by Ed Kimble
The rainbow flag became the perfect symbol for the LGBTQ community not just because we embrace sexual orientations and gender expressions that diverge from the heteronormative mainstream, but also because our community includes every color, ethnicity, nationality and language.
In times of crisis, our most vulnerable community members need access to resources that are culturally relevant to their root identities. Older immigrants whose first language is not English, especially those who came to the United States as adults, may also need information in their native tongue.
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.
Resources for Diverse Elders
- The Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) has emerged as the go-to starting place for elders of many communities to find COVID-19 resources to help them get through this tough time. DEC was formed 10 years ago when representatives of African American, Hispanic, Southeast Asian, and LGBTQ elders met to discuss issues facing diverse older people nationwide, especially poor and low income diverse communities. You can start with the DEC blog.
- LGBTQ elders were represented from the very start by SAGE, the New York based advocacy and services organization for LGBTQ elders (their motto is “We Refuse To Be Invisible”).
- National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) offers a rich collection of tribal links for American Indians and Alaskan Natives, including Tribal Epidemiology Centers
- National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA)
- National Congress of American Indians
- Urban Indian Health Institute
- Caucus and Center on Black Aging (NCBA)
- National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) offers links to COVID-19 resources in English, Spanish and six Asian languages.
- Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) is the only national civil rights organization devoted to uplifting Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese American communities.
- For the 24% of Pima County residents whose first language is Spanish, COVID-19 resources include:
- National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA)
- National Council on Aging en español
- The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has also put together a particularly impressive array of resources and launched a mobile advocacy text alerts system in both English and Spanish for persons who may not have reliable internet access: text 52886 or LULAC and enter Covid19 or Covid19Esp.