June 07, 2021 Baltimore County

The Baltimore County Department of Aging today announced  its first weeklong celebration during Pride month in June for LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) older adults and their allies to find quality resources and comradery.
“As we celebrate Pride Month and our friends in the LGBTQ+ community, we have an obligation to promote an inclusive, welcoming county,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “Our LGBTQ+ seniors face unique challenges, and as allies we must step up for our neighbors and ensure they feel supported and welcome.”

America's older population is growing, and so is the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) adults who are moving into their later years. According to the American Psychological Association, there are 2.4 million LGBTQ older persons in the U.S. and that number is projected to reach seven million by 2030.
“While America’s aging population as a whole are facing a myriad of social, health and economic challenges, these are magnified for the LGBT elder community,” explains Baltimore County Department of Aging Director Laura Riley. “Thus, LGBT elders often are at an increased need for resources due to an increased risk of poverty and isolation.”
Beginning next Monday, June 14, from 1:30 - 3 p.m., an Ally Workshop will be held to define the acronym LGBTQIAP+, to offer tips to create “safe space” and to provide strategies for being a good ally to the LGBTQ+ people in your life, at home, in your place of business and in your neighborhood.
The remaining three Pride Week LGBTQ+ Elders: Safe Space Series” virtual events will start at 6 p.m.
Wednesday, June 16 will offer a discussion on Relationship and Chosen Family Building. Legal considerations will also be outlined by a panel of LGBT experts as they review tips to enhance your support network and to legally protect what’s important to you.
Health Education and Advocacy will be highlighted on Thursday, June 17.  Chase Brexton, a leading health services provider, will provide resources and strategies to live your most healthy life.
We will conclude the week with a virtual Pride Parade and review of gay pride history on Friday, June 18.  Well-known local personality Rayceen Pendarvis will lead the event and create a festive atmosphere for all involved. Participants are encouraged to dress or decorate their space for the Pride Parade!
“Whether you’re an older adult yourself or someone looking to support a friend or family member, we hope you join the Baltimore County Department of Aging’s LGBTQ+ Elder Safe Space Series for valuable resources and community building,” summarized BCDA Director Laura Riley.
All events associated with the week will be held virtually this year on Zoom. For more information or to receive the Zoom links for the one or all of the events, please contact the Catonsville Senior Center at 410-887-0900 or email catonsvillesc@baltimorecountymd.gov.