Fielding Graduate University News

LGBT Senior Task Force formed in San Francisco: current Fielding EdD student Larry Saxxon landed seat

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Mon, Nov 12, 2012

As reported on

Larry SaxxonThe LGBT Seniors Task Force has been given 18 months to come up with a detailed plan on what the most pressing needs are for the estimated 25,000 older adults living in San Francisco who identify as LGBT. The panel's report will also include how the city can address LGBT elders' concerns.

In September 2012, the Board of Supervisors selected 15 people to serve on the task force. The members are a diverse group representing the LGBT senior community and service providers.

The list includes Perry Lang, executive director of the Black Coalition on AIDS; Shanti Executive Director Kaushik Roy; transgender senior activists Jazzie Collins and Felicia Elizondo ; housing rights activistTommi Avicolli Mecca; and attorney Bill Ambrunn , one of the key people who pushed for the task force's creation.

Current EdD Fielding Graduate University student Larry Saxxon who is representing local gay seniors, landed a seat on the research subcommittee of the task force.

The other members of the panel are Meals on Wheels Executive Director Ashley McCumber; Daniel Redman, the National Center for Lesbian Rights' elder law fellow; and Jorge Rodriguez , an HIV clinic case manager at the Mission Neighborhood Health Center.

"I am extremely confident about meeting the deadline set for the task force," said Ambrunn, who is seeking to become the panel's chair. "What it does is give everyone an incentive to get to work immediately and not waste time in getting things done."

With little concrete data collected about the city's LGBT seniors population, one of the first things proponents of the panel did was secure funding to conduct its own research. Karen I. Fredriksen-Goldsen , Ph.D., a professor at the University of Washington and director of the Institute for Multigenerational Health, will oversee the $60,000 study.

The city's Department of Aging and Adult Services kicked in $30,000. The San Francisco Foundation gave $15,000, Horizons Foundation granted $10,000, and longtime gay donor Al Baum contributed $5,000.

Outside of working on this task force, Larry is preparing to present at the for the upcoming International Conference on Positive Aging in Los Angeles, CA in February 2013. He is presenting a workshop emphasizing senior LGBT members of color, women who have been bypassed by the general public, and media relative to their historic roles in the Gay Rights movement. Larry states "I am thrilled to be offered the chance to give voice to those who have been omitted in the history books."