Recent Social & Educational Highlights
In February 2015, at Equality Virginia’s Day of Action, Shannon Marling, MSG and Robyn Bentley presented the workshop SAGE: Strengthening the community of LGBT Virginians who are 50+ through advocacy and community engagement.
In December, 2014 SAGE held a Winter Open House for our families, friends, and allies to celebrate a phenomenal year for equality. Virginians gained the freedom to marry the person they love in June and same-sex couples got the right to legally adopt. We have a supportive governor, attorney general, lieutenant governor, Richmond city council and city police chief. Everyone enjoyed light refreshments and live entertainment was provided by Monument City Music.
Also in December, SAGE provided 18 storytellers for StoryCorp OutLoud and hosted the recording sessions at the community center. StoryCorps recognizes the profound historical importance of capturing the stories of the LGBTQ community and the urgent need for this work to happen now. StoryCorps OutLoud is a multi-year initiative dedicated to recording and preserving LGBTQ stories across America. OutLoud will honor the stories of those who lived before the 1969 Stonewall uprisings, celebrate the lives of LGBTQ youth, and amplify the voices of those most often excluded from the historical record. The end result will be a diverse collection of stories that will enrich our nation’s history. Richmond stories will be a part of that history.
In October we subsidized the RVA LGBTQ History Bus Tour to give seniors a reduced price to explore the fascinating people and events that shaped Richmond’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. Beth Marschak, co-author of Images of America: Lesbian and Gay Richmond, and a longtime human and civil rights activist brought this history to life as our tour guide.
Virginia Pride is held each September and in 2014 SAGE hosted our first “Senior Hangout” tent. The 20 by 30 foot party tent was furnished with comfy tables and chairs borrowed from our sibling organization Diversity Thrift. We had a fun LGBTQ Trivia Game going the entire time. Those who answered their trivia question correctly got to spin our prize wheel for a variety of fun prizes. Lots of young people stopped by to play the game too. We also hosted a Sunday brunch the following day at Nacho Mamas.
In June of 2014 for Pride month, we hosted “RVA LGBTQ History – A Community Conversation” with 15 activists and community leaders from every generation sharing memorable moments and milestones in RVA and Virginia LGBTQ history. The good, the bad, and the fabulous! Our oldest panelist was 95 and the youngest was 23. We filled Triangle Players Theatre and had more folks listening from the lobby. The event was videotaped and is available to view on YouTube.
In April 2014 SAGE and AARP hosted a free screening of the documentary Gen Silent at Richmond Triangle Players with a panel discussion. Similar AARP events are scheduled for 2015.