Celebrating the lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) elders

Each participant tells the story of their life at a public event in front of an audience and we capture it on video.

We are passionate about this work because LGBT elders tend to become even more invisible than their straight counterparts. 

Some are not out, some don’t think that their stories are important, some don't want to relive painful memories, some are estranged from their families. 

There are lots of reasons some people would hide but there are even more important reasons to share their stories -  for LGBT youth; to educate the general public; to celebrate our lives; and to remember the history of this important civil rights movement.

The series started in 2007 at Wingspan, Southern Arizona’s LGBT Community Center, when MJ, a volunteer for Senior Pride, suggested to Penelope Starr, Senior Programs Coordinator, that we start the Colorful Life project in order to preserve LGBT history and the stories of our elders.  With the help of some wonderful volunteers and Luanne Withee on the camera, we were able to make six videos in the next two years. 

Now we are going forward with the project into the future!  Contact us with suggestions for other local LGBT seniors to feature!



Contact us with the name of the next Colorful Life Storyteller


Luanne Withee,  principal photographer / videographer and editor

Patricia Woelke researcher and interviewer

Penelope Starr, producer and editor

See our bios here 

And the help of some wonderful volunteers: MJ, Carolyn, Merlin, Lee and more!

Maurice Grossman


Sunday April 18 at 2 p.m.

Ward 6 City Council office, 3202 E. 1st Street, Tucson  

Our Colorful Life  presenting a TWO for One talk by Ike Gaskin and Ken Cooper, together for 33 years.

Ike was born in Wyoming, beginning his life on a Montana homestead and grew up in Seattle. He spent 3 years in Turkey, 1 year in France, 4 years in Holland, and 7 years in Iran as a teacher. He met Ken when he moved to his company’s corporate offices in Chicago in 1977.  Ken was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Chicago.  He worked in Human Relations and Administrative Areas.


This unlikely couple with divergent  backgrounds, bought their first home after they had known each other 6 weeks (and they said it wouldn’t last. In 1984 Ike had an opportunity to go to Egypt, Ken joined him and they were there for 5 years.  Ken who had never been overseas before adopted quickly, and learned much more about “Ike’s world”.  In 1993, they settled in San Diego.

They became involved with a group called “COUPLES” a social organization for gay and lesbian couples, and shortly became the Chaircouple. Three years later, they became National Chaircouple for affiliated groups throughout the country.  Ike and Ken moved to Tucson in February 2004, and look forward to sharing some of their adventures and treasures with you.

 This event is free and open to all.

NEXT Colorful Life presents Ike Gaskin & Ken Cooper, partners for 33 years, on April 18, 2010

                                                                                                                           See below for details