More than 250 LGBT elders gathered on Monday, June 20, 2016, at Venezia Restaurant in Dorchester, for the 2016 Senior Pride Luncheon, sponsored by Ethos and the City of Boston Commission on Affairs of the Elderly.
At the luncheon, Dale Mitchell, executive director of Ethos, lead the 250 proud, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) attendees in a moment of silence for the victims of the Orlando nightclub shootings.
It was a somber moment, after which he told the crowd that “hate scars and scars are permanent” but, the best revenge against bigotry, hatred and violence is love, laughter and PRIDE.
In 2012, Ethos launched the Ethos Equality Fund (EEF), as the Boston area’s first fund solely dedicated to supporting aging LGBTs and their support circles. The establishment of the EEF marked a significant step-forward for equality for older LGBTs and has enabled Ethos to enhance the quality of many lives through the development, implementation, and expansion of programs, services and activities for them and their caregivers.
LGBTs elders are among our most vulnerable older adults. They are much less likely to have the traditional supports that others depend on as they age: spouses, children, and other relatives. LGBTs need support from the aging services network to age well – in their own communities and among their own peers.
As Mr. Mitchell mentioned at the Senior Pride Luncheon, until the end of July, Ethos will be circulating a condolence book to send messages of love and support to the LGBT community of Orlando. We are encouraging attendees of Café Emmanuel, Out2Brunch and Out4Supper, to sign it or leave a written expression of their feelings.
Dale Mitchell also made a personal appeal for financial support of the Ethos Equality Fund, so that programs Ethos sponsor, like the Senior Pride Luncheon, Café Emmanuel, Out2Brunch and Out4Supper, continue to create safe, affirming environments for LGBT seniors to make friends, strengthen support circles and rebuild resiliency.
From now until the end of July, 50% of all contributions to the Ethos Equality Fund will go to the OneOrlando Fund so that programs in Orlando and Boston are both supported. Contributions can be made online at www.ethocare.org or via mail to Ethos Equality Fund C/O Ethos, 555 Amory St., Boston, MA 02130.