT community response, providing opportunities for people to congregate for social interaction, participating in the City’s intention of making Austin “age-friendly,” and encouraging informed participation in the decisions being made that affect us.
The second goal is to Encourage LGBT Sensitive Services by researching agencies regarding their knowledge and staff and caregiver training in these issues in order to find those that are sensitive to the LGBT concerns and to encourage others to provide training in our issues by making them aware of the need.
The Coalition hopes to be a partner and a resource for those serving the senior community, provide opportunities for active participation and involvement for those interested in aging issues, and be an educator and advocate for LGBT-friendly aging.
For more information, to be included in our information distribution or to join in this effort, visit our website at algbtcoa.org
If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .