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Austin LGBT Coalition on Aging

August 2020 Newsletter

More information on the Coalition is on our website at

August Steering Committee
Virtual Meeting

Thursday, August 20, 2020, 2 pm

Steering Committee meetings are open. Visitors are welcome to join in. If you want to help with our work, please sit in on the monthly, Third Thursday afternoon meetings.

Email if you'd like to attend.
We'll reply with a link.

The meeting agenda is posted at the bottom of this newsletter.


• • • LGBTQ Quality of Life Commission Advisory Board • • •

We NEED you to apply

This is long, but important, please read on

Long Center
On July 22 the consulting firm chosen by the City to do the LGBTQ+ Quality of Life study kicked off the effort with a virtual community forum we wrote about in your July newsletter.  We have had a number of articles in the newsletter over the last couple of years leading up to this moment but it might be important as the study actually gets started to highlight a couple of basic points:
  • Why is the Quality of Life study important?
  • How can I be involved?
The purpose of a quality of life study is to define the important characteristics/ demographics of the population and identify their most significant issues - that could also be described as the barriers they face to the enjoyment of full equality in the community.  We all know that the demographics of our community have always been a mystery – after all, for many of us living beneath the radar has at various times been a necessary life skill.  How many of us are there?  How do we make a living? How does our “quality of life” differ from the community as a whole? Just as with the census, this information is more than numbers; it will drive decisions on the allocation of resources and the delivery of important services.

 The City has previously conducted quality of life studies for the African-American, Hispanic and, most recently, the Asian-American populations in Austin.  The importance of these studies was demonstrated in the Asian-American study by the City’s commitment of resources to address the identified health disparities before the study was even completed.
Highly visible symbols of all three of these communities are the several “cultural centers” that serve a variety of needs. Though these studies were not the sole cause for the culture centers’ development they undeniably played a positive role. A culture/community center was identified as a major goal in the original community discussion that led to the organization of the Coalition on Aging because of its potential for uniting the LGBTQ+ community in Austin.  The Quality of Life study will reveal whether such a center is a priority for the LGBTQ+ community as a whole

At the kickoff for this effort the consultants announced that they would form an Advisory Board to guide their efforts in getting input from all segments of our community.  They also identified “seniors” as one of the groups they expected to have difficulty reaching based on their experience with similar projects.  The plan is for the Advisory Board to meet with the consulting firm four times over the course of the study. 
An application for the Advisory Board can be found at

While the original application did not include a question on age, we were able to get that included. And there is also an opportunity to mention service to the senior community in the question about why you would like to serve on the Advisory Board. 


The deadline for submitting an application is
 5pm on Wednesday Aug 12

The LGBTQ+ senior community faces some challenges that are not easily apparent to others:
  1. social isolation that negatively impacts both mental and physical health;
  2. a dwindling support group of friends that is often not offset by the support of family;
  3. economic displacement, as the cost of living in Austin outpaces fixed incomes, from long-time residences to apartments or houses in suburbs that are often less LGBTQ+ welcoming;
  4. lack of diversity awareness/acceptance in service providers from health care to living facilities.
These challenges are often not recognized or understood by other age groups and are exacerbated by a number of factors for LGBTQ+ seniors in comparison to the senior population as a whole. Your unique perspective on these challenges makes it important for you to be involved to ensure that this study appropriately tells our story.
Should you have trouble completing the application or desire any additional information, please contact us at



Friday, August 7th through Sunday, August 16th.

An uplifting love story featuring lesbian seniors is screening (virtually) at Austin's aGLIFF Film Festival. Surviving the Silence tells the story of two women in love who played a part in changing military policy, shining light on the unknown history of how a closeted colonel forced to expel an Army hero for being lesbian did so in a way resulting in re-instatement via federal court.

Years before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Colonel Patsy Thompson presided over the review board that dismissed Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer for being a lesbian. Although she had been in tough spots over the course of her 28-year service, this was the toughest. Presiding over this case forced Patsy to confront her own moral dilemma and her own secret: she too was a lesbian.

To get to aGLIFF:


In our previous newsletters, we highlighted the The Dallas-Fort Worth-based Coalition on Aging Guidebook to LGBT-Friendly Senior Housing, listing various facilities that meet up to LGBTQ senior expectations.

The COA Steering Committee has met again by zoom with members of the North Texas Coalition for Aging LGBT. We are discussing sharing training resources with them.

Of particular interest is that the North Texas Coalition for Aging has gotten great participation from younger LGBTQ folk who understand that one day they will be seniors themselves.



Sunday, September 6: 

Does the President Matter as Much as You Think

It seems like every election year people get wildly enthusiastic about the prospect of picking a new president who will make everything better. But is the president really as powerful as we like to think? A recent Freakonomics podcast sheds some light on the subject by interviewing legal and policy experts. The current president is discussed at some length. 


       The Austin Rainbow Forum will meet Sunday September 6 at 2:30 pm in a Zoom video chat room. If you want help or have questions about joining the chat, email us at

Austin LGBT Elder Task Force

World Famous *BOB* Presents
(Austin LGBTQIA Fun Force!)
~ Live Virtual Edition ~
Sunday, August 23rd, 2020
7-8pm Central 
Come join us as we gather around our Qmmunities greatest strength...our stories!

*ALWAYS FREE* B.Y.O.M (bring your own marshmallows)
Join our featured guests; Dusty Shoulders (co-creator of Campfire NYC), Kiki la Chantuese (S.F.), Mo B. Dick (L.A.) & World Famous *BOB* (Austin).

Hosted by World Famous *BOB* and "Tech Gay" Josh
Click this link to go directly to the event (you'll be taken to The Vortex Theater YouTube page) :
*not available at this time? No worries click the link to watch anytime after as well as it will be archived and still up for viewing!

AustinUp, the Coalition's fiscal sponsor, has a webpage with Covid-19 related resources
The Coalition website has more links to Covid-related issues.
LGBT Coalition on Aging
Steering Committee
August 20, 2020

  1. An update on the plans for the senior services organizations/HIV services organization kickoff meeting
  2. An update on the discussions with the North Texas Coalition on Aging LGBT
  3. A discussion with KB from Embrace on how the Coalition might assist with their Festival scheduled for 2021
  4. A discussion and possible approval of a promotion for the Austin Center for Grief and Loss
  5. Consider a resolution authorizing a letter of opposition to the HUD proposed amendment to its Equal Access rule regarding the rights and protection of the trans community
  6. A discussion of the information available on affordable/subsidized housing (carry over from July mtg)
  7. A discussion and possible action on the platform for hosting meetings (carry over from July mtg)
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Austin LGBT Coalition on Aging · PO Box 4178 · Austin, Tx 78765 · USA

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