June 23, 2017

The only study of its kind in the country, Aging with Pride is a UW School of Social Work-led research project that focuses on understanding the aging, health and well-being of LGBTQ midlife and older adults and their families.

In the longitudinal study, the research team is painting a vivid portrait of LGBTQ lives, documenting the interplay of risk and resilience to understand how marginalized individuals reach their full aging and health potential and to identify those most at risk of health, social and economic disparities.

As Pride events unfold during June, local and national media are reaching out to to share insights from this landmark health, aging, sexuality and gender research with readers and viewers. 

On June 7, The Seattle Times published a compelling opinion piece by Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen, principal investigator of Aging with Pride, in which she brought years of research to help shape an historical understanding of the Orlando, Fla., shooting at the Pulse nightclub on its first anniversary. In the op-ed, Fredriksen-Goldsen observed: “Orlando remains a dark reminder of hatred in this otherwise celebratory month when Pride events are held around the country and world. It’s important to remember that most LGBTQ older adults are doing well. Though at risk, they are resilient, with many strengths.” Read The Seattle Times op-ed here.

The following week, King 5 TV interviewed Fredriksen-Goldsen on the impact that marginalization has had on the health of aging LGBTQ adults, especially those who have experienced discrimination.  “What surprised us the most,” said Fredriksen-Goldsen during the interview, “is that we thought we would receive about 600 responses when we began the study, but we received more than 2,500. We are following them every other year so that we can understand the trajectories of their lives. They want their stories told.” Watch the King 5 interview here.

On June 22, Aging with Pride researcher Jayn Goldsen published a summary of the project’s findings on the impact of marriage equality In The Conversation, an independent national source of news and views from the U.S. academic and research community. In the article—Are LGBT Americans actually reaping the benefits of marriage?—she addresses the issue of social inclusion and health. The report findings are clear: The impact of marriage equality is significant and positive. Participants who are married report better health, are more out, and have greater social and economic resources than couples who are not married. Soon after Goldsen's article in The Conversation appeared, two major news outlet, Newseek and Salon, picked up the story. Read The Conversation article here.

The Aging with Pride project is a collaboration of 17 community agencies serving LGBTQ older adults in every census division throughout the United States. The project is funded through a federal grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging.