The Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the Leonard Litz SilverPLUS Initiative. LGBTQ+ adults aged 55-plus are often marginalized, overlooked, and ignored, even within their own LGBTQ+ community. This was unacceptable enough during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, when getting older felt like a luxury for too many folks. But today, there is an entire generation of LGBTQ+ people who are entering this age group in record numbers. And while we recognize and join the urgent efforts to help young people navigate the often challenging journeys of coming out of the closet, understanding their gender and sexual identities, and finding meaningful connections and community, we know it is equally important to remember that older LGBTQ+ people have the same needs, but often lack the support and resources to achieve them.
Our SilverPLUS Initiative is intended to celebrate our community as we enter our Golden years. It is time to bring the Sexy Back to Seniors.
Programs and services for people aged 55-plus are often built and modeled on heteronormative traditions, or administered by religious-affiliated centers, which are not always welcoming places for our community. LGBTQ+ people of all ages have to contend with homophobia and transphobia, and these are only exacerbated when our visibility and representation are not centered.
The experience of surviving a(nother) global pandemic and adjusting to the lingering feelings of isolation, loneliness, and solitude has not helped, either. From depression and other mental health concerns, to fixed income limitations, to food insecurity, to technology challenges, and more, the Leonard Litz SilverPLUS Initiative seeks to support organizations and programs that supports, connect, empower, and respect our aging LGBTQ+ population. Our community has always had to take care of ourselves and this fund is no exception.
Grant consideration will be given to applications that promote:
- Connective / Community programming
- Mental health concerns / isolation / depression
- Individual advocacy
- Independence learnings and education
As part of our larger Foundation priorities, we are also particularly interested in supporting projects that intentionally include our BIPOC and Trans family, as well as those that promote and lower the barriers to inter-generational connectivity.
We invite you to apply for a grant through the Leonard Litz SilverPLUS Initiative here.