This article traces the founding of Senior Action in a Gay Environment (SAGE), the nation’s oldest and largest social service organization for LGBT elders. Drawing on archival documentation as well as interviews with SAGE founders and early members, the article shows how SAGE was born of two largely disconnected social transformations: the gay and lesbian movement and the national expansion of services and programs for the elderly that was enabled by the Older Americans Act of 1965. SAGE’s institutionalization and its relationship with the state allowed it to grow in an increasingly conservative political context while ensuring that the organization would not take a broadly intersectional approach to the challenges gay and lesbian elders faced. Despite its political limitations, however, SAGE provided a setting in which some white gay and lesbian elders began to see themselves as agents of social change.

You do not currently have access to this content.