Pride and our Aging Community
June is pride month, and while the census does not specifically measure the LGBTQ population, there are roughly 3 million 2SLGBTQ+ seniors in North America.
With that number growing to more than 7 million by 2030 it means creating LGBTQ+ friendly spaces for seniors is becoming more important.
Organizations like SAGE advocate for 2SLGBTQ+ seniors bringing their needs into the conversation about how we age and what caring for the elderly looks like as society changes.
Some senior members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community face unique challenges younger individuals are not aware of. For example, some older adults were raised in a time when identifying as 2SLGBTQ+ was characterized as mental illness and may have buried their true identities out of self-preservation, remaining in the closet today. Others may have lived their life openly but now fear the loss of their 2SLGBTQ+ autonomy as they grow older.
Regardless of the challenges they face, all seniors deserve dignity and respect. Let this Pride month be an opportunity for our community to rally together to support senior members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and work together to support them at all steps of their journey.
Here are some of the unique challenges and issues facing 2SLGBTQ+ seniors:
- Are twice as likely to live alone.
- Are four times less likely to have children.
- Receive care from their partner 54% of the time and from a friend 24% of the time.
- Would be more comfortable in long-term care homes if staff had training specific to their needs.
- Are twice as likely to be discriminated against when looking for senior housing. Over 30% of 2SLGBTQ+ seniors worry they may have to hide their identity to get senior housing.
- Have fewer financial resources than non-2SLGBTQ+ seniors.
- Are twice as likely to feel a lack of community and social support.
Pride for our Seniors in Waterloo Region
Despite the challenges still being faced by the 2SLGBTQ+ community, everyone deserves to age with dignity and pride, and without having to hide who they are. Around the nation and around the world, 2SLGBTQ+ seniors are living full, vibrant lives and their continued resiliency and optimism are what we celebrate this month.
Spectrum is Waterloo Regions rainbow community space.
Their program Aging with Pride (AWP) is committed to creating events, giving support, and providing education in response to the needs of older 2SLGBTQ+ adults in our community. They work with local senior-serving organizations to make them aware of the needs of older 2SLGBTQ+ adults, and advocate and collaborate with stakeholders to ensure that new and existing supports or services are inclusive and responsive.
For Pride month, SPECTRUM is excited to work with many great community partners to present a series of events and activities that both celebrate members of our 2SLGBTQ+ communities and promote equal rights and visibility.
Here are the events remaining for the month of June
First Annual Fundraising Gala
June 16th, 8 – 10 pm The Walper Hotel
20 Queen Street South, Kitchener, ON N2G 1V6
Join us for an evening of hilarity and entertainment in support of SPECTRUM, presented by The Co-operators! Our first annual fundraising gala will feature headliner Elvira Kurt, and MC Kyne from Canada’s Drag Race, along with Izad Etemadi and Kez Vicario-Robinson.
Enjoy a dessert bar in the Walper’s Crystal Ballroom and bid on great items in a silent auction — all in support of programs and services for 2SLGBTQ+ people in Waterloo Region!
Doors open at 7:30 and the show begins at 8pm.
Also sponsored by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Company and Stantec.
Together in Pride Ride
Friday June 17 - 7 – 9 p.m.
Join us for a cycling event in Kitchener to help bring visibility to members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities for Pride Month, and attention to cycling in Kitchener for Bike Month. We’ll meet in the KW Counselling Services parking lot (480 Charles Street East) and head out on Charles Street for a 7km fun casual ride.
Prizes are available for the best Pride-themed bike decorations!
Drag Queen Storytime with Fay and Fluffy.
Saturday June 18 1pm-2pm
Drag Queens extraordinaire, Fay and Fluffy will be the first big show at WPL’s new Eastside Branch! They say reading is FUN-damental and we couldn’t agree more. Register HERE.
Our Pride Month Classic 2SLGBTQ+ Movie Series, Wednesday, June 22 - at 7 pm. concludes with The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the Apollo. Get your tickets HERE
Beyond Visibility: Queer Art and Activism with Adam Barbu, in partnership with Cambridge Art Galleries Thursday, June 23 - 7-8:30 pm
We will consider the relationship between art and social change through the lens of queer history. Offering an expanded consideration of queer art and activism, the talk will explore resistance across a wide range of contexts. How can we begin to think beyond linear narratives of “progress” and re-situate politics at the heart of queer artistic practice? Drawing upon historical and contemporary figures, Barbu will illustrate how artists imagine alternative futures by interrogating the relationship between visibility and assimilation. Register HERE.
Queer Craft Circle with Cambridge Art Galleries - June 29 - 7-9pm
Join artist Alisa McRonald for this fun, casual program on zoom. Together we will make braided no-sew coasters out of repurposed t-shirts. Learn how to make your own t-shirt yarn and then start braiding! We will talk about colour and efficient joining techniques. A free supply kit is included with program registration and will be ready for pick-up at Idea Exchange, Queens Square (1 North Square, Cambridge) from June 22-28. The only items you will need from home are a pair of sharp scissors and some tape. Registration is limited to 2SLGBTQ+ -identified people in Waterloo Region. Register HERE.
Respecting a persons choices
Promyse Home Care is dedicated to providing the highest quality of home and health care services, delivered with knowledge, integrity, and compassion to seniors and adults living with a disability in our community. We are committed to improving quality of life while respecting a person’s dignity, independence, and choices.