From San Francisco Village Board Co-Chair, Bill Haskell –
Like many gay men of my generation, I moved to San Francisco to find a home that welcomed me – a place where I knew I belonged. During the AIDS epidemic, our sense of community was shattered. We lost too many friends to count. For those of us who survived, we’ve had to recreate connections to continue feeling at home in San Francisco.
As my partner, Bob, and I get older we realize that those connections require some effort on our part, so we joined San Francisco Village (SFV) about four years ago – a community of older adults who see themselves as active participants in creating their own future. We’ve discovered a renewed sense of purpose, meaningful friendships, resources for the journey ahead and confidence that we can age in the home we cherish.
Most notably, at SFV I’ve found a haven for my talent and curiosity. I’m invited to share what I know and learn from people I otherwise never would’ve met. It’s important to me that SFV aspires to reflect the diversity of San Francisco and warmly embraces LGBTQ people as members, volunteers, staff and directors of the board. We are part of the fabric of this organization: multi-cultural, gay and straight, and intergenerational.
I’ve been privileged to work with other members on developing programs that explore new possibilities at this time of life: the intersection of health care and social care; creating narratives that reflect who we are now; and aging as a spiritual practice. For Pride month, SFV is sponsoring Stonewall Outloud: StoryCorps interviews with LGBTQ Elders, which will become a part of American history at the Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
I can’t imagine my life without the connections and friendships I’ve made because of San Francisco Village. As a gay man in my early 70’s, I know that I belong, that I’m valued, recognized and needed.
For information on how to join San Francisco Village as a member or volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 387-1375 x 2.