Appealing neighborhoods, walkability, reliable public transportation and great weather make Sacramento a good retirement destination for seniors in general. Sacramento’s visible and active LGBT community makes it an even more appealing choice for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender seniors. The city is home to an LGBT community center and library, groups for LGBT veterans and business people, and annual events including an international film festival timed to celebrate National Coming Out Day.
LGBT culture in Midtown Sacramento
The Midtown area is home to the city’s Lavender Heights neighborhood, an area well-known for gay-owned and LGBT-friendly businesses such as coffee houses, restaurants, nightclubs, shops, and the Midtown Farmer’s Market. Lavender Heights is also where you’ll find the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, sometimes referred to as “The Lambda” by locals. The center serves a 9-county area with social, arts, and support programs for youth, seniors, veterans, and the community at large.
Support groups and social opportunities
Ten community groups meet regularly at the community center for support, sharing, and meeting new people. These groups include
- The Seniors Together group, a weekly group for discussions on elder issues such as finding safe and appropriate housing, health, and ways the senior LGBT community can be better served.
- The Armed Forces group, a monthly social and support gathering of LGBT active-duty service members, veterans, and their families.
- The Strength in Numbers group, which hosts monthly potluck evenings and provides outreach and support for community members living with HIV and AIDS.
The center also offers health services such as provider referrals and assistance applying for state-sponsored healthcare programs. Trainings on basic LGBT cultural competency, trans awareness, domestic and sexual violence, and other topics are available for regional businesses, healthcare providers, educators, and law enforcement.
Other Sacramento LGBT groups include the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, which offers professional networking and legislative lobbying services, and the Sacramento Valley Veterans, for LGBT former service members. SVV meetings are usually held at the Lavender Library, an LGBTQI lending library that also hosts community events and book clubs.
LGBT events around Sacramento
Every month, Second SaturGay at the community center features local artists and performers. It’s a free evening event held in conjunction with Midtown Second Saturday Art Walk. Each month has a theme, and every month has refreshments and the opportunity to meet likeminded arts patrons.
Sacramento Pride happens every June, with a parade and a festival on the Capitol Mall.
Labor Day Weekend means it’s time for the Sacramento Rainbow Festival, a community fundraiser block party featuring live music, celebrity drag queens, talent shows, and karaoke.
The Sacramento International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival runs every October to coincide with National Coming Out Day. Now in its 23rd year, the event raises funds for the LGBT community center and for groups serving homeless youth and people of color.
Laying the groundwork for LGBT senior housing
Safe, respectful, and affordable housing for LGBT elders is in short supply everywhere, but the Rainbow Village non-profit group is working to change that in Sacramento. The group is starting out by lining up support and funding resources, with the goal of eventually building a senior housing complex similar to groundbreaking LGBT senior communities in Los Angeles and Chicago. In the meantime, housing referrals are available through the LGBT Community Center.
Learn more about Sacramento Senior Living here:
Find assisted living in Sacramento near you.