San Francisco is known throughout the world as a place where lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) people can live openly. It has become a mecca for those with alternative lifestyles to find an accepting home. This population often becomes isolated as the next, younger generation of people move into the city.
Openhouse is a San Francisco-based non-profit organization that provides housing, direct services and community programs for LGBT seniors living in the Bay Area. They have regular gatherings of the community where these seniors and their caregivers can socialize, network and support each other.
Bread & Roses has been providing Openhouse with free, live entertainment since 2011. Various facilities allow the group to come together for meals and a fun afternoon. This partnership has allowed hundreds of LGBT seniors to enjoy performers like Phillip Percy Williams, Paradox Magic, Linwood Project Community Chorus, The Mad Maggies, Garden Party, Magic Jeanne and more.
Fairley Parson, community program manager at Openhouse, recently summed up the benefits that Bread & Roses programs have on their clients. "As thousands of LGBT seniors throughout the San Francisco Bay Area struggle with poverty and isolation, Bread & Roses helps ensure that all seniors can enjoy top rate entertainment in a safe and welcoming space. With the help of Bread & Roses, LGBT seniors are strengthening their community through music. They are singing along to old favorites, dancing together and stomping their feet in joy. Your impact on the LGBT community cannot be overstated."
It is gratifying to see the excitement generated by the shows we bring to these gatherings. Bread & Roses is honored to be serving this unique isolated group of people in our community.
Post by Program Director Carolyn Gauthier
Photo Caption: David Facer of Paradox Magic entertains at Bread & Roses benefit in 2013. Photo by Ken Friedman.