Editor’s Note: SAGE is a group that provides advocacy and services for LGBT Elders, a group often multiply invisible in public policy due to ageism combined with homophobia, biphobia, and/or transphobia as well as other intersecting oppressions. With the group’s permission, IJFAB Blog here reposts their recent press release.
SAGE Declares Partial Win on Elder Erasure; Condemns Trump Administration for Continued Trans Exclusion
[NEW YORK, NY] In March, SAGE announced a nationwide effort to oppose the Trump administration’s proposed erasure of LGBT elders from a major federal aging survey, which measures the degree to which key federally funding aging programs like Meals on Wheels are reaching the older adults who most need them. Thousands of people commented and told the administration that LGBT elders would “not be invisible.” Today, SAGE declares a victory on getting a question pertaining to sexual orientation back into this survey – the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP).
While SAGE celebrates this achievement, we condemn the Trump administration’s continued removal of gender identity from the 2017 survey. All of our elders, including our trans elders, must be counted. SAGE refuses to let trans older adults, or any of the elders who are part of our community, be invisible.
“Thousands of LGBT elders and their allies forced the Trump administration to reverse course on their discriminatory plans,” said SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “But if the administration thinks that with this partial victory SAGE will now abandon trans elders, it’s in for a big surprise.”
In the next 30-day comment period, SAGE will continue to fight to have all LGBT elders included in this survey. We must not back down. The Trump Administration wants to pretend that transgender elders do not exist, but we won’t let them.
SAGE thanks our sister LGBT advocacy organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Center for American Progress (CAP), as well as ally aging organizations, including the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) and the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD). We also recognize the steadfast support of the 72-member Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCOA).
From LGBT older adults to their allies from across the political spectrum, the people have spoken. More than 10,000 voices made the Trump Administration reverse course. We made progress. But the fight is not over. Now SAGE will rally tens of thousands more in the next 30-day comment period. Together, we will continue raising our voices until everyone in our community is counted, including our trans elders.
We will not be erased.
We will not be eliminated.
We will not go quietly.
We refuse to be invisible.