AARP’s founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, was a woman of great spirit and fortitude, who felt that every person has value and an important role to play in their community. She believed that people’s older years should be an opportunity for new growth and participation in society. She often referred to AARP as “an army of useful citizens” who had the ability, the experience and the desire to promote and enhance the public good.

PRIDE Dr. Andrus coined a motto all those years ago: “What we do, we do for all.” Today, AARP is proud to stand by this same philosophy as we seek to represent and serve people 50+ from all walks of life.

June is national PRIDE month and AARP is proud to participate in PRIDE events this weekend (June 15th) in Portland and in Bangor on June 29th. We hope you will stop by and say hello, and take a moment to meet our staff and volunteers! It is always a pleasure to meet our members and their families at events like these.

AARP is also proud to serve on the board of Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) with a chapter being formed right here in Maine. SAGE Maine’s mission is to improve the quality of life for older Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Transgender (GLBT) adults living in Maine through advocacy, education and social support.

SAGE embraces several important guiding principles:

• Ensure that agencies and providers address the needs of GLBT older adults;

• Be committed in word and action to offering an environment free of bias and which welcomes and affirms all people;

• Promote community and provide opportunities for social networking and support;

• Facilitate a connection to a network of services;

• Be inclusive of all diverse populations;

• Draw attention to the specific barriers facing older transgender adults; and

• Collaborate with strategic partners to provide services, advocacy education and training.

We look forward to our continued collaborative efforts to raise awareness and make a difference for members of the GLBT community and their families.

In 2012, as part of an initial GLBT Aging Project in Maine, a community needs assessment was conducted resulting in a full report. The report has already helped raise awareness about the specific issues faced by GLBT members as they age.

AARP makes things better for society. We are committed to creating and maintaining a culture that respects and values individual differences so we can all contribute to our full potential. If you are interested in learning more about our work in Maine, please visit us at or on Facebook or Twitter. Meanwhile, we look forward to seeing you in Portland and Bangor for PRIDE!

Jane Margesson

AARP Maine Communications Director