Celebrating LGBT Pride Month | Lisa’s Story

June 26, 2014 - Serving Seniors

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month and we’d like to highlight Lisa, a regular client at the West Senior Wellness Center, cancer survivor and transgender woman. We at Serving Seniors have a very diverse clientele including many gay, lesbian and transgender individuals. Lisa is very open about the fact that she spent the first 68 years of her life as someone of the opposite gender. She enjoys sharing her story in an effort to educate others and spread awareness about what it means to be transgender.002

Lisa was born in 1936 and her birth certificate indicated that she was a male. However, Lisa knew by the age of three or four that she wasn’t really a boy despite what she was told. “I knew something was wrong with my body,” Lisa says. Transgender people often experience a genuine disconnect between the sex assigned to them at birth and their internal sense of who they are. It can cause undue pain and distress which Lisa is all too familiar with.

Lisa went on to join the United States Air Force and served for four years. After her service, she attended college where she earned her degree in journalism and went on to work for several newspapers. She did what she thought was expected of her by marrying a woman and having a child. She says her parents would never understand or accept her living as a woman; so instead, Lisa waited to make that change. Once both of her parents passed away she immediately went to see a therapist and began the process of transitioning.

10 years ago, Lisa officially became Lisa and has a new birth certificate to prove it. “I feel more normal. I’ve become more talkative. In my other gender, I was afraid to talk.” Today she is healthy, vibrant, confident and full of joy. It can be challenging to find an accepting community as a transgender person which is why Lisa is grateful for the folks at Serving Seniors. She says the staff and her peers accept her exactly as she is and Serving Seniors is a community she is glad to be a part of. Lisa truly embodies LGBT pride and even has a tattoo to show it!  She is an inspiration and a reminder that it is never too late to live the life that makes us genuinely happy.

Happy Father’s Day

June 12, 2014 - Serving Seniors

Father’s Day is just around the corner. This June 15 is a day for honoring the great men in our lives and acknowledging all of the ways they shaped and influenced us.

We asked some of the seniors over at our Lemon Grove dining site to share what men they most admire and why.  Here is what they had to say:

To all the fathers out there, have a wonderful Father’s Day!

Experience Matters

June 5, 2014 - Serving Seniors

Welcome to the first installment of a new monthly series we’re calling Experience Matters. Each month we will be posing a question to various groups of seniors and sharing their thoughtful responses here on the Serving Seniors Blog. The seniors we serve have decades and decades of diverse life experiences and stories to share, and we believe the perspective that comes with age is incredibly unique and valuable. This is a space for seniors to impart their thoughts, stories and infinite wisdom on all of us.

The question we posed this month elicited a wide array of responses from a group of seniors at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center.

“What famous person do you admire, and why?”

Experience Matters- June Photos

“Frederick Douglass.  I admire him because he spent his life fighting for justice and equality for all people.” – Fred Davis

“Jane Fonda.  Jane has always spoken her truth even though it has brought her many problems.”  – Dennis Dooley

“Steve Jobs.  He achieved his dream of producing quality products that empower people.”                  -Steve LoCoco

“Harry S. Truman, my first president.  He was short in height but big in character.  What he wanted, he went after.” -Tim Tracy

“The person I admire is Michelle Obama.  She has always been gracious and down to earth.  Even before she became famous she was a very prosperous lawyer who left her job and her salary to work for a non-profit organization to help the poor and disadvantaged people of Chicago.  She is our first lady and she cares for us all.” – Shirley Ruiz

“I admire Martin Luther King for trying to make peace in the world, so we can live together as better human beings.” -Gwen Johnson

While these highly esteemed individuals range from historical and political figures to more contemporary influencers, they all have one thing in common — they have made a huge impression on some of today’s older adults.  Now tell us, what famous person do YOU admire and why?

Stay tuned for next month’s Experience Matters feature and remember
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