click on the link above to access the current newsletter.
There are lots of interesting Announcements below on this page, please scroll down.
Steering Committee Meetings
are held on the 3rd Thursday of the month
This month, we’re having a “Holigay Party” and Networking Mixer at Pinthouse Pizza, instead of a meeting:
Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 4:00 pm
Please Register below if you’d like to attend
Join the Coalition on Aging and
Rainbow Connections ATX
The Steering Committee has been meeting on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 2:30 pm.
In response to a request from a member, we are going to begin meeting in the evenings once a quarter.
So our March 21, 2024 meeting will be at 6:30-7:30.
The Austin LGBT Coalition on Aging Steering Committee Meetings are open to all. Members of the Coalition and ALL recipients of this email announcement are invited—and urged—to attend.
To continue the work of the Coalition, public participation is needed.
Please RSVP so we will expect you and know to admit you to the zoom room
Here’s the link to the meeting:
Steering Committee Membership
Membership is open to all regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, or gender identification. The Steering Committee meets monthly, almost always less than two hours. Currently those meetings are held virtually so there is no time spent in traffic. It’s a great opportunity to be more involved in the direction of the Coalition and get better acquainted with folks like yourself who are interested in improving the lives of LGBT seniors in Austin.
Steering Committee, please contact us at
The Coalition marched in the PRIDE Parade
A BIG THANK YOU to our planning partners at Rainbow Connections ATX. Thank you to our sponsor, The Helper Bees. And Thank you to our partners who joined us in the parade; Alzheimer’s Association, Austin Public Library, Care Patrol, LBJ Library, Book Woman, AARP Texas, Agency on Aging Capital of Texas, Helper Bees, Taylor PRIDE, Austin PRIDE, AGE of Central Texas, and the office of Congressman Lloyd Doggett.
Read the rest of the story with photos on About Us
Who We Are
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.
Read about the goals of the Coalition
A Meals on Wheels Senior Lunch
Mondays & Wednesday 10-1
More information on the “Golden Generation” is available on our website under the Senior Resources>Austin Resources>Senior Services tab.
Austin Chronicle looking for interviewees
The Austin Chronicle, is starting a series of stories on the lives of longtime Austinites. There’s no particular theme; they’re looking for folks born in the 30s and 40s who have lived in Austin for at least 30 years.
Maggie Q. Thompson, News Editor, invites older members of Austin’s queer community to participate. Click on the link above or contact her directly.
Maggie Q. Thompson
News Editor, The Austin Chronicle
“Preparing for & Connecting During the Holidays” for Alzheimer’s caregivers.
These aren’t LGBT-specific, but it’s good info. They’re two in-person sessions “Preparing for & Connecting During the Holidays” for Alzheimer’s caregivers. It’s the same material, covered at two different times. COA Co-Chair Richard Bondi will be the presenter.
Qwell Holiday Event — see update with GREAT news below
Here’s an opportunity to get your real life experiences recognized
If you’re LGBTQIA+ and live in Travis, Williamson, Bastrop, Hays, or Caldwell County, it’s important that you take our LGBTQIA+ Wellbeing Survey of Greater Austin. Your answers are completely anonymous and help us track and measure our community’s health, wealth, and happiness so we know what you need to thrive here in Central Texas.
Austin LGBTQ History
The Watson Chateau – Austin’s Well-Kept Secret
Hiding on University of Texas at Austin campus, next to the School of Nursing, a peculiar building peeks out from behind old trees, tall fencing, thick vines, and overgrown bushes. Unlike all the other buildings on campus, no sign announces the university-owned Arthur P. Watson-Robert “Bob” Garrett House (a.k.a. The Chateau or Watson Chateau). It is a place filled with under-told history about women, African-Americans, and 50 years of importance to the LGBTQ community. If you visited The Chateau, have photos/videos, or simply heard stories, please contact Marta Stefaniuk at email@example.com to help her continue collecting its vital history.
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There’s a National Historic Site-Based History Project developing. Click here to read about it and to participate in a survey about your interest in LGBTQ history.
The ALGBTCOA is sponsoring The Memory Project: LGBTQ History in Austin. Please take a look at our page on this website. Please consider contributing your story.
The national organization SAGE will be undertaking a new strategic direction – with a special emphasis on those elders previously left behind.
In Face of Anti-LGBTQ+ Extremism, 200 Senior Living Communities Commit to LGBTQ+ Inclusion, Participating in Inaugural Long Term Care Equality Index (LEI) by HRC Foundation and SAGE
The FTC has recently received a number of consumer reports about remote job scams targeting the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. We’ve posted an alert to make people aware of this scam trend. We’re asking LGBTQ+ partners like you to help us spread the word.
Please share this link and attached graphic: Looking for a remote job for a cause you care about? Here’s how to know if it’s a scam with your networks.
Check out the Announcements in the current Newsletter (above) for
QWELL events, Austin PRIDE,
Rainbow Connections ATX, etc
Senior Services Hub for Older Adults in Austin
Austin Public Health (APH) and AFA are pleased to announce the launch of a new website,
“Senior Services Hub for Older Adults in
It provides a wide variety of information on resources available to Austin’s older adult community, all in one place! Please
take a moment to check it out!
City of Austin
LGBTQ Quality of Life Study
Click here to download the Quality of Life Survey Findings from our website
Click here to download the full Report, titled Priorities for Action, from our website
Click here to download the Travis County Snapshot from the American Communities Survey with interesting demographics (Note: LGBTQ stats were not included in this 2021 survey.)
QWELL is a sister organization to the Coalition on Aging; from the first Townhall Meeting that saw the creation of the ALGBTCOA, we were charged with participating in the development of an LGBTQ Community Center. QWELL, headed up by Clayton Gibson, has been a leader in that effort and in the recent community surveys.
Qwell Update December 2023
QWELL and our developer, Pennrose, are in talks with Catellus about a parcel of land in Mueller on which to build one of our mixed-use developments that will each include:
- One of QWELL’s LGBTQIA+ community centers (on the top floor for security);
- Clinical spaces for our partners who offer critical services and want to co-locate with one or more of the Centers;
- LGBTQIA+ friendly affordable housing or senior housing; and,
- A vibrant street level of queer-friendly shops and restaurants to serve the whole neighborhood.
We may publicly announce the first location at the fundraiser in December (optimistic but possible) and the second by the end of 2024. We should begin construction on the first building in 2025.
If your organization wants to co-locate in our buildings, it’s time to start seriously talking about what you need in the space and how much money you need to fund this expansion. Let’s start planning to make it happen in the next 2-3 years.
QWELL’S APP: GREATER
QWELL’s forthcoming smartphone app, GREATER – launching by January – will hopefully bring in enough money to not only fund QWELL’s growth but also help fund yours as well.
For it to work, all our local LGBTQIA+ leaders need to understand the app’s potential to make our community GREATER and get invested in making the app a huge success so that QWELL has the money to fund all our organizations’ expansion.
Anonymous GREATER app users can recommend queer-friendly businesses and resources and be rewarded for frequenting them. Businesses will pay membership dues to support increased customer visits from GREATER users.
Income projections for the app are great – IF our whole local community gets excited about using this new resource to anonymously find, identify, and rate queer-friendly businesses while earning points and rewards. We also need your help to get local companies excited about using this LGBTQIA+ marketing and community empowerment tool!
In our qwellbeing.org study with UT, 92% of local LGBTQIA+ people tell us it’s important to them to spend their money at queer-friendly businesses but we also hear that finding those businesses is difficult.
QWELL’s GREATER app will be the best way to find any LGBTQIA+ friendly business, healthcare, or resource you need. (We already have more than 6,000 listings and we haven’t even launched yet!)
The app’s success depends on queer people putting their money where their mouth is by showing up to buy from the LGBTQIA+ friendly businesses listed on GREATER.
We’ve designed the app to encourage those behaviors, but it’s vital that all of us and our team members get active on the app right away and then use the invitation codes in the app to invite our local friends who have the freedom to visit and buy from the businesses that join GREATER.
Your organization will find QWELL’s GREATER app directly helpful in several ways:
- GREATER is FREE to you. As one of QWELL’s nonprofit partners, you get full access to all the app’s features that businesses use to drive customers.
- You will be able to access QWELL’s queer wellbeing data whenever you need it. Before our next qwellbeing.org survey opens in June 2024, we plan to add an interface for queer nonprofits to get local, anonymous queer wellbeing data generated from GREATER for grant writing and other purposes. The app will collect anonymous wellbeing data from anonymous users wherever the app is used; then the app website will allow queer nonprofits everywhere to access our data about the wellbeing of LGBTQIA+ people in their area. Eventually, you’ll even be able to add your own survey questions!
- GREATER connects you with more business donors and helps you recognize their contributions. GREATER’s website (where you’ll manage your organization’s listing) will also include a donor-matching system that allows you to post your needs so registered businesses can meet them. Also, when you verify their donation in your GREATER dashboard, the business will get public credit for it on their business listing! These features should be live by June 2024.
- You’ll attract more LGBTQIA+ people to your services and events. After 5 years of our qwellbeing.org survey, local queer people are still frustrated by how hard it is to find the resources they need, whether STI testing, counseling, primary care, an employer, or a plumber. GREATER makes it easy for anonymous users to find queer-friendly resources of all kinds around them, including your organization.
- Your organization will be able to earn money by creating a Pride Scouts team of your supporters to register businesses for GREATER. Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation gave us a seed grant to test this program with Austin-area college students. If the system works in Spring 2024, we’ll roll out this fundraising program to you shortly after!
You should also know that, for security, our GREATER app will spread from trusted-person-to-trusted-person using invite codes. We don’t want any potential bad actors to be able to pinpoint all our community resources.
Please help: Anonymous app users earn points toward rewards by engaging in health-promoting activities, identifying and rating businesses, and more. If you are connected with businesses that offer broadly available commodity products (e.g., Starbucks coffee, McDonald’s fries, etc.), we need your help sourcing rewards to give away through our GREATER app! The ideal rewards are free and available from multiple convenient locations in Greater Austin for users to access.
QUEER HEALTH EQUITY PROGRAM
QWELL formed the world’s first cohort of health systems to pursue the LGBTQIA+ Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) certification with Central Health, Integral Care, and CommUnityCare, representing more than 70 clinics in Greater Austin (and 300+ providers) getting certified this year.
We are assembling the second cohort now and working with consultants to shrink the HEI process down to make it manageable for solo providers and small clinics that we identify and interact with on GREATER.
I hope the upcoming fundraiser and community updates event will inspire more people to become monthly donors to QWELL!
Final bit of news, QWELL has applied for our own 501(c)3 and will be leaving Austin Community Foundation in 2024. If you have recommendations for nonprofit accounting firms or any advice about growth and operations, I’d appreciate your input!
I hope to see you at YULE BE PROUD on Tuesday, December 12, at 7pm in the Studio at INN CAHOOTS!
What the Coalition did last year:
Annual General Meeting 2023
At the October 2023 General Meeting, three new members were elected to the Steering Committee: Westley Swihart (of CarePatrol Austin), Jordyn Ames (of Mir Senior Care & Care Consultants, Inc.), and Maya Kern (of Humana). Evan Chiappinelli (of The Helper Bees) stepped down as co-chair but remains on the Steering Committee. Richard Bondi (of The Rainbow Connection ATX at Family Eldercare) was elected Co-chair with Faith Lane (of The Alzheimer’s Association, Capital of Texas). Stephanie Braddock (of Mir Senior Care & Care Consultants, Inc.) continues as Secretary. Toby Johnson (at-large) continues as Treasurer and website manager. Also continuing on the Steering Committee are Fred Lugo (of engAGE Travis County) and Charles Curry (at-large).
Annual dues continue at $0.00.
Annual Report 2022
This has been an encouraging year for the Coalition with the addition of some new members to the Steering Committee with all kinds of new ideas and energy. Their enthusiasm along with the generous support of the The Helper Bees resulted in our first participation in Austin’s PRIDE parade this year. Part of the original impetus for forming the Coalition several years ago came from a young lady who questioned the lack of input in Austin’s Age-Friendly Plan by saying, “we don’t all wear little bitty bathing suits and ride on floats you know.” We didn’t succeed in getting her on the float this year and there weren’t a lot of “little bitty bathing suits,” but LGBT Seniors were loud and proud for PRIDE!
In addition to having fun we also continued to take care of the business side of an organization, moving from the financial sponsorship of AustinUP to our own bank account and acquiring insurance protection for our governing board. In our meeting this month we established rates for sponsoring organizations and will be welcoming those as we continue to provide advocacy for our community.