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LGBT Aging: Widener to Explore the Issues with Humor and Truth

LGBT, aging, Widener Human Sexuality Studies, Widener social work, sexuality studies, social work, Julia Scotti, Tom Callahan

Comedian Julia Scotti and eldercare crisis manager Tom Callahan will present at an event focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender aging on March 16.

Chester, Pa. – Widener University's Sexuality and Aging Consortium is inviting the public to a high-energy event focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender aging on Friday, March 16. The event is meant to spark change through advocacy, comedy and networking.

The event – cosponsored by the consortium and the university's Center for Human Sexuality Studies and Center for Social Work Education – will be from 3:30 – 7 p.m. in the University Center Webb Room, 1821 E. 13th Street, Chester, Pennsylvania.

The event's keynote speaker is Julia Scotti, a 70-year-old transgender, high-octane comedian who earned quarter finalist status on Season 11 of NBC's America's Got Talent.

Scotti was named one of the 2015 Top Five Transgender Comedians by Advocate Magazine and one of the 2016 Top 50 Successful Transgender Americans You Should Know by the LGBTQ Nation. She was the first transgender female finalist in the New York Ladies of Laughter Competition.

Opening for Scotti will be eldercare crisis manager Tom Callahan, whose presentation "Even Fabulous Ages," is an overview of issues facing LGBT older adults. His talk combines sobering facts and rays of hope to create a "humorous cocktail conversation of staying fabulous while trying to hide those laugh lines," he notes.

Callahan is the host of a cable TV program called "Only Seniors," and is the director of senior living resources and elder care crisis manager for Archer Law Office, LLC. Prior to becoming an eldercare consultant, he spent 13 years working in all aspects of senior living. He now consults with adults in the Sandwich Generation—people between the ages of 40 and 60 who are caring for parents and their own children. He also works with national eldercare providers.

The event will end with a wine and cheese networking reception during which sexuality and aging research posters will be displayed by Widener students and alumni.

"We are very pleased that this event will kick off the consortium's annual speaker series," said Dr. Robin Goldberg-Glen, consortium co-president and associate professor of Social Work Education. "These presenters make topical issues accessible through their wisdom and wit, and they will draw attention to challenges that must be addressed as the older LGBT adult population increases."

The event is open to the public, students, professionals and semi-professionals. Continuing Education credits will be available to members of the National Association of Social Workers and American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

"This event will have something for everyone – humor, pathos, inspiration, education, advocacy, research and networking. Julia is hilarious, groundbreaking, and thought-provoking when she tackles aging, transgender, and other topics, and Tom warmly and engagingly addresses complex issues," said Dr. Melanie Davis, consortium co-president and sexuality education consultant.

Registration is $5 with a student identification card; $5 for retired older adults; and $30 for all others. Continuing Education credits cost an additional $25. Non-alcoholic beverages and refreshments will be served at no cost; a cash wine bar will also be available.

To register, visit The consortium can be reached at 610-499-4692 or

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener comprises seven schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees. Visit the university website,