June 30, 2020


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

June 23, 2020

Tucson’s LGBTQ history of activism

Photo credit AZ Daily Star. Joyce Bolinger is a volunteer with Southern Arizona Senior Pride and a former volunteer with Wingspan, Tucson’s LGBTQ community center, which closed in 2014 after 25 years.

“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

June 17, 2020


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?

»Learn your Tucson LGBTQI+ history with this informative timeline

Summer 2020

2020 Senior Pride Summer Reading List

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

June 15, 2020

Civil Rights Law Protects Gay and Transgender Workers, Supreme Court Rules

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.

»Read full article in the New York Times

May 27, 2020

Larry Kramer, Groundbreaking AIDS Activist and Playwright, Dies at 84

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).

»Read article in the New York Times

»Read article in the Bay Area Reporter

»Read article in Variety

»Listen to Podcast in Making Gay History

May 27, 2020

In Memoriam: Larry Kramer

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

May 12, 2020

Aimee Stephens, Plaintiff in Transgender Case, Dies at 59

by Aimee Ortiz
New York Times

Ms. Stephens was fired from her job after she announced that she would live as a woman. Her complaint is now before the Supreme Court. Aimee Stephens, whose potentially groundbreaking case before the Supreme Court could have major implications for the fight for civil rights for transgender people, died on Tuesday at her home in Redford, Mich., outside Detroit. She was 59.

»Read full article on New York Times

April 29, 2020

A SECRET LOVE Arrives on Netflix on April 29th

On April 29th, Netflix releases A Secret Love, a new documentary that follows the remarkable story of a lesbian couple, Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel, who kept their relationship secret for the first 65 years that they were together.

Though Donahue played as a catcher in All-American Girls Professional Baseball League — the women’s pro sports organization that later inspired the 1992 film A League of Their Own — the league’s queer history has only recently been uncovered. “We always wore dresses, makeup, the whole thing, ” Donahue explains in the trailer. “Anybody who was not gay, they simply didn’t know.”

»Read more about the film on Netflix

April 25, 2020

Solitude as a Survival Strategy

In this time of enforced social distancing, I consider how LGBTQ+ seniors have so much to teach about solitude, since when we were coming of age, our existence was acknowledged only in the most fearful ways. We learned the lessons of solitude—its trials, but also its rewards—as a survival strategy…

»Read uplifing meditation on solitude from Fenton Johnson, award-winning author of fiction and literary nonfiction who recently published his seventh book, At the Center of All Beauty: Solitude and the Creative Life

April 2020

Excellent Issue of Making Gay History Newsletter

Chock full of encouraging, uplifting stories and suggestions relevant to our COVID era, the current issue of the Making Gay History newsletter includes these articles:
Why We Do What We Do (Read how a gay student, stuck at home now with his homophobic parents finds life-sustaining support in the Making Gay History podcast series.)
How Anger Galvanized Homophile Activist Shirley Willer
The 24-Hour Soup Kitchen, OutHistory.org, “How To Survive Yet Another Plague”
Virtual Singalongs with Marie’s Crisis (Piano bar Marie’s Crisis is a staple of gay life in New York.)

»Read it!

April 10, 2020

One Wedding and… a Revolution Stream for Free

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.

»Read Groundspark’s full message

April 9, 2020

Lesbian Pioneer Phyllis Lyon Dies

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.

»Read article in The Bay Area Reporter

March 2020

Essential LGBTQ+ Healthcare Background for Nurses

The LGBTQ+ community is large in the United States, but continues to experience myriad healthcare hurdles. Further, this community faces unique health concerns that heterosexual and cisgender peers do not. This is an even greater issue for older LBGTQ+ adults who need support as they plan for future health, finances, and long-term care. Working in hospitals, patient homes, assisted-living facilities and nursing homes provides nurses with a chance to work directly with aging LGBTQ+ patients. If you are considering or actively pursuing a career in nursing, you are in a unique position to help and affect change. This article, from the University of North Dakota Online Master of Science in Nursing program, discusses the following topics:

• LGBTQ+ Health Disparities
• LGBTQ+ Financial Planning
• Estate Planning Issues for LGBTQ+
• Senior LGBTQ+ Inclusive Housing and Long Term Care
• General Resources for the LGBTQ+ Community

»Read full article at the University of North Dakota website


Movement Advancement Project PDF for 2010 to 2020 report

At the start of a new decade, lawmakers across the country are moving ahead with bills that, among other things, would repeal nondiscrimination protections and make it a felony to provide transgender youth with medically necessary care. In a year when the Supreme Court will decide three cases that will either affirm lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people employment protections—or grant employers a right to discriminate under federal law—the variety of LGBTQ laws and policies at the local, state, and federal levels makes one pause to consider: in the fight for LGBTQ equality, how much progress has been made over the past ten years?


February 11, 2020

Counting LGBT Communities: SAGE and the 2020 Census

by SAGE Communications / Diverse Elders Coaltion

For the first time, the 2020 Census will add specific checkboxes for same-sex couples to identify themselves in the question about how each person in the household is related to the person who filled out the questionnaire. The new census form will include separate categories for “opposite-sex” and “same-sex” spouses and unmarried partners.

While we still await questions about sexual orientation and gender identity to be added to the census, this is a crucial opportunity for LGBT households to be counted in 2020 that brings us one step closer to understanding and identifying our community members across the country.

»Read full article on the Diverse Elders Coalition website

finding a spiritual home in Tucson

No More Wandering: Back to My Jewish Roots

by Judith Weiser

After a classical Reform Jewish upbringing in the 1950’s and 60’s, I left home for college and essentially started my own version of “40 years of wandering in the wilderness.” In my mid-fifties, I found myself wanting to get back to my Jewish roots and checked out all of the reform congregations in Tucson. I eventually joined Congregation M’kor Hayim (“Source of Life”) after meeting and being impressed by Rabbi Helen Cohn. The congregation is the only reform group in Tucson without a religious school. Why is that significant… »MORE

Be Med Smart!

Medication problems plague people of all ages as well as families, caregivers, and the entire health care system. Medication errors among older people cost about $177 billion each year. If such errors were counted as a disease, they would be the fifth leading cause of death for Americans over 65.

Safely dispose of unused meds. The City of Tucson and Pima County provide permanent prescription drug drop boxes. DON’T put them in the trash or flush them down the toilet!
»Dispose-a-med info on City of Tucson website
»Dispose-a-med info on Pima County website

»Read full post

Be Med Smart, Pima Council on Aging