June is Pride Month. During Pride, we recognize the impact LGBTQ+ individuals have had on history, locally and around the world, advocate for the rights of the community, and celebrate the fact that #loveisloveislove.  

Pride Month is observed in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, a tipping point for the LGBTQ movement in the United States. Celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, concerts, memorials, and more.  

San Francisco has been at the forefront of this movement since 1970. While celebrations were scaled back in 2020 due to COVID-19, the 49th annual parade in 2019 has been described as "the largest gathering of LGBTQ+ people and allies in the nation.”

This year, SF Pride celebrations are geared towards Bay Area locals with a theme of “All in This Together.” While it’s eponymous Civic Center gathering and Market Street parade were tabled due to the continued impact of COVID-19, celebrations expanded to include initiatives that keep LGBTQ+ people connected all year long.

Connection is critical to the health and wellness of LGTBQ+ individuals. This includes more than 3 million people age 55+ in the U.S. who identify as LGBTQ+, and the roughly 1.5 million of this population, who are age 65 and older. Unfortunately, this population often faces loneliness and isolation, due to lack of community and health support, and financial insecurity.

All people wish to age from home, surrounded by people they love, in a community where they feel they belong. However, the risks of living in an institutionalized setting are high for LGBTQ+ seniors. In fact, research shows, they often face discrimination and mistreatment.

According to a 2011 study published by the National Senior Citizens Law Center, “Stories from the Field: LGBT Older Adults in Long-Term Care Facilities,” 78% of those interviewed felt it would be unsafe for an LGBTQ+ senior to be “out” in a care facility, over 80% believed staff and other residents would discriminate against an LGBTQ+ elder who was out of the closet, and 43% reported personally witnessing or knowing individuals, who experienced instances of mistreatment.

On Lok proudly supports LGBTQ seniors and believes all persons, regardless of age or background, deserves to remain in their homes, and receive the support they need to maintain their independence and dignity. On Lok and Openhouse, a leading provider of LGBTQ senior services, joined forces to co-design the nation's first community-based adult day program for and with the LGBTQ community. The Openhouse + On Lok Community Day Services program will offer a safe and life-affirming space for LGTBQ seniors to maintain wellness and empower independence.

On Lok strives to build understanding, acceptance, and peace across every community. We are proud to support the LGBTQ community all year round, with love, compassion, and care, and look forward to making this program available to the public, soon!