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Panel tackles ‘Aging with Pride’

problems facing older LGBT people include autonomy, independence, and freedom



Imani Woody, Sage, gay news, Washington Blade
Imani Woody, Sage, gay news, Washington Blade

Dr. Imani Woody (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A topic that few LGBT folks care to talk about was presented by two panelists at a meeting of PFLAG-Howard County on April 9. Dr. Ann Christine Frankowski, an anthropologist (and associate director) from UMBC’s Center for Aging, who has submitted a grant to study issues related to LGBT aging, and Dr. Imani Woody, representing D.C.-based SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders), discussed the problems facing older LGBT people.

Frankowski’s grant encompasses autonomy, independence and freedom for older adults but is focused on minorities, especially sexual minorities. Acknowledging that older adults in general prefer to remain in their homes, Frankowski pointed out that health and safety concerns that are inherent in aging render such independence unfeasible. For example, the extent of care needed, finances and a lack of family members to help care for older adults contribute to the need to live elsewhere.

Some may choose to live in 55 and older communities, but Dr. Frankowski pointed out “with independent living facilities, there is oversight, meals, activities, but they are not medical facilities.”

For these reasons, many older adults must seek assisted living or nursing homes. They usually provide personal services such as bathing, meals, dispensing medications but could cost $3,000 per month. Some pricey facilities charge $7,500.

For older LGBT adults, there are other issues that must be confronted. An estimated 1.4 to 3.8 million LGBT people in the U.S. are over the age of 65 with the number expected to double by 2030. In pursuing her research, Frankowski found that “there is no discussion of sexuality, no talk about sex. People are treated asexually, and the question of sexual orientation is totally ignored.” In addition, staff members, with whom there is a high turnover rate, do not respect individual choices, and supervision of these staff members is inadequate.

As a result, many LGBT older adults are forced to return to the closet to remain safe. Woody from SAGE recommended the documentary “Gen Silent,” which follows six LGBT seniors who must choose if they will hide their sexuality just to survive in the long-term health care system. Woody said that when she requested from directors of the nursing homes the opportunity to speak with LGBT residents, “they all said there are none.” She pointed out that 80 percent of LGBT seniors do not have partners as opposed to 40 percent of the general population—contributing to loneliness and isolation.

To deal with these challenges, there are a number of excellent resources available for LGBT older adults to consult. Among them is The National Research Center of LGBT Aging (, SAGE-Metro D.C. ( and SAGE (



Virginia Beach high school students stage walkouts to support transgender rights

City’s school board approved policy to out trans students to parents



Transgender flags (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.)

Students at five Virginia Beach high schools on Friday staged walkouts in support of transgender rights.

The walkout is in response to the Virginia Beach School Board approving policy 5-31, which the Pride Liberation Project says will require schools to out trans students to their parents.

Students have been organizing walkouts across the state since Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin earlier this year announced new guidelines for trans and nonbinary students.

“Students like me aren’t going to be able to talk to our teachers if we’re constantly worried about our school officials calling home to forcibly out us,” AJ, a trans Kellam High School Student, told the Pride Liberation Project.

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District of Columbia

Pepco, Exelon announce $2.7 million in funding for four minority-owned businesses

‘It’s good business sense to bring more people to the table’



Pepco and Exelon held a press conference Friday to announce four recipients of $2.7 million in investments. (Photo courtesy Exelon)

Pepco and Exelon announced a $2.7 million investment in four minority-owned businesses on Friday.

“Today’s been a long time coming,” said Pepco Vice President of Governmental and External Affairs Valencia McClure.

Pepco’s parent company, Exelon, launched the Racial Equity Capital Fund (RECF) in 2022 to expand capital access to diverse businesses. This latest $2.7 million investment is just a portion of RECF’s $36 million in funding.

At the announcement, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser spoke about the other ways Pepco and Exelon have “put their money where their mouth is” through their partnership with the D.C. Infrastructure Academy. She reported that all 22 of the residents that graduated from the program last week have a job offer from Pepco.

“We know that is not just a job, but a career,” she said to the crowd’s applause. “We know that working together, we can invest in D.C. residents, provide opportunity, and ensure that our D.C. businesses are a part of D.C.’s growing prosperity.”

The four minority businesses that received funding were Gemini Energy Solutions, Public Sector Solutions Group, CJR Development Partners, and Escalate.

“It’s good business sense to bring more people to the table,” said fund recipient Nicole Cober, CJR Development’s Principle Managing Partner.

Gemini Energy Solutions, which is Black owned, received $1 million, the most of the four companies. Its mission is to equitably scale energy efficiency to marginalized communities. For the founder and CEO Anthony Kinslow II, this investment means that he is able to get paid and advance the work of his organization.

“We are now able to accelerate the work in our software and technology development,” he said. “What we were going to do in two years, we are now going to do in six months.”

For Escalate, a workforce development platform focused on frontline worker retention, the funding means that it will be able to double the pay for frontline workers.

Public Sector Solutions Group CEO Darryl Wiggins emphasized that this investment was not just ‘charity’ work, but mission-driven work.

“The principle and the intent is greater than the money we receive,” he said. Public Sector Solutions is Black owned.

Public Sector Solutions Group received a $600,000 debt investment; CJR Development, a minority and woman-owned small business, received a $600,000 debt investment; and Escalate, a majority Black and woman-owned company, received a $500,000 equity investment.

Exelon launched the RECF in partnership with RockCreek, one of the world’s largest diverse-owned global investment firms, in 2022. The RECF expands capital access to diverse businesses so they can create more jobs, grow their companies and reinvest in their neighborhoods and communities, according to a statement from Exelon.

New RECF applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Interested businesses may apply online or contact RockCreek at [email protected] for more information.

(Photo courtesy Exelon)
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Comings & Goings

Armstrong recognized with Lifetime Achievement Award



Lynden C. Armstrong

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at: [email protected].

Congratulations to Lynden C. Armstrong on his Lifetime Achievement award from the Congressional Management Foundation in recognition of his exemplary public service in Congress. 

Upon receiving the award Armstrong said, “This recognition is not just a personal achievement, but a testament to the unwavering dedication and hard work of colleagues and mentors who have been with me on this journey. I’ve dedicated my entire career to public service within the Senate, where recognition isn’t the primary motivation for our work, making this recognition even more humbling.” He is currently Deputy Assistant Senate Sergeant at Arms and Chief Information Officer.  

Armstrong started his career with Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), where he rose to Deputy Chief of Staff in his more than 13-year stint. In 2004, during his tenure with Domenici, amid a debate on the Federal Marriage Amendment, Armstrong became a co-founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Allies Senate Staff (GLASS) Caucus. In 2014, he moved to the Sergeant at Arms CIO organization, where he established a new department within the CIO that was crafted to engage Senate offices in comprehending and harnessing technologies provided by the SAA. 

Lynden has previously served as Chief Clerk on the U.S. Senate, Committee on Rules and Administration, and with the U.S. Senate, Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, as Deputy Inaugural Coordinator, 2012–2013.  In that role among other responsibilities, he served as civilian liaison to the National Special Security Event Executive Steering Committee and subcommittees, including the Capitol, USCP, Crowd Management, Public Relations, Transportation, and credentialing, and as liaison to the Joint Task Force – National Capital Region. 

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