Senior Forum’s January/February issue will be snail-mailed only to persons requesting a printed copy by calling 520-312-8923. If you know of an LGBTQ+ older adult who lacks computer access and would like to receive the newsletter, please help us spread the word by letting them know they can phone us to receive the printed hard copy newsletter.
In light of the presidential inauguration on January 20, book club has been rescheduled for Wednesday, January 27. We’ll be discussing Tucson author Lydia Millet’s A Children’s Bible—an award winning fictional approach to thinking about climate change. More information about this meeting » Listen to an interview with the author on the Tucson Festival of … Continue reading Book Club Rescheduled for January 27
The University of Arizona Auditory Clinic is offering an informational session at the end of January for anyone interested in learning more about what they can offer older adults in the way of hearing support. After that they are providing a 6-session online auditory rehab program (six weeks in duration). The first cohort begins February 1st and the second cohort meets March 15th. The best part is that all of these classes are FREE.
Space is limited so anyone who is interested should call the UA Hearing Clinic sooner than later: 520-621-7070.
What do Sally Ride and Sir Francis Bacon have in common? And what do you have in common with them? LGBTQI+ people have been changing the world for centuries … including in the realm of science. While science may strive for objectivity, individual people are still choosing what to study and how to approach it. Their identity matters!
Read more »
John Casey reflects on the challenges of being a gay man “of a certain age.” A recent study reports double the rate of serious depression for gay men over 50 when compared with their straight counterparts.
Wait, something good happened in 2020? Of course it did! Landmark victories for LGBTQI+ visibility and acceptance were won. 334 out and proud LGBTQI+ candidates were voted into office. Books, movies, music, and celebrities all took up the cause of sharing the beauty of queer lives.
Celebrate all the good things here »
Growing up in Tucson’s barrio, Lupe Castillo learned at an early age about the fight for social justice. Even as a child, she was keenly aware of the intense segregation that existed at the time.
Her parents, Carlos and Eliza Castillo, set examples for Lupe and her three brothers and one sister: “My mother was a real fighter for the rights of people and my father took us to labor union meetings.”
Read profile »
Named one of the Top Ten Books of 2020 by the New York Times, Lydia Millet’s Pulitzer Prize winning finalist A Children’s Bible has received enormous attention for creatively tackling climate change in fiction. Self-indulgent adults and their alienated teenagers are pulled into the environmental and societal chaos of a quickly changing world … but not without a final message of possibility and hope.
Senior Pride Book Club:
Lydia Millett, A Children’s Bible
Wednesday, January 20: 2-3:30 pm
Based on the results of a summer survey by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a recent report finds that LGBTQ households are experiencing greater financial strain, more unemployment, and bigger struggles to balance work and childcare than non-LGBTQ households.
Read the article »
A new exhibit exploring the joyful being out experiences of 12 older adult LGBTQ+ community members will open in New York next month and then tour the country. Could it come to Tucson?
Tucson’s Poet Laureate, TC Tolbert, expresses gratitude for Senior Pride. S/he is a Senior Pride volunteer and appreciates the organization’s inclusion of all queer and trans folks in all of our efforts.
You can learn more about TigerCakes Tolbert’s poetry and projects here: TC Tolbert.
We can’t be our best self without your generous contribution to our year-end fundraising. If you have already given, we truly appreciate your support.
Young Carlos faces the choice of a lifetime: should he put his money on Santa Claus like the kids in the American school or stick with the Three Wise Men he has always known? Tune in to Carlos Valenzuela’s story of Christmas memories in the Arizona/Mexico border town where he spent his adventurous boyhood. As shared at Senior Pride’s Childhood Memories Holiday Gathering…
Your donation to Senior Pride allows us to organize events for older adult LGBTQ+ community members like our Childhood Memories Holiday Gathering held last weekend. We are pledged to ending isolation even during the pandemic.
In this special series of video interviews, LGBTQ Nation explores three success stories of trans and nonbinary people moving the nation forward in understanding of and appreciation for trans and nonbinary identities. Meet a frontline worker, a tech leader, and a business owner, each driving acceptance and change.
As Senior Pride wraps up our 2018-2020 Strategic Plan we are beginning to dream about the future — and we would like to hear from you! Join us for a public forum during which we will update you on the current state of our programs and operations before asking for your ideas on everything from cultural events to social justice advocacy. What’s next for Tucson’s older adult LGBTQI+ community? Let’s decide together…
Please RSVP to email@example.com
Holiday Cheer of the musical variety becomes available to you via Tucson’s Reveille Men’s Chorus on Friday December 18 and will be streaming on demand through December 27. Tickets are just $15 and provide you with the same top-notch production quality and incredible vocal talent that you have come to expect from Reveille. Beau with a Bow weaves together three intersecting narratives that make up this years’ holiday tale.
Learn more and purchase tickets here »
New York Times
Jan Morris, the acclaimed British journalist, travel writer and historian who wrote about historyʼs sweep and the details of place with equal eloquence and chronicled her life as a transgender woman, died on Friday in Wales. She was 94.
As James Morris she was a military officer in one of Britainʼs most renowned cavalry regiments and then a daring journalist who climbed three-quarters of the way up Mount Everest for an exclusive series of dispatches from the first conquest of that mountain, the worldʼs highest.
She continued a brilliant writing career with reports on wars and revolutions from a score of countries, and with much-admired books like “Pax Britannica,” the first of a three-volume history of the British Empire. Ms. Morris also married and had five children.
But she became increasingly despondent over the issue of gender identity. At age 46, she underwent transition surgery, explaining the reasoning in a well-received 1974 memoir, “Conundrum,” which was written two years after the operation under a new byline, Jan Morris.
By Katharine Q. Seelye
New York Times
As the nation’s first nationally syndicated lesbian columnist who wrote regularly about gay life, Deb Price certainly covered pointed issues, like the debate over gay people in the military.
But she also turned to small matters of everyday domesticity, telling readers, for instance, that she and her partner, Joyce Murdoch, had bickered over whether to get air conditioning in their new convertible. She wrote about gardening together. She described attending Ms. Murdoch’s high school reunion.
Ms. Price sought to demystify gay life for Middle America. If her readers could see same-sex couples in ordinary situations, she reasoned, they would find them less foreign and less frightening — and would have a harder time denying them equal rights.
Ms. Price died on Nov. 20 at a hospital in Hong Kong, where she lived with Ms. Murdoch, who by then was her wife. Ms. Price was 62.
by Bruce Hyland
Carlos Valenzuela met his first strictly platonic “girlfriend,” Gustavo, at age seven, but it took them another seven years before admitting they found guys in school very attractive. Sixty years later, they are still best friends.
Carlos grew up in Agua Prieta, Sonora Mexico. His career started as an international manager with Levi Strauss in San Francisco in 1971. “A great time to be in San Francisco: flower power, hippies, disco, and gay bars!” he recalls.
Read more »
Together, 29 donors raised $3,479 for our programs and operations on Giving Tuesday, exceeding our original fundraising goal. Thank you for enthusiastically helping us fulfill our mission to celebrate, support, and unite LGBTQI+ older adults.
There’s still time to give, so please help support Senior Pride!
Last month’s Senior Pride Speaker Series Presenter, UA Audiologist, Diane Smith is generously offering members of the Senior Pride community a two-for-one discount at a soon-to-be scheduled University of Arizona Auditory Rehabilitation workshop. Two individuals registering together can attend for a single payment of the $75 registration fee.
Joins us December 16th to discuss this lively and engaging biography of the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States, a man fiercely committed to protecting all minorities. Harvey Milk—eloquent, charismatic, and a smart-aleck—was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, but he had not even served a full year in office when he was shot by a homophobic fellow supervisor. Milk’s assassination at the age of forty-eight made him the most famous gay man in modern history.
Discussion Moderator: Joyce Bollinger
For Zoom invitation: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving, is coming up soon! Senior Pride donors are offering to match $1000 of donations made on this special day — a great way to kick off our 2020 Be Your Best Self fundraising campaign.
Mark your calendar for Giving Tuesday, December 1 to have your donation matched dollar for dollar up to $1,000. Or give today! Be sure to indicate that your donation is intended for Southern Arizona Senior Pride. Thank you for helping Senior Pride become the best version of itself through your generous contributions!
Southern Arizona Senior Pride End of Life Planning Program is once again offering “Honoring A Life” workshops ON ZOOM.
Wednesday, January 6, 2021; 1:30 to 3:30pm
This will be an opportunity to prepare or update your wishes and instructions on how you want to be cared for if you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
Current health and medical crises are making it more important for each of us to prepare written instructions regarding our desires about what types of treatment and care we wish for ourselves, as well as identifying the people we trust to make decisions for us when we may not be able to. Explore the possibilities available to you and make your wishes known.
Please see the event flyer for full information, including how to register. Registration in advance is required BY DECEMBER 23, 2020 to have workshop materials mailed to you.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
It’s a question we heard so often as kids. But while most of us are at a stage in life where dreams of being a ballet dancer or astronaut have faded, we still want to become, to learn, grow, and belong … to BE.
Most of us also want to be more open-hearted and generous – and there’s nowhere your generosity is more needed and appreciated than Southern Arizona Senior Pride. Whether you give online, send a check, make a legacy gift, volunteer your time, encourage friends to join us, or do several of these things, we need you, and we are grateful for you. Thanks for making a year-end gift to Senior Pride today.
» Find out more today!
A total of 160 LGBTQI+ candidates from around the country were victorious in their election bids. From San Diego’s first gay Latinx mayor to our nation’s first trans state senator elected in Delaware, we are making history as we make a difference for our country and our future.
Read about the LGBTQ+ candidates who won on election night »
Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving and an opportunity to support the community organizations that give back to you and those you love. Mark your calendars and donate this year on Giving Tuesday to Southern Arizona Senior Pride.
We want to spend time with you this winter! Join us December 19th from 2 to 4 to connect and share memories. While we will miss being with each other in person this year, we can still enjoy being together virtually. Several of us will share photos and tell humorous and touching stories about holidays gone by. We’ll have plenty of opportunity to interact and reminisce.
» Download Our Flyer
Coming in February: Cathing Fire: A Poetry Writing Workshop taught by poet, essayist, playwright and editor Joan Larkin. No poetry experience needed.
“At each session, I’ll offer examples of powerful work by LGBTQ poets both familiar and new. I’ll invite you to write and share original poems sparked by what inspires and delights you in what we’ve read. Be prepared to surprise yourself!” ~ Joan Larkin
Saturdays, 3-5 pm
February 6, 13, 20 & 27 and March 6
» Read more
Results from a spring survey of older LGBTQ adults in Arizona regarding COVID-19 were presented at Senior Pride’s October Speaker Series presentation. by Beth Meyerson and Sally Dodd’s of the Southwest Institute for Research On Women (SIROW).
A new research brief has been released by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) that compiles the latest available information and research relating to the mistreatment of LGBT elders. Information is provided on the occurrence of abuse, isolation as a risk factor, issues affecting help seeking, and tips for working with LGBT elders.
Among the findings: Many LGBT older adults are at high risk for elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. A pressing need for LGBT elders is dealing with social isolation as isolation is a risk factor for elder abuse. Fear of homophobia or transphobia keep LGBT elders from seeking help and services.
» Read the full release here
The Washington Post spotlights a new collection of never before published photos of men in love, spanning one hundred years: 1850 to 1950.
» See it here
From Semi Queer to the Myth of the Modern Homosexual, you can wrap up LGBT History Month by browsing Carnegie Mellon University library’s special online collection of LGBT books — gathered and curated to celebrate our community’s special month for reflection on the past. No library card needed to read the electronic titles!
» Get more details
Good advice for people who are registered to vote but feel unsafe about voting in person and may be uncertain that the USPS will deliver your “mail-in” ballot to be counted in a timely fashion. Here’s how to request an absentee ballot, find your polling place, vote early and more.
Interfaith Community Services of Tucson invites you to a virtual memorial service on November 5 honoring our losses during 2020 in a safe space for mourning and healing. This service is open to members of all faiths or none.
Senior Pride is seeking a Coordinator for the monthly Book Club meetings, every third Wednesday from 2:00 – 3:30pm. The volunteer position of Book Club Coordinator has the following primary duties:
- maintaining the mailing list of book club participants
- sending an email reminder to participants one week before each meeting
- coordinating the monthly Zoom meetings
The book club has already chosen books and assigned meeting facilitators for the next six months so this position is an easy way to join forces with Senior Pride’s active and dedicated corps of volunteers.
For more detailed information about this position contact us with your request at email@example.com
To celebrate LGBTQI+ History Month, be sure you’re tuned into Tucson’s own queer history. Diversity in the Desert: 50 Years of Tucson Pride was compiled by Southern Arizona’s Senior Pride’s dedicated volunteer, Joyce Bolinger. This rich timeline provides you with important insights as to who we are as LGBTQ Tucsonans and how we got to where we are today.
How is your hearing? Do you struggle with hearing loss? Do you have hearing aids? How is your balance? Join us to learn about changes to your hearing as you age, and to have your questions about hearing loss answered.
Speaker: Diane E. Smith, Au.D., CCC-A is the lead vestibular audiologist at the Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Neurological Institute. She’s also a Clinical Instructor at the University of Arizona’s Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences.
» More information
November 10, 2:00 pm
Senior Pride Speaker Series
Can You Hear Me Now? Coping with Hearing Loss as We Age
If your home quarantine has kept you from picking up a copy of Tucson Weekly for a while, you don’t want to miss this one: the annual Pride issue. It’s available now in an easy-to-read online format.
Senior Pride Executive Director Lavina Tomer reflects on the passing of the renowned and beloved Supreme Court Justice.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg means so much to me as a feminist. She brought discrimination toward women to the forefront for Supreme Court justices. Her brilliant arguments furthered women’s rights then, now and will for future generations of girls and women. Her commitment to LGBT rights and human rights was in line with her understanding and dedication to justice. She is one of my heroes.
By Joyce Bolinger, Lavina Tomer and Keith Ashley
Senior Pride is poised for continued growth and program success. Despite the many challenges presented by the COVID health crisis, we wrapped up fiscal year 2019-20 in a position of financial strength with our core programs humming along, newly adapted to their online platforms.
» Read the full article
by Lee Crosby
In June 2020, the Community Cares Program (CCP) participated in a survey being conducted by Pima Council on Aging (PCOA) Neighborhood Care Alliance (NCA). The purpose of the survey was to assess how all recipients within the NCA catchment area were doing and if, relative to our program, the CCP Volunteer visits and calls were helpful.
» Read the full article
For most of her life, Josefina Ahumada knew she was being called to service. Last year, upon retirement from fulltime work at Arizona State University (ASU) Social Work Program, she answered the call to extend beyond social service to offering spiritual guidance when she became a lay pastor for the Presbyterian church on the Tohono O’Odham nation in Sells…
» Read full profile by Bruce Hyland
Instructor Cat Belue asked Senior Pride Writing Workshop participants in June and July to describe “how COVID-19 has impacted and perhaps changed their lives forever.” From reflections on homemade sauerkraut to rekindling family relationships, you can hear the stories read by the authors on YouTube, or read them yourself in an online anthology.
100 years ago, on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment was adopted, giving women the right to vote after decades of struggle on the state and federal levels. For many suffragists, scholars have found, the freedom to choose whom and how they loved was tied deeply to the idea of voting rights.
Tucson Pride is going virtual this year; the Southern Arizona Aids Foundation and the LGBTQ Alliance Fund have new CEOs and we’re proud to announce that Keith Ashley is our newest Senior Pride Associate Director.
»Read full article
The University of Arizona Health Science Center’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion has issued an update about the impact of COVID on the LGBTQ+ communty. The update includes tips, precautions and resources to help us continue to weather this pandemic.
»Read the full update
As Ken Felts, 90, worked on a memoir, old memories gave him the push he needed to reveal openly for the first time that he was gay. His Facebook post went viral and was featured on the Today Show.
Watch his inspiring story and see how his message is helping others find the strength to live their truth.
Aging presents challenges for everyone, but they can be particularly acute for transgender and gender-nonconforming older adults. This collection of resources from LGBTQ Nation is curated especially for older trans adults.
Pride is a protest. I read these words today for the first time and my inner-teenager woke up from a long sleep, eyes wide open. He grinned like a pink possum, and delivered a friendly slap-on-the-back to my 53-year-old self: “Told you so. Did you forget?” I had clearly forgotten. »Read article by Keith Ashley
Claire Ellington knew from an early age that the conventional middle-class world didn’t have everything quite right. Growing up a tomboy “from the get go” in 1950s-60s Charlotte, NC, “I recognized right away the world had a problem, but I didn’t have a problem.” Claire’s rebellion against conventional life put her on a fiercely independent path of discovery to root out and dismantle oppression in her own life and help others do the same…
»Read full profile by Ed Kimble
Arizona has moved up from the nation’s 12th lowest infection rate to the nation’s 12th highest in just one month, and Pima County hospitals are running out of ICU beds because of it. Almost 60% of the cases are occurring among persons under 44 years old, but the over 65 crowd accounts for 75% of the deaths in the state. We’ve learned a lot about COVID-19 in the six months since it first appeared in Wuhan, China. The virus is preventable. Just wear a face mask in public, and there’s some folks you probably should avoid.
»Read article by Ed Kimble
“Once we might have been closeted and somewhat invisible. But, as we are seen increasingly as the faces of neighbors, family, friends and co-workers, it is harder than ever to deny our rights.” »Read Joyce Bolinger’s article in the Arizona Daily Star
Joyce Bolinger observed the 50th anniversary of Pride gatherings by looking back over the last five decades of LGBTQI+ life in the Old Pueblo, and she found a LOT to celebrate.
Did you know that Tucson’s gay rights movement began with a murder outside a gay bar, and the outrage it sparked led to political organizing and one of the earliest anti-discrimination ordinances in the U.S.? Did you know that lesbian-feminists played a huge role in building the organizations that have allowed LGBTQI+ people to thrive with pride here? Did you know Tucson’s lesbian and gay chorus has been performing concerts for 32 years? Or that Senior Pride began 16 years ago?
What would summer be without some great books to wile away our vacation hours at the beach, by the pool, or just hiding out in our homes to beat the blazing desert heat? And while you’re at it, why not bone up on your LGBTQI+ history or get to know some of the brightest queer literary minds past and present, or maybe some who aren’t themselves part of our tribe but have keen insights into our stories? Senior Pride’s Book Club coordinator, Les Tannenbaum, a retired English professor who retired to Tucson from Ohio, suggests a baker’s dozen great finds for your book bag or e-reader.
»Les Tannenbaum’s 2020 Summer Reading List
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a landmark civil rights law protects gay and transgender workers from workplace discrimination, handing the movement for L.G.B.T. equality a stunning victory.
“An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law,” Justice Neil M. Gorsuch wrote for the majority in the 6-to-3 ruling.
Until Monday’s decision, it was legal in more than half the states to fire workers for being gay, bisexual or transgender. The vastly consequential decision extended workplace protections to millions of people across the nation, continuing a series of Supreme Court victories for gay rights even after President Trump transformed the court with two appointments.
Larry Kramer — the New York City-based gay playwright and author whose involvement in the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and ACT UP changed the course of the AIDS epidemic — died May 27. He was 84. Photo shows Kramer at an AIDS conference in New York in 1987 (photo credit: Catherine McGann/Getty Images).
By Sarah Bahnson
The world lost a hero. Larry Kramer, co-founder of Gay Men’s Health Crisis and AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), died at the age of 84. Most known for his provocative tactics as an activist and public health advocate, he changed the relationship between public health institutions and consumers… »Read full article by Sarah Bahnson
Bruce Hyland asked some of Tucson’s treasured queer elders what makes them proud of their LGBTQI+ experience. Among them were an actor, flag dancer, anthropologist, goat herder, stage manager, activist, musician, judge, Harvard dean, health nut, business owner, counselor, and literature professor. We are forever grateful for their contributions to gay rights and the wisdom they gained in the process, which we proudly share with you to Thrive with Pride 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic almost stopped 50th anniversary Pride celebrations around the world. Then we got creative and adapted the technology we love to the Pride we live. Star-studded New York and Los Angeles Pride celebrations are broadcasting live on local ABC affiliates, San Francisco Pride will stream live on its website, and Global Pride 2020 is hosting a 24-hour online event with live events from 350 cities around the world. Get info and links to these and other virtual pride festivities and gay history exhibitions happening in June.
Lambda Legal wins class action fight on behalf of surviving same-sex spouses denied equal access to survivor’s benefits due to unconstitutional marriage bans. “This is a tremendous victory for many surviving same-sex spouses nationwide who have been locked out of critical benefits because they were unlawfully barred from marriage for most of their relationships,” said Lambda Legal Counsel Peter Renn.”Many same-sex couples were in loving, long-term, and committed relationships for decades – and they shouldn’t be treated as strangers in death simply because they were unable to marry for most of that time…”
A new HRC report released last week showing that LGBTQI+ communities of color have been economically devastated by the pandemic joins a growing list of studies showing disproportionate impacts on queer communities across the spectrum, including threats to the survival of organizations and places vital to our interests.
by Joyce Bolinger
A longtime member and supporter of the LGBTQI+ community, Jo Schneider owns Tucson’s downtown La Cocina, known for its outdoor patio, eclectic cuisine, and live music. When Tucson Mayor Regina Romero closed restaurants March 17 to contain the spread of COVID-19, Jo began serving free food to out-of-work dishwashers, servers, entertainers, and others — “we don’t turn anyone away,” she says.
Since March 22, Jo has served about 80 free meals 3 times a week. She has donated free meals to TIHAN as well. Part of a non-profit Feeding Those who Feed Us, Jo is also a member of Too Soon Arizona, a group of small businesses who plan to delay re-opening for safety concerns.
by Joyce Bolinger
Early this spring, a nightmarish scenario threatened local agencies who
serve people experiencing homelessness: the virus could rampage through shelters, meal lines, and outdoor “camps,” costing many lives and accelerating its spread throughout Tucson. »Meet Beth Carey
By Bruce Hyland
Photo credit: Tomcat Enterprises Photography© James Scott P. Pignatella
Kevin is holing up with his dearly beloved (Richard Wegner) and cooking food and sharing it with a couple other households. They are playing cards, games and working puzzles. He’s anxious, but very grateful to be with his husband through this. »Meet Kevin Maxey
by Bruce Hyland
Photo credit: Joyce Bolinger
Tom sometimes feels impatient, uncertain, nervous, agitated, but always grateful that he’s safe with his husband in their home. He has a sense that life will be changing. One aspect, given his nonprofit expertise, is how the performing arts will change. How will they survive? How will they adapt? He’s pleased to see pollution levels come down dramatically, even with it only being having been a short time when ships, planes, polluting vehicles, etc. made changes that allowed this. »Meet Tom Buchanan
by Bruce Hyland
Photo credit: Daniel Snyder
Brad is a life-long advocate for those who are less advantaged. He is a musician and lawyer retired from the Office of the Pima County Attorney. Today, Brad is pleased to act as attorney with Homicide Survivors. About the COVID-19 pandemic, he says, “We older LGBTQ+ have hard-won training to deal with this. We know how to survive a plague. .. Who else has been through this, but us?”
»Meet Brad Holland
by Bruce Hyland
Photo credit: Joyce Bolinger
Lola is busy with projects and focusing on being happy. She goes out for walks, being mindful on those treks of the beauty around her. “Of course I’ve had bumps in the road and hit boulders in life. But I learned to deal with things. My goal is to be happy. When I hit a dip, I look inside myself to see what’s really going on. It’s very important for us to know ourselves…” »Meet Lola Lai Jong
In the seven weeks since the World Health Organization (WH0) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic on March 11, few things have been more impressive than the outpouring of caring resources to help us cope with its consequences. Since SoAZ Senior Pride published its first roundup of resources especially targeted to LGBTQ+ elders on March 26, many new resources have come online every day.
Today’s COVID-19 Update covers some of the newest local resources that have become available to help with the devastating economic impacts from business shutdowns designed to prevent the spread of this deadly new virus.
The COVID-19 crisis in the United States has upset the lives of everyone, and may especially challenge those in Arizona who are LGBTQ and ages 55 years and older. We invite you to share your experiences through this brief online survey of 52 questions about COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes, protective behaviors, and how the March 30th governor’s order to stay home affects your mental and physical health. The survey study is conducted by Dr. Beth Meyerson of the Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW) and the Institute for LGBTQ Studies at the University of Arizona. Survey results will be shared with organizations serving LGBTQ communities in Arizona.The survey requires about 20 minutes to complete. Your answers will be anonymous. »MORE
Looking forward to getting out of the house again when COVID-19 stay-at-home orders are lifted? If you’re over 60, don’t get your hopes up just yet. The phased in reopening of workplaces and businesses touted by politicos includes a nasty little bombshell for seniors: we must continue “sheltering in place” for a minimum of 28 additional days! Same goes for anyone else vulnerable to COVID-19 complications due to specific medical conditions. Social isolation is the number one predictor of loneliness, and loneliness contributes to a litany of health problems, including a 45% increase in premature death.
“The constant emphasis on ‘death tolls’ and poorly understood data is exaggerating the risks, resulting in a constant state of duress. This type of exposure can be a tipping point for many who are already at risk of suicide and drug overdose.” – Mark Person
Are you being very smart and staying clear of others to avoid COVID-19 — but self-isolation is wearing thin and you miss connection with others? Senior Pride is introducing a new service we’re calling Connect Now! to offer folks short-term support via phone. For more info, call us at 520-312-8923 or send a message.
With great sadness, the GroundSpark team acknowledges the loss of the lesbian activist, Phyllis Lyon. In her 95 years, Phyllis lived a life of love and courage. As we mourn the loss of Phyllis, we also wish to highlight the incredible contributions she made so that we may all be inspired to live courageously, love deeply, and work together for a revolution. We are offering free streaming of One Wedding and…a Revolution (Debra Chasnoff and Kate Stilley, 2004, 19mins) in honor of Phyllis. Use the password RestInPower (note the capital letters!) to watch the film here.
Fearless lesbian activist icon Phyllis Lyon died peacefully at her home in San Francisco on April 9 of natural causes. She was 95. Few individuals contributed more to issues impacting LGBTQ, women’s, civil rights and the rights of elder Americans than Ms. Lyon and her partner of 58 years, Del Martin. Lyon and Martin were the first same-sex couple to marry in California on June 16, 2008. Weeks later, on August 27, 2008, Ms. Martin died in San Francisco, with Ms. Lyon at her side. Ms. Martin was 87.
Southern Arizona Senior Pride is trying to help home-bound seniors – which means ALL of us right now – find services we need by posting articles and links to Web resources of most importance to LGBTQ elders. But the COVID-19 situation is evolving so fast that the only reasonable chance you have of keeping up is on social media. If you aren’t already on Facebook, you need to sign up right now. Here’s why…
Southern Arizona Senior Pride volunteer Bruce Hyland interviewed Jill Koyama about how she is handling the unprecedented disruption in her professional and personal life caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. »Meet Jill Koyama
Researchers at the University of Utah want to gain insight into barriers to care for members of the LGBTQ+ cancer community. If you or a loved one has undergone cancer treatment, or you are or have been a caregiver for an LGBTQ+ cancer patient, we need you! »MORE
Southern Arizona’s LGBTQ seniors represent a vast range of ethnic, linguistic and national identities. During the COVID-19 crisis, many of us need resources in a first language other than English or relevant to our root ethnic identities. In this article, we’ll provide you with links to diverse elder resources.
Federal social-distancing requirements extended to April 30th… $2 trillion stimulus package passed but individuals to wait three weeks for $1,200 checks… Tucson Mayor Regina Romero issues shelter-in place advisory until April 17th… Experts predict 200,000 Americans will die from COVID-19… Federal Reserve predicts unemployment rate will hit 32%…
These dire headlines say nothing about the impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ community. Late last week both the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Arizona hosted virtual town halls to look at the unique challenges this pandemic is bringing to our community and marshal resources we can turn to for help.
The isolation that Senior Pride battles so diligently in normal times is suddenly required of everyone. During this crisis, Senior Pride will be publishing COVID-19 UPDATES here in our news feed to help our community navigate this period safely.
It has been two weeks since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic and a week since Tucson Mayor Regina Romero issued her emergency declaration shutting down all dine-in restaurants, bars, gyms and other gathering spots in the city. Many working older adults have been furloughed or lost their jobs as businesses close, some forever, due to the spread of a coronavirus that is most deadly to the most vulnerable among us. Meanwhile, medical facilities and other services we rely on are asking us to stay away.
We are reaching out to all of you with concern about isolation during this time of crisis. Self quarantine means isolating ourselves from friends, family and social gatherings. Senior Pride wants to offer support and suggestions to interrupt isolation. It is crucial that we take care of our mental health as well as our physical health. Those of us that live alone may need extra love and all of us will need to stay close to our support circles…
Our very own Lavina Tomer joined other unique voices sharing their personal narratives on the themes of Feminism, Intersectionality, Empowerment, Solidarity, Testimonio and Activism at the FIESTA Storytelling event earlier this year at Unscrewed Theater. It was hosted by WOSAC (The Women’s Studies Advocacy Council) to benefit the University of Arizona Department of Gender & Women’s Studies.
»Watch on YouTube
The Arizona Legislature is attacking transgender student athletes. On Thursday, February 20, 2020, the House Health and Human Services Committee voted to advance an egregious anti-transgender bill, HB 2706, out of the AZ House Health & Human Services Committee. While we were incredibly disappointed this invasive, harmful bill was passed through committee, this is not the end and we can stop this bill in the House, but your Representatives need to hear from you! Rush a message to your Representatives and ask them to vote NO on HB 2706!
Tell Your Legislator – STOP HB 2706.
»Contact your legislator on the Human Rights Campaign website
Due to coronavirus precautions, Community Cares volunteers will not be visiting their recipients until it is safe to do so again. But we continue phoning and talking with recipients throughout the crisis.
Are you LGBTQ, 55+, homebound or isolated? Are you disabled of any age? Senior Pride’s Community Cares Program reaches out to people in our community by providing trained volunteers who will visit once a week to play cards, read aloud, write letters or call once a week for a phone visit. Volunteers can also provide information on LGBTQI services and resources. There is no charge for this service. Contact us at 520-351-2724 or email. Referrals are welcome and encouraged!
Be a Community Cares Volunteer!
For info about becoming a trained volunteer call 520-351-2724 or email
The Marist on Cathedral Square, an apartment community for seniors 62+ years old located in the heart of Tucson, is now leasing. BRAND NEW • affordable living • up to 875 square feet • major utilities included • membership to Armory Senior Center • near trolley stop • High-Speed Internet
More info: 602-285-1800 or email
Be on the lookout for telephone impersonation schemes that exploit the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) reputation and authority. Fraudulent callers use threatening language and state that, due to improper or illegal activity with a citizen’s Social Security number or account, a citizen will be arrested or face other legal action or simply experience a suspension of retirement benefits, if the citizen fails to call a provided phone number to address the issue. This is a scam; citizens should not engage with these calls, not call the numbers and not provide any personal information.
The David and Lura Lovell Foundation, a family foundation based in Tucson founded in 1994, has approved a major grant of $25,000 to Senior Pride to join an initiative for end of life planning. Senior Pride is the only LGBTQ+ community organization to become a member of the Arizona End of Life Care Partnership…
»Read full post
The Wild Geese Foundation has awarded Senior Pride a grant of $5,000 as a major boost to building the organization’s capacity. In our application to the foundation, Senior Pride stated that the objectives are to begin a transition from a grassroots organization to a more formal one that will serve LGBTQ+ older adults for generations and to increase services.
»Read full post