This year’s Atlanta Pride will have a touch of gray as AARP Georgia hosts their first “Gray Pride” on Saturday, Oct 10 in the Visitor’s Center at Piedmont Park.
“If you’re thinking that AARP isn’t for LGBT people, then you don’t know AARP,” says Hillary Thomas, AARP Georgia Program Specialist for community outreach in an interview with Georgia Voice.
Atlanta becomes one of several cities that have hosted “Gray Pride” events. A major sponsor of Atlanta Black Gay Pride, “Gray Pride” marks the first collaboration between AARP Georgia and Atlanta Pride that will continue AARP’s commitment to supporting the Atlanta LGBT community throughout the year.
“A huge misconception about AARP is that the organization discriminates against LGBT people or is only for old people,” says Thomas. “We have resources for everyone.”
One such resource is AARP’s “Life Reimagined” program featured in “Gray Pride.”
“It’s one of our many programs that is ageless,” says Thomas. “It’s a program that helps you think about life differently regardless of the station you’re in in your life. If you’ve just graduated from high school, that’s wonderful. What are you gonna do now? “Life Reimagined” has steps to help you get there. There’s an online program that you can go through and it’s all free. And there’s in person workshops you can go to as well.
Thomas says the goal is to make sure everyone regardless of age has access to AARP’s programs. That’s exactly why she and her team have been working diligently to make certain the inaugural “Gray Pride” experience is fun, interactive and memorable.
“We have activities, events and entertainment all day. We’ve got discussion groups and storytelling with SAGE stories. We’ll be collecting people’s stories of aging as LGBT as well as stories of aging people who may have been discriminated against because they identify as LGBT,” says Thomas. “We’ll also have an interactive timeline, which I’m really excited about. So instead of people just going someplace and seeing this timeline of LGBT history, they’ll actually get to participate and write down their own historical event.”
And if that isn’t enough for one day, attendees at “Gray Pride” will also receive goodie bags from AARP and have a chance to win an Apple watch and gift cards.
“Gray Pride” also boasts its own entertainment lineup that will kick off on Saturday morning on the Bud Light Stage with spoken word artist Theresa Davis and culminate with Kipper Jones’ RnB Circus.
Thomas says AARP Georgia’s work in Atlanta’s LGBT community isn’t reserved for Pride but a commitment they take seriously all year long.