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a group of older adults and two younger women smiling around a table

Pasadena Village is and always has been an inclusive environment. It’s in our original founding values statement and part of  our current  strategic plan. Some of our members established an LGBTQ+ group that meets for lunch monthly for mutual support.


The current LGBTQ+ generation joining the Pasadena Village has lived through turbulent, scary, and exciting times. The post-World War II generation grew restless with the prevailing social mores and challenged the restrictions that mandated how to live and love, which led to multiple ‘liberation’ movements: the Hippies, the Yippies, Black Pride, Hispanic Pride, Women’s Liberation, Gay Liberation, and to top it all off, the Vietnam War protests. The Boomer generation, the largest ever, couldn’t shut up.

Now, the vanguard of that generation is slipping into retirement and changing how we live as the elders of society. That change encompasses all the previous social movements that re- shaped society, including the current Pride consciousness. After the struggle they went through, older LGBTQ+ people are not going back into the closet for anyone.

This journey has been different for each of us. Some never married, some had heterosexual marriages, and some have same-sex marriages. Some never had children, some did. Some lived open queer lives, some quasi-open lives, and some remained quietly in the closet. Now, some are long-time singles, some have longterm same-sex partners, and some currently don’t have any partner. Some are divorced, some not. Regardless of status, The Village welcomes all and invites you to participate in forging a new way to live older and wiser, without any uncomfortable attitudinal baggage.

text reading "everyone is welcome here" in rainbow colors

Pasadena Village does not provide health services or financial services, but does include a group of people who are dealing with the same issues that can share information and help navigate through a difficult environment. Pasadena Village is, at its core, a network that is a welcoming community and that is open to fulfilling that need.

image of an older adult talking at a seminar


Member Wayne April recently (April 2023) traveled back to his alma mater to receive an award as the founder 50 years ago of the college’s first Gay Students Organization (GSO). The Diversity Hall of Fame Alumni Award was presented by the University of New Hampshire (UNH) at the annual Pancake Breakfast that celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride on the state’s largest campus.

Wayne was the student who stepped up and gave voice to the invisible LGBTQ+ students at UNH in 1973, an event recounted in a UNH Magazine story (Spring 2011). The ensuing brouhaha led to lawsuits from New Hampshire’s prejudiced politicos, resulting in a landmark court win for the GSO, which established a legal precedent for allowing gay student organizations on any campus that benefits from federal funds.

Wayne later went on to help found one of San Francisco’s first assisted-living residences for people with AIDS during the height of the epidemic in the early 1990s. It was a time when other facilities refused to take HIV-positive people for fear of contagion. The Richard M Cohen Residence still serves the HIV-positive community despite the current life-saving AIDS treatments.

Photo at left: Wayne April at the 2023 Pride Pancake Breakfast


In addition to the various activities and committees that our members participate in to get to know one another, we introduce many of our members through a program we refer to as Member Connections. Another of our prominent members, Jeff Gutstadt, recently gave us a presentation describing his career as a Forensic Pathologist. The video of his presentation is available on our YouTube channel for viewing and can be accessed from the blog post.

Our members express, in their different voices, what being a part of the Village means to them in the Village Voices topic in our blog. Some examples include:

“I’ve been a member of the Pasadena Village for more than six years now. When I joined I said I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, to meet new people and do new things...The Village has really helped me and been very supportive of me.”

“My family did not live in Southern California and, with retirement, the socialization with work colleagues quickly declined. I hoped to find a social community. I found what I was looking for and more. I found an energetic group of people on a mission to create a supportive community.”

“I became a Villager in spite of the fact that I’m not a ‘joiner’. What I’ve discovered is that becoming a Villager, although there is an annual fee in order to support the important and necessary work, it is not a transactional commitment. Becoming a Villager is, at its core, becoming a part of a vital community of individuals who want to be part of my life and growth and be with me on this journey of aging."


Village People member Bruce Christiansen prepares for the Village's Men's Time Lunch


The Village’s Outreach Team looks for opportunities to represent the Village at local events, and has participated with a table two years in a row at Altadena’s Pride Walkabout. The Village People, the Village’s LGBTQ+ luncheon group, also recently donated $500 to the Pasadena Buddhist Temple to help pay for the damage caused by the burning of the Gay Pride flag they displayed on their fence. The Village also participates in the national Village-to-Village Network’s Rainbow Network meetings, which work on developing LGBTQ+ policy templates that can be used by other Villages.



Wherever you are at in the self-identification continuum, you are welcome at the Pasadena Village. We are all feeling our way through this last stage of our lives, and we invite you to participate in the ever-evolving process that includes living with grace, purpose, and pride. By addressing these issues head on and by creating a fostering environment, Pasadena Village continues to do everything it can to help all seniors age with dignity and support.

For more information about other benefits of the Pasadena Village, visit our Why Membership page.


Pasadena Village, 236 W. Mountain Street, #104, Pasadena, California 91103
626-765-6037 •