The DC Villages Committee on Safe Spaces for LGBT Older Adults
The LGBTQ Inclusion Best Practices Tool For Villages was developed in 2022 by the DC Villages Committee on Safe Spaces for LGBT Older Adults. The group's focus is to ensure Villages are spaces where LGBTQ older adults feel safe and welcome, we continually identify areas for improvement, and determine goals to work towards.
The Committee has included representatives from: Brookland Village, Capitol Hill Village, Cleveland and Woodley Park Village, Dupont Village, Foggy Bottom West End Village, Mt.Pleasant Village, Northwest Neighbors Village, and Waterfront Village.
What Is The LGBTQ Inclusion Best Practices Tool For Villages?
The LGBTQ Inclusion Best Practices Tool is a guide to help identify actions a Village can take to enhance their inclusivity and affirmation of LGBTQ individuals. The purpose of this resource is to help Villages create intentional conversations around different areas of LGBTQ inclusion, why it is important, and to humanize the members we work with. Each Village should engage in this process in the way that is best for them.
Each Section Includes
A set of associated best practices, in the form of questions to help assess what your Village is or could be doing.
A list of recommended actions related to that area.
A goal chart for tracking your Village’s goal(s).
Example Materials Section and Goal Chart
The Six Focus Areas
First impressions are essential. In aging spaces and organizations LGBTQ older adults are barely visible. Intentionally including LGBTQ individuals, symbols, and inclusive language in your marketing acknowledges and affirms LGBTQ individuals.
While offering LGBTQ specific programming is one option, not every LGBTQ person wants to attend exclusive LGBTQ programs, openly expresses their identity, or your Village may not have the capacity to do exclusive programming. Including LGBTQ individuals in all of the programming we do communicates that you are welcoming to LGBTQ individuals and educates others as well.
Building trust takes time. You have to make a continued effort to build relationships with and understand the community you are trying to reach. Understanding the concerns and needs of LGBTQ individuals when it comes to aging is essential to shaping not just your outreach, but also your marketing and programming.
Including LGBTQ resources and referrals in your resources also allows members to get what they need without having to publicize their identity. Having LGBTQ specific or affirming resources and referrals as part of your member resources also takes away fear of discrimination, mistreatment, disrespect for being LGBTQ.
Facilitating opportunities for feedback and discussion is essential to guaranteeing your Village remains accountable. Open communication around the needs of LGBTQ members allows your Village to stay on top of needs and concerns so everyone is respected, welcomed, and affirmed.
Training and educational opportunities are important for anyone who interacts with members or volunteers. Training and educational opportunities emphasize the need to acknowledge and recognize LGBTQ older adults.
Start The Conversation Around LGBT Inclusion Today!
Download the LGBTQ Inclusion Best Practices Tool For Villages
Share Your Feedback!
Once you have used the Best Practices Tool, feel free to share your thoughts. Your experiences and feedback is vital to shaping future LGBT inclusion tools and programming for Villages.