On July 8, community members from all over the country gathered together for DOROT’s third annual SAGE Table event, In Full Bloom, hosted by Onsite@Home. The Onsite@Home Department is committed to bringing vibrant and interactive programs right to constituents’ doors through Zoom videoconferencing and telephone calls.
The SAGE Table initiative launched in 2017 to fight isolation in the LGBTQ+ community through intergenerational connections. At In Full Bloom, DOROT volunteers and constituents of all ages came together to share a meal and conversation. Together, they reflected on how the LGBTQ+ community has truly come into its own and made its mark on the world.
The event started off with a collaborative presentation. After watching a video called “Celebrating 50 Years of Pride” together, LGBTQ+ community members took the stage to perform various texts – including poems, monologues, and original works. One community member, before reading their poem, addressed those present and said, “Look at all the faces in the room. The younger faces, their lives have just started blooming. The rest of us, our lives are in full bloom. And yes, still blooming.”
Following the presentation, the intergenerational group of attendees were placed into smaller breakout groups to get to know one another and share their favorite memories of Pride. Some described their experiences at the first National March on Washington for LGBTQ+ rights, saying that “It was the best parade ever!” Others recalled the powerful unfurling of the AIDS Quilt along First Avenue in front of the UN during the late 1980s. One attendee shared, “It was so powerfully moving that all of those people who were not with us in the flesh were able to make an appearance at this event.”
To conclude the night, attendees played games and tested their knowledge of LGBTQ+ history with trivia. Before parting ways, community members imparted their wisdom onto the younger generation and reminded everyone that “The most important thing in life is to feel and embrace humanity.”
At DOROT, this is just a part of many exciting events planned to bring LGBTQ+ community members of all ages together. Charles Markham, DOROT Program Administrator and SAGE Table facilitator said, “Programs like this are so important because we get a chance to learn from and with each other. The LGBTQ+ community has come a long way, and we still have so much work left to do. I’m so grateful to be connecting with the elders in the community who have paved the way for us. It’s great to be able to celebrate all of our voices together.”
This year, as a festive touch, each registrant received a gift package in the mail to symbolize the act of breaking bread together – even if virtually.
Story by Katerina Karaiskos Romero, Impact and Evaluation & Marketing Intern