Meet the Instructor

Gary “Buz” Hermes, MA is an LGBTQ+ Aging consultant with over thirty years of experience designing and implementing programs and services for the LGBTQ+ community. Having also spent many of those years studying empowering aging strategies, in 2017 Buz began bringing those strategies to his LGBTQ+ peers through the Santa Rosa Junior College’s Older Adults Program. In addition, Buz is a volunteer co-facilitator of Sonoma Valley LGBT Seniors and represents older LGBTQ+ adults on several social service planning efforts in Sonoma County where he lives.

Why A Special Class?

“Hidden, isolated, and underserved” is a phrase often used to describe many older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and other non-conforming adults. Hidden” because, despite greater cultural acceptance, our past histories of discrimination and alienation can cause us to continue to stay closeted. 

“Isolated” because many of us live alone, leading private lives without the support of partners and family members and thus are more at risk for loneliness and depression. 

“Underserved” because of our conditioned wariness of the response of others to our sexual orientation or gender identity and because not all providers are sensitive to our histories and concerns, we are reluctant to utilize programs and services we may need. The “Aging Gayfully!” classes are designed to address not only common aging concerns but also those unique additional aging challenges.

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