Philadelphia is all about “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” especially for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender seniors. The Liberty Bell’s hometown is home to one of the country’s few housing developments for low-income LGBT seniors, and the local LGBT community center offers a full suite of social, employment, and support services for elders. All of it is located in a walkable neighborhood filled with shops, restaurants, and theaters, set in one of America’s most historic cities.
A Warm Welcome in the Gayborhood
Center City, between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, is home to “the Gayborhood.” The area, defined by Chestnut, Pine, Broad, and South 11th streets, features hotels, salons, gyms, and locally owned shops. Dining options include
McGillin’s pub, which dates to 1860 and serves craft beers and American food
Vetri’s, a chic Italian dinner spot
Green Eggs Café, where Red Velvet pancakes are a popular brunch item
Gayborhood nightlife offers a mix of dancing, sports watching, karaoke, and cabaret to suit every taste. And the neighbors throw a good party, too. The city’s LGBT community hosts OutFest in observance of National Coming Out Day, Pride Day LGBT Parade and Festival in June, and many more events year-round.
Regional rail and bus stops connect Center City with suburbs to the west and New Jersey to the east. Manhattan is less than 90 minutes away from the city by Amtrak.
Trend-setting LGBT Senior Housing
Life in Center City is more affordable for LGBT seniors at the new John C. Anderson Apartments. The complex opened in 2014 to serve seniors who often face housing discrimination and high rents. With 56 units and a location near shops, cafes, and LGBT services, the apartments make independent living safer and more convenient.
Convenient Social and Medical Services
The service anchors of the Gayborhood are the Mazzoni Center, which offers LGBT wellness and healthcare including STD testing, women’s health services, support groups, and a long list of trans health programs for all ages. The Mazzoni Center hosts the city’s yearly Trans Health Conference, along with annual fundraisers for LGBT medical and legal services.
Nearby, the William Way LGBT Community Center serves the city with art and literary events, fitness classes, regular social gatherings, and senior services provided in partnership with SAGE. These include:
The Connecting Generations volunteer program, which partners younger and older LGBT people for regular social visits and outings.
SAGEWorks career coaching and job search assistance for unemployed LGBT people age 40 and up.
Weekly peer support at the LGBT Age 50+ Rap Session.
Regular social opportunities with the Silver Foxes, Women’s Wednesdays, and Tuesday MorningsOut.
Educating the Community on Senior LGBT Needs
Beyond the Gayborhood, the Way Center and the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging offer training workshops to healthcare and senior care providers, to help them create a respectful environment for their LGBT clients and families. The Center can provide details and help organizations arrange for training. So whether you’re retiring to Center City or to the Philly suburbs, you, your family, and your friends can pursue life, liberty, and happiness on your own terms.
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