Age Friendly Seattle and the Saying It Out Loud Conference have announced the second of two online panel presentations related to COVID and geared to people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or two-spirit (LGBTQ+2S).
“LGBTQ+2S Resilience: Thriving or just surviving during the COVID pandemic?” is a live panel presentation that will take place on Friday, July 31 from 1:00–2:30 p.m. At event time, log on to bit.ly/AgeFriendlyLive. No registration or log-in is required. A phone-in option is also available.
“While older adults in marginalized communities often show remarkable resilience in spite of adversity, we know that many sexual and gender minority individuals struggle with mental health issues,” said Jason Johnson, Seattle Human Services Director. “Sheltering in place removes many of us from our only sources of social support. Anyone with HIV is in a high-risk category and still highly encouraged to stay home. Loneliness and depression are increasing, and it’s already well-documented that LGBTQ and Two-spirit people have suicide rates higher than the general population.”
The 90-minute presentation will focus on varying perspectives on the effect of the COVID quarantine on the LGBTQ+2S community, particularly mental health, and discuss ways that the community can boost resilience now and in the future. The panel moderator is Aleksa Manila, a well-known drag performer. Panelists include:
- George Dicks, a mental health practitioner at Harborview Medical Center
- Mitchell Hunter, a member of the Seattle LGBTQ Commission
- Palm Springs City Councilmember Lisa Middleton, the first transgender person elected to a non-judicial position in California
- Jeff Sakuma, a health integration specialist at City of Seattle Human Services Department
- Dr. Ronni Sanlo, director emeritus of the UCLA LGBT Center
- Jaylene Tyme, a First Nation (Skimay and Metis) trans woman and performance artist
Most of the panelists participated in an online presentation on June 26 (“What have we learned from the HIV/AIDS pandemic with COVID-19?”) that can be viewed on YouTube (youtu.be/qylC5z7rm6A).
The July 31 event is free and open to the public. LGBTQ+2S youth are welcome and encouraged to attend this virtual event. For those unable to join at that time, a video-recording will be available the following week (subscribe at YouTube.com/c/AgingKingCounty to be receive notification).