by Crystal A. Proxmire on January 31, 2023
Ferndale, MI – Judy Lewis had been hearing stories of LGBTQ+ people going back in the closet as they aged, hiding their true selves and parts of their lives as they faced discrimination in healthcare and feared ostracization in assisted living centers. She heard about people removing themselves from certain mailing lists as they moved lest anyone know they were gay. And she knew the challenges of isolation for anyone as they age, particularly those in the LGBTQ+ community. Those stories are the reason she and others got together to form a group just to support the elders of the community.
It started out in 2010 as Sage Metro Detroit, and this year announced that because the national Sage organization is ceasing it’s affiliate program, they are now operating independently with the new name MiGen.
Lewis, who facilitates educational programs, joined MiGen Executive Director Angela Gabridge for an interview with Oakland County Times about the group.
“Our first year we had a budget of $5,000 and a whole lot of people supporting us, and we’ve grown from there,” Lewis said. “I am blown away but what we have done since 2010 quite frankly. And uncovering all the love and support we’ve got from so many people and so many organizations who really understand that its really just the right thing to do.”
MiGen offers many services including a food program, computer and technical support, friendly caller program, MiSocials (virtual and in person), arts programs, health related programs and support, events, referrals, and partner programs with other organizations. They are located inside Affirmations Community Center in Downtown Ferndale.