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June 3 Forum to Address LGBTQ Aging

As part of Mayor Ed Murray’s Age-Friendly Seattle initiative, the Mayor’s Office and other City of Seattle staff and community members are planning “Aging the LGBTQ Way: A Forum on Equity, Respect & Inclusion” that will address the unique needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and queer (LGBTQ) elders.

The forum benefits from research conducted by the LGBT+ National Aging Research Center, including Aging with Pride: The National Health, Aging, and Sexuality/Gender Study, the first federally funded longitudinal research project examining the health, aging, and well-being over time of LGBTQ adults ages 50 to 100. Mayor Murray will welcome principal investigator Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen, who will share information from her extensive Aging with Pride research.

Dr. Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen will share information from Aging with Pride, a longitudinal study on LGBTQ aging.

Dr. Fredriksen-Goldsen, a professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work, collaborated with Aging and Disability Services on a smaller forum in 2015, designed to inform development of the 2016–2019 Area Plan for Seattle-King County. For more information, read LGBTQ Older Adults Face Higher Health Risks in the November 2015 issue of AgeWise King County.

Other June 3 presentations and activities will focus on the intersection of gender, sexuality, and aging with the Race and Social Justice Initiative, a citywide effort to end institutionalized racism and race-based disparities in City government, and provide opportunities to make recommendations for the Age-Friendly Seattle Action Plan for 2018–2021. Breakout sessions will consider LGBTQ equity, respect, and social inclusion; economic and housing security; social and civic engagement; and aging, health, and community services.

In this full day dedicated to aging well, participants will have opportunities for intergenerational conversations as well as access to resources for optimal aging.

The forum planning team includes representatives from Gay City, Generations Aging with Pride, Ingersoll Gender Center, POCAAN, Seattle LGBTQ Commission, and UW School of Social Work, as well as City staff from Aging and Disability Services, Human Services Department, Office for Civil Rights, Office of Mayor Ed Murray, and Parks and Recreation.

The forum is scheduled on Saturday, June 3, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Seattle City Hall (600 4th Avenue, enter there or at 601 5th Avenue). The event is free of charge; however, meals are included, so RSVPs are strongly recommended (click here).

Contributor Irene Stewart is the Age-Friendly Seattle project manager as well as editor of AgeWise King County. She is working with staff in a variety of City departments to implement specific actions called out in Age-Friendly Seattle Resolution 31739. Later this year, another equity forum will look at the unique needs of older women, also intended to inform development of an age-friendly action plan for 2018–2021. For more information, e-mail agefriendly@seattle.gov.

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