Its aim is to promote intergenerational conversation over a nice meal. For the second year in a row, SAGE Table, sponsored by SAGE — an organization that provides advocacy and services for LGBTQ older adults — will bring together the old, the young and those inbetween as part of a nationwide initiative. Last year, there were 232 SAGE Tables across 40 states involving more than 3,000 participants.
“At SAGE, our goal is to draw our community closer together, to alleviate the loneliness common to many LGBT older people and to discuss and take action with issues of relevance to all of our lives,” reads the official website for the event. “SAGE Table is a space to begin and continue the conversation and to listen to others with backgrounds and experiences different than our own.”
A Table can be big or small and serve breakfast, lunch or dinner. This year’s Metro Detroit’s SAGE Table will take place at the Michigan State University Detroit Center on Thursday, Nov. 8.
“This year we will keep it simple, with dinner, dessert and casual dialogue between generations divided by age: 21 to 35, 36 to 49, 50 to 65 and over 65,” said Judy Lewis, co-organizer of the event. “Registration is free and open to all LGBT folks, but seating is limited to 60 participants, so an early RSVP is strongly recommended.”
Each separate table will have its own host who will moderate conversation with the help of conversation guides provided by SAGE. SAGE Table is billed as a “friend-raiser not a fund-raiser” so there is no cost. It is hoped, however, that attendees will follow up the event by planning to meet again with someone from a different generation whom they met at the event.
“At present, there is little that brings the generations together,” Lewis said. “When I provide a cultural competency training at various older adult facilities, the younger staff are often unaware of the history and difficulties faced by older LGBT residents. And older adults have little idea of the real challenges facing today’s younger generation. At SAGE Metro Detroit, it is our hope is that SAGE Table will be one event of many that will bring people together to talk about these unique generations of challenge and change.”
The purpose of SAGE Table, said Lewis, is to raise awareness and build connections.
“As the national SAGE website (www.SAGEusa.org) states so beautifully, ‘Through SAGE Table, we can reach out—person by person, community by community—to connect with one another,’” she said. “Together, we can build our own, real-life social network to support our LGBT elders.”
SAGE Table, the national website says, “is a movement, not a moment. With that in mind, it’s been designed to inspire us all to grow, to think more inclusively, and to act more compassionately throughout our daily lives.”
For more information or to RSVP for the SAGE Table, visit www.SAGEusa.org/SAGETable.