GRAY PRIDE was an organization dedicated to addressing the needs of aging LGBTQ people, affirming their rights and dignity, and building supportive environments through advocacy and education. Gray Pride was composed of two groups: a social group focused on organizing gatherings and building community and an interagency task force focused on advocacy and education regarding the specific needs of aging LGBTQ people. The project began in January of 1996 with a meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Gay and Lesbian Elder Issues which soon adopted the name Gray Pride: The Taskforce on Gay and Lesbian Aging. The organization was connected to the LESBIAN/GAY COMMUNITY SERVICE CENTER OF GREATER CLEVELAND, the BENJAMIN ROSE INSTITUTE, and numerous other organizations focused on health and aging, allowing Gray Pride to connect LGBTQ elders to essential resources and care.
To address the social needs of aging members of the LGBTQ community, Gray Pride organized regular potlucks, outings, and speaking events for its members. Potlucks were often held around the holidays, allowing members to celebrate among friends and peers. Outings often consisted of picnics at local parks, attending movies or the theater, or visiting museums. Speaking events were held several times each year where topics like health, insurance, and legal issues were discussed. Each of these meetings were intended to create safe spaces for LGBTQ elders to gather, enjoy life together, and find support.
Gray Pride also worked to educate health and social service institutions on the particular challenges of aging as an LGBTQ person. In October of 1996, Gray Pride led a public meeting on AIDS and aging in collaboration with the City of Cleveland Health Department and the Cuyahoga County Department of Senior and Adult Services in order to establish contact and share resources with people facing the unique challenges of living with AIDS while aging. The Inter-Agency Task Force of Gray Pride also conducted workshops for social service agencies and health professionals to discuss ways to make LGBTQ elders feel safe and combat the distrust of many LGBTQ people toward these institutions.
Gray Pride continued to work to connect aging LGBTQ people to each other and to social and health services through 2002 and represents one of many organizations formed by communities within the LGBTQ community to address their specific experiences and needs.
Finding aid for the Douglas Braun Papers