Dear Editors:

Thank you for your recent article on Growing Older and Being Trans (Spring 2002).

I wanted to let you know that there is an organization solely devoted to trans aging issues: The Transgender Aging Network (TAN). TAN has two arms. One networks those who serve, research, advocate for, train about, or are otherwise interested in trans elders and trans aging issues. The second arm is ElderTG, which is an email support list for transgender persons aged 50+ and SOFFAs (significant others, friends, family and allies).

TAN has undertaken many education efforts for professionals. We’ve spoken at conferences of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, the American Society on Aging, the American Psychological Association, and others. We’ve served on the conference advisory boards of SAGE and other organizations. We guest-edited a newsletter on trans aging issues for the Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network of the American Society on Aging, and serve on its editorial board. We worked closely with the National Lesbian and Gay Task Force to ensure that early drafts of its public policy statement on aging issues were revised to actually include trans aging issues. We are currently developing a Transgender Aging Research Agenda to determine what questions trans people and SOFFAs have about trans aging, and to help guide researchers and policy-makers. We are also currently seeking funding to underwrite the development and dissemination of a “best practices” manual to assist nursing homes in respectfully and knowledgeably serving trans residents.

Much more is planned. Currently, we have at our website an article by Shannon Minter entitled, “Transgendered Elders and Marriage: The Importance of Legal Planning,” a checklist to assist “LBGT” aging organizations make sure they actually include “T” issues, and a very basic trans aging article. That website also links to a trans family resource list and articles on the issues SOFFAs (of all ages) face in dealing with health care providers. We will shortly be uploading an article on LGBT elder abuse issues, written primarily for adult protective services workers but also accessible to others. That website is at www.forge-forward.org/aging.

Transpersons age 50+ and SOFFAs of trans elders who are interested in subscribing to ElderTG should send a short statement of their interest and “qualifications” to LoreeCD@aol.com.

Sincerely,
Loree Cook-Daniels
Founder and Director
Transgender Aging Network
6990 N. Rockledge Avenue
Glendale, WI 53209