Aging Out Loud

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Aging Out Loud is a FREE conference for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, their friends, chosen family and allies in Pierce County who want to learn about the issues that impact older LGBTQIA+ adults. 

The conference was held Tuesday September 24, 2019 at the McGavick Conference Center, located at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood.

Through our partnership with Tacoma Older LGBT, we have been hosting various events around the County for LGBTQIA+ seniors. Based upon input provided by the community at our "LGBT Aging in Pierce County" Town Hall last March, this conference brings together four panels of experts to discuss senior housing, long-term care, mental health needs, and estate planning.

  1. Presentations
  2. Event Details
  3. About Us
  4. About Tacoma Older LGBT

Keynote: Moving from Shame to Celebration

J. Manny Santiago, Executive Director, Rainbow Center

Panel 1: Creating LGBT-Welcoming Senior Housing and Supports

Facilitated by Jeffrey Rodgers, Pierce County Human Services


Karyn Skultety, PhD., Executive Director, OpenHouse

Dr. Karyn Skultety is the Executive Director of Openhouse, a non-profit that provides housing, services and community engagement for older LGBTQ individuals. Karyn has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of Massachusetts and specialized in geriatric psychology. Karyn has worked in aging services throughout her career in clinical, educational and administrative leadership roles. She is a dynamic leader known for her approach to effective change management and creating programs that creatively and effectively serve underrepresented and marginalized older adults.

KnippSteven Knipp, Executive Director, Generations Aging with Pride

Steven is the Executive Director of Generations Aging with Pride (GenPRIDE). He resides in the Columbia City neighborhood with his family and has called Seattle his home for 30 years.


Nancy A. Kelly, MSW, ACSW, University of Maine School of Social Work, Village Hearth LGBTQ Co-Housing Member

Nancy A. Kelly has had a long career as a Social Worker and Academic in the states of New Jersey and Maine. Currently teaching courses related to human behavior and the social environment, and field, her interests include mental health, diversity issues, ethics and gerontology. She has served on various community social service boards which includes being a founding member of SAGE Maine (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders). Looking toward retirement, she and her spouse picked up a flyer at a SAGE meeting for Village Hearth, the first 55+ LGBTQ Co-Housing project in the country. Familiar with co-housing in their own community, they went to Durham NC, met the people involved, learned more about co-housing and decided this would be a wonderful way to live in a safe, intentional community committed to aging in place.

(Not Pictured)       Christoper Persons, CEO, Capitol Hill Housing

Panel 2: When You Need a Helping Hand - Choosing LGBT-Affirming Care Providers and Resources

Facilitated by Bob Riler, Pierce County Human Services

patriciaPatricia Throop, Owner, ElderCare Consulting, LLC

Patricia entered the senior care field when her mother decided to move to Seattle.  Not able to find someone to help with information, referrals, advice and support, she saw a need and worked to fill it.  Thus started her down the path of helping others through the maze of details and information within the senior care industry. Opening Eldercare Consulting in 2010, Patricia has helped a wide variety of families to find competent, safe and appropriate solutions for their needs. She helps with everything from finding housing, legal and financial referrals, decluttering, in-home care, doctors’ visits, to yard care and maintenance workers. Virtually a one-stop shop for those who need assistance. Active in her community, Patricia sits on several Boards (West Seattle Senior Center, Chamber of Commerce), volunteers in the elder community, and has spent 30+ years being an advocate and activist in the LGBT community including creating WOWS, a social network of 800+ lesbians. She is an active member of the NW LGBT Senior Care Providers Network, lives in West Seattle and enjoys spending time with her wife and 2 cats.

jessica girard

Jessica Girard, Case Manager, Pierce County Human Services

Jessica is a case manager at the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center, working with family members who care for their loved ones in the home. She assists with providing support and resources to unpaid caregivers.


Lindsay Hotchkiss, Case Manager, Pierce County Human Services

Lindsay Hotchkiss is a case manager with the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center, primarily working with seniors and adults with disabilities. As a case manager, she assists clients with various needs such as long-term care planning and accessing necessary resources. Lindsay also teaches courses for family caregivers in self-care and communication techniques.

Panel 3: Meeting the Health and Mental Health Needs of Older LGBTQIA+ Adults

Facilitated by Dr. Charles Emlet, Facilitator, UW-Tacoma

ErickErick Seelbach, Executive Director, Pierce County AIDS Foundation (PCAF)

Erick is a graduate of The Evergreen State College. For the past 19 years, her work in HIV led her to many different corners of volunteer, nonprofit and government settings: as a participant in HIV vaccine and prevention research studies, a leader of various research community advisory boards, a graduate of several leadership institutes, an outreach worker, a technical assistance and training provider, a grant writer and reviewer, a conference planner, and more. Erick is currently the Executive Director of PCAF (Pierce County AIDS Foundation). Outside of work, Erick is a poet and a member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Abbey of St. Joan. View the HIV/Older Adults Fact Sheet.

mercedesMercedes Sanchez, Director of Community Education and Outreach, Cedar River Clinics

Mercedes Sanchez is the Director of Community Education and Outreach at Cedar River Clinics.  The highlight of her job is presenting educational workshops on subjects ranging from teen and adult sex ed to transgender/gender non-conforming care.  Cedar River Clinics offers customizable presentations to schools, retirement communities, and community groups.  Mercedes also represents the clinics in coalitions and taskforces for legislative, LGBTQ, and community advocacy.  In her free time, Mercedes writes plays, poetry, and short stories about social justice issues.  


Terri Haaga, MSW, LICSW, GMHS, Owner, Aging for Life, PLLC

Terri Haaga is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Geriatric Mental Health Specialist, who has worked with older adults for over 20 years. She is owner of Aging for Life, PLLC based in Edmonds, WA. Terri currently is a therapist working in at Bluestone Psychological Services specializing in elder issues.  She also offers courses in the Seattle area for professionals and students who are interested in learning more about geriatric mental health.

katyKaty McDermott, RN, LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator, VA Puget Sound Health Care System
Katy McDermott has long been an ally and supporter of the LGBTQ community, which is why she was thrilled to be selected as the LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator at the VA Puget Sound Facility.  Katy received her nursing degree from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in 2009.  She moved with her husband from the Midwest to Seattle WA in 2014 and has worked at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System since May 2015. “My favorite part of my job is connecting with Veterans and providing a space where they can show their true selves and identities.”

Panel 3: Estate Planning 101 - What Every LGBTQIA+ Person Needs to Know

dustyDusty Weber LaMay, J.D., Equal Justice Works Fellow, Lavender Rights Project

Dusty currently is the Equal Justice Works Fellow for the Trans Advocacy in Rural Places program which brings civil legal support and community programming to rural transgender people across Washington state. He studied law at UC Davis and has lived in the PNW for many years. He is deeply committed to all transgender liberation and creating worlds in which transgender people can thrive as their true selves.