A Gathering of Elders

GRIOT Circle




GRIOT (gre-o, gre’o, gre’ot) noun – From West African culture meaning storyteller, keeper of oral history of  the tribe or village and one who entertains with stories, poems, songs, and dances.

GRIOT (Gay Reunion In Our Time) Circle is a community based organization which addresses the needs of older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people of color.   Members of our community have been systematically overlooked and underserved and have endured discrimination and violence based on age, race, and sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity. Our mission is to counteract these damaging conditions by maintaining a safe space for elders, and providing programs and support systems designed to alleviate fear and isolation that affirm their lives and encourage self-empowerment.

Founded as an informal gathering of elders, GRIOT Circle was officially recognized as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) in 1996. GRIOT Circle remains the only organization exclusively dedicated to serving the needs of elder LGBTQ people of color. Most of our members reside in New York’s metropolitan area, though GRIOT has members throughout the country.  Nearly all our members are from modest-to-low-income households, and more than 50% are retired and on fixed incomes.  About 90% of GRIOT members identify as being black, African-American, or Caribbean-American, with the remaining 10 % identifying as Latino/a, Caucasian or other.

Please join with us at GRIOT Circle as we create an environment of joy, affirmation and community. We embrace ALL who walk through our doors.