The late Dan Kirsch founded Charlotte’s LGBTQ Elders group in 2019 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Regrettably, Kirsch passed away unexpectedly in early 2020, leaving the organization with an overwhelming sense of loss and a profound lack of direction.
As the pandemic worsened and infection rates skyrocketed, continued growth and attendance for the group and its members simply wasn’t possible.
Now the LGBTQ Elders group is back, with some of the original board members, and a handful of new ones, plus some big plans for the near future.
Co-chairs for the board are Roxanne Stanard, a former Social Security Administration executive; and Stan Schneider, a professor of biology at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte.
“The organization had really just started up when Dan passed away and the pandemic shut things down,” Stanard explains. “So we’re actually just getting started again, but we’ll have a booth at Pride and we’re excited about attracting new members. We’ll have information about services we offer and upcoming events.”
An upcoming celebration of life is planned for Kirsch in late August, although no specific date or time has been chosen as of yet.
“Moving forward, we’ll have two gatherings a month,” Stanard continues. “One is a social event that will include dinner, and the other will be an educational event with a guest speaker covering topics of interest and concern for the senior LGBTQ community.”
With new members expected to join as word gets out through growing media attention, the upcoming Pride event and a recently acquired 501C3 non-profit status, the organization hopes to expand programming and services currently available at the Time Out Youth Center and beyond.
Other members of the board include Cindy Hostetler, John Hunter, Lee Robertson, Dimitri Triantafillakis and David Webb.
In addition to the monthly events, an LGBTQ prom is slated for February. The organization’s next meeting takes place August 9. For more details visit their Facebook page, which is regularly updated and also links to their website.