SAGE Case Study
SAGE - Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders is America's oldest and largest non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults, focusing on the issue of LGBT aging.
In a world where both LGBT and senior citizens are pushed to society’s margins, SAGE—a national organization that provides advocacy and services for aging LGBT individuals—is fighting a battle against invisibility on two fronts. Known for their loving, service-oriented approach to the fight against ageism and homophobia, SAGE came to Siegelvision in search of a compelling way to communicate who they are and what they do. They needed a clarion call for their organization—one that’s impossible to ignore.
A crucial part of the LGBT community’s DNA is an ongoing struggle for equality, so we rooted our approach in this organic, activist set of values. Elder members of the LGBT community made the first real strides in the fight for civil rights, and their presence in the community is as important and vital as ever. It was in applying this grassroots movement ethos to SAGE’s efforts that we arrived at the organization’s new tagline, a tagline we could easily imagine seeing on a handmade protest sign:
WE REFUSE TO BE INVISIBLE.
To emphasize SAGE’s identity as loving, caring activists, we complemented this tagline with a new visual identity inspired by the DIY energy of grassroots protest movements. And, since every movement needs a flag, we added a silver stripe to the traditional rainbow flag to represent the importance of LGBT community elders.
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Empowered by their positioning as a national activist organization and galvanized by the election of the current administration and its reinvigorated hostility towards the LGBT community, SAGE and Siegelvision created a print and digital campaign to raise awareness and combat attempted rollbacks of LGBT rights.
When it was announced that the administration intended to exclude LGBT categories from The National Survey of Older Americans, SAGE responded with a bold online petition urging all Americans to unite in opposition to this hostility. The response was immediate and overwhelming. The Administration of Aging was bombarded with the second highest concentration of public comments they had ever received, and they listened. The Administration put LGBT categories back on the survey, but removed a question pertaining to gender identity. SAGE pushed back again with another petition focused on reinstate trans elders, paired with op-eds in prominent LGBT publications, and a social media campaign. This reached 424,513 people across social media channels and was picked up nationally, featured in 11 different online publications. The campaign’s hashtag #WeRefuseToBeInvisible permeated Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The hashtag was so powerful, that an NYU School of Social Work student did a report on its reach for a report! The campaign generated 6,000 comments in 30 days, even quicker than the first campaign.
Siegelvision’s branding work has created a rallying cry and identity for the organization that’s helping the organization define itself and an entire movement.