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Respect Your Elders: Strengthening Intergenerational Queer Communities

Event Date:

August 14, 2023 | 12:00 PM EDT TO 1:00 PM EDT


Mother Wit

Three Black trans women grieve the death of their matriarch and mentor, as they fight to achieve...

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Multiple Authors

“One of the most pernicious outcomes of homophobic narratives has been to rob us of our queer elders,” wrote grantee Rae Garringer for their Pulitzer Center-supported project, The Queens of Queen City. “This grief only deepens each time new legislation aimed at keeping queer and trans youth away from queer and trans adults is introduced in one state or another—bills aimed at unraveling the intergenerational connections we’ve worked so hard to claim.”

Join the Pulitzer Center on August 14, 2023, to discuss queer mentorships, families, and legacies. The lives of LGBTQ+ people are not always measured by getting married, having children, or becoming grandparents. “Our life spans are so different,” one woman told Vijayta Lalwani, writing for Indian outlet Queerbeat.

In the United States, a 2001 Administration on Aging study found that LGBT older adults are "20% less likely than their heterosexual peers to access government services such as housing assistance, meal programs, food stamps, and senior centers. [...] LGBT older adults are also more likely to delay seeking health care and to avoid continuous care from the same health provider, partly due to fear of stigma and discrimination.”

How do we strengthen community and institutional support across generations of queer people? 2023 Post Grad Reporting Fellows Te Shima Brennen and Rajvi Desai, grantee Vijayta Lalwani, and queer activists Maya Sharma and Keasha Houston will talk about their own experiences telling stories about, living, and loving queer alternatives. The event will be moderated by Pulitzer Center Outreach Coordinator Ethan Widlansky.

Meet the panelists:

  • Te Shima Brennen is a visual storyteller and journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. They are a 2023 Post-Grad Reporting Fellow from Columbia University. In 2022, Brennen was a 2022 Reuters Institute Fellow at the University of Oxford. Their work has been featured at festivals around the world, including NewFest, the Pan African Film Festival, BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival, Roze Filmdagen, and the Inside Out Film Festival.
  • Rajvi Desai is a non-binary South Asian filmmaker based in New York City. Desai is a 2023 Post Grad Reporting Fellow from Columbia University. He is also a current fellow at the Sundance Institute’s Transgender Possibilities Intensive. Brennen and Desai are collaborating on Mother Wit, a documentary, for their Pulitzer Center Fellowship. Mother Wit focuses on a Black trans community’s “unique approach to education, wisdom, and knowledge, instilled by their late matriarch LaTravious Collins.”
  • Keasha Houston is a member of the Crown Heights queer community and collaborator on the film Mother Wit.
  • Vijayta Lalwani is a freelance journalist based in India. She covers gender, labor rights, polarization, and political violence.
  • Maya Sharma, a feminist, is a writer by accident and queer activist by choice. Sharma collaborated with Lalwani on her Pulitzer Center-supported article, “Long Shadows in the Sunset.”


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LGBTQ+ Rights

LGBTQ+ Rights