When Ed moved back to Frederick to take care of his sick mother in 2021, he felt like he had just pressed the reboot button on his life.

“I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘I’m 65, single again, and living in my mother’s basement’,” he chuckled. “That didn’t make me sound very appealing, I think.”

Shortly after retiring in 2021, Ed received a call letting him know that his mother had just suffered a traumatic stroke. The severity of the injury meant she could no longer live alone. So Ed decided to move home to take care of her. The hardest part, he said, was giving up a 28-year relationship with his partner to move back. The distance was too much for both of them.

Rebuilding a social life after a big move is never easy. Now alone in a new state, with only his mother and her older neighbors as company, Ed’s social life shrunk to a street block. “I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t even know where to begin looking.” He shared.

A few months after his move, Ed joined an HIV support group through the Frederick County Health Department. One of its facilitators told him about Aging with Pride.

Aging with Pride is a weekly, Wednesday morning coffee and social group for LGBTQ+ community members ages 55 and up. The group started near the tail end of the pandemic when older members of our community reached out to The Frederick Center and said they were struggling to find social opportunities, especially with fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community. Members gather for a few hours each Wednesday morning to share community, network, and socialize. It quickly became so popular that it went from being a biweekly event to a weekly event.

Soon after joining Aging With Pride, Ed found himself going out more. “People were inviting me to dinners, brunches, trivia nights. Our friendships extend outside the coffee hour,” He explained. He even changed his schedule to ensure he never scheduled a doctor’s appointment during Aging with Pride.

“This group is everything to me.” He shared. “The Frederick Center made me realize I could care for my mother and still have a life. Without The Frederick Center, without Aging With Pride, I would probably just be sitting at home alone.”

The Frederick Center exists so that no member of the LGBTQ+ community has to feel alone. Thank you for all you do to help us be a place of welcome and love for our LGBTQIA+ community.