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SAGE Launch

In September 2013, we were happy to announce the completion of our affiliate application with SAGE. We proudly announced the launch of SAGE Wilmington of the Cape Fear Coast to a packed room at the Wilmington City Council Chambers in historic Thalian Hall.

In communities across the country, SAGENet—SAGE’s network of local affiliates around the country—is building a movement to reduce isolation, improve financial security and enhance the quality of life for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults.

Through SAGENet, these local leaders draw on the wisdom of their peers to implement programs and services that address the most urgent issues facing LGBT elders—from unemployment, to housing, to LGBT-affirming healthcare and more. And they’re creating advocacy initiatives where LGBT elders advocate on their own behalf—at the local, state and federal levels. See more at:

Since the launch of SAGE Wilmington, we successfully fulfilled our first national grant in the innovative SAGE Story project. We spent three months recruiting, training, and videotaping the personal stories of eight LGBT elders residing on the Wilmington Cape Fear Coast

Why a SAGE Program?

In 1978, the first SAGE program was created by dedicated activists and aging services professionals who were committed to improving the quality of life for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) elders. Today, there are SAGE affiliates around the country, collectively known as SAGENet. Each SAGENet member is independent of the original, New York City-based SAGE.

  • The Founding SAGE program in New York City has 30 staff members and three sites.
  • It is also over 30 years old.
  • Most SAGE programs in the country have 1-3 staff members and a cadre of volunteers.
  • SAGENet members range in size, geography, budget and staffing. Despite these differences, all SAGENet members share a mission that reflects the original intent of the founders of SAGE:
  • To improve the overall quality of life for LGBT seniors,
  • To foster a greater understanding of aging in all communities,
  • To promote positive images of LGBT life in later years.
  • The process of becoming a SAGE affiliate, like any other major program, takes time, thought, and capacity-building.

There are three common types of SAGE programs:

Stand-alone programs (examples include SAGE, SAGE Upstate, SAGE Metro St. Louis, SAGE Milwaukee, and SAGE South Florida)

SAGE programs in LGBT Community Centers (examples include SAGE at the Center on Halsted, SAGE of the Hudson Valley, SAGE Utah, SAGE Western New York)

SAGE programs in other agency settings (examples include SAGE/Queens, a program of Queens Community House and SAGE Long Island, which shares space with other Long Island LGBT programs)

To learn more about the national organization of SAGE, for resources, programs, news, events, and more, visit their website.