First American LGBT Senior Citizens' Center opens in NYC

The Chelsea District of New York City maintains an artistic flair mixed with a work-a- day ambience. It's famous landmark - the Hotel Chelsea - is renowned for its flamboyant, transient residents: Bob Dylan, Charles Bukowski, Tennessee Williams, Brendan Behan, Dylan Thomas, and many more!

No wonder then that this forward-thinking NYC area should become the foundation for the opening of the first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) senior citizens’ center in the USA. The SAGE Center will function as a social services site for LGBT seniors. Meals, mental health services, fitness classes, arts events and technology education will be featured.

The SAGE Center is a feature of New York City’s Innovative Senior Center program, created by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Roger Mácon, a 64-year-old Queens resident, told the Village Voice: “This is very important for elderly gay and LGBT people. We need a place like this as we become older."

Gladys Berrocal, 62, told the media source: “Before, there was nothing. Now, we are going somewhere.”

Openly gay City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said during the center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony: “It is really an amazing thing that we passed marriage equality. We have an LGBT senior center right here in Manhattan.” She added: “There’s a time not so long ago when both of those things would have seemed impossible, and we are sending a message today that the impossible is not only possible, it is expected and will continue in the city of New York for all of us.”

SAGE is a Senior Citizens' Center but LGBT-specific assisted living facilities are increasing in popularity.