A Stylish Fundraiser
Adam’s Nest sells new AIDS Memorial T-shirt to raise funds for SAGE
by Hank Trout
Instead of my usual curmudgeonly kvetching about my health concerns (y’all are probably as tired of reading about them as I am of living with them), I decided to use this month’s column to tell you about a stylish opportunity to raise money for one of the most important of the organizations out there working on improving the lives of LGBTQ elders, particularly us long-term HIV survivors.
As I have reported in A&U before, Adam’s Nest is a popular gay-owned-and-operated shop in the East End of Provincetown, Massachusetts, that offers “Art, Apparel, Jewelry & Whatnot.” Adam Singer, the owner/proprietor, explained the company’s founding principle, to operate “a business with a purpose.” Thus, the shop makes monthly donations to GLAAD and the Trevor Project, and regularly supports a variety of other causes, including the Indivisible Fund, the ACLU, the Ali Forney Center, Gays Against Guns, and the Rainbow Railroad.
Although the brick-and-mortar store is open only during P-Town’s summer season, the shop runs a year-round online store. For the past year, Adam’s Nest has sold a Zach Grear t-shirt that celebrates The AIDS Memorial on Instagram, raising some $7,100 for Housing Works, a non-profit that fights for funding and legislation to ensure that all people living with HIV/AIDS have access to quality housing, healthcare, HIV prevention, and treatment services in New York City, Albany, New York, Washington, D.C., Mississippi, Haiti and Puerto Rico.
This year, Adam’s Nest has unveiled a beautiful new t-shirt, designed by artist Hugh Elliot. This new t-shirt also celebrates The AIDS Memorial on Instagram, but benefits SAGE Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders. The t-shirt sells for $35, with twenty-percent of the proceeds going to SAGE.
SAGE, per Adam, is “a national advocacy and services organization that’s been looking out for LGBTQ+ elders since 1978. SAGE works to build welcoming communities and keep the issues of LGBTQ+ elders in the national conversation to ensure a fulfilling future for all LGBTQ+ people.” With staff in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco, plus other affiliates, SAGE advocates for the rights of LGBT older people at the federal, state, and local levels.
Most recently, SAGE has taken up the cause of “Mary and Bev,” a legally married lesbian couple who were refused residence at Friendship Village Sunset Hills, a senior housing facility in St. Louis. Friendship Village refused the couple because it follows the “Biblical definition” of marriage and “defined marriage as between a man and a woman.” Bev and Mary, represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and assisted by SAGE staff, filed a lawsuit against the retirement community.
Recognizing that more than half the people in the U.S. who are living with HIV are over the age of fifty, SAGE has advocated and fought for the rights of HIV-positive LGBTQ elders for decades. In addition to its lobbying and advocating work, SAGE also publishes brochures in PDF form, available free on their website, with titles such as “Ten Things Every LGBT Older Adult Should Know about HIV/AIDS” and “LGBT Older Adults, HIV, and the Affordable Care Act.” Further, according to Jenna McDavid, National Managing Coordinator of the DEC, which publishes a monthly collection of articles regarding LGBT elders, including some by this writer, “As a founding member of the Diverse Elders Coalition, SAGE has ensured that older LGBT people are included in the national conversation around diversity, and that communities acknowledge and affirm their LGBT members.”
When I asked Adam why he chose SAGE as the recipient of this t-shirt’s proceeds, he said, “I had thrown around a number of possible charities, but settled on SAGE. As many friends and peers are now fifty-plus, and so many elders were lost to AIDS, it is evident that our elders tend to have smaller support networks. A number of friends are aging within the LGBTQ+ community and SAGE was a perfect charity that addresses some very specific challenges that aging LGBTQ+ people face.”
Now see! Wasn’t that more pleasant than reading about my myriad debilitating ailments yet again? You can thank me by going to Adam’s Nest and ordering this new t-shirt. Get one for yourself, one for your husband, one for your BFF, and one for all your fashion-savvy politically engaged friends! Peace and good health to you!
To order this new t-shirt and help raise money for SAGE, please go to https://adamsnest.com. For more information on SAGE, visit https://sageusa.org. More information on The AIDS Memorial on Instagram can be found at www.instagram.com/theaidsmemorial/. Housing Works can be reached at www.housingworks.org. And finally, to get information on the Diverse Elders Coalition, and to read blogs by this writer and other LGBT elders, please log on to www.diverseelders.org.
Hank Trout, Editor at Large, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a thirty-eight-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his fiancé Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.