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LESBIANS OVER AGE FIFTY (L.O.A.F.)

When Arden Eversmeyer found herself alone after the death of her life partner of 33 years she realized there were no support groups or social structures for lesbians in mid-life or older. As a result on the third Sunday of October in 1987, she formed a new Houston organization named Lesbians Over Age Fifty (LOAF). Their mission statement described LOAF as a "social networking and support group for women 50 years of age and older, and their partners, whatever their age."

There was a monthly newsletter, a third Sunday Meet 'N Greet, and a monthly social event. Funds were used for the newsletter and meeting place rental.
Activities varied including homemade ice cream socials, picnics, summer pool parties, attending TUTS Broadway musicals, country dancing, lunch brunches, camp outs, bus trips, holiday parties, and lots of pot-lucks.

LOAF entered their first Pride Parade in 1989, and participated continuously until 2014. In 2010 they entered their first float, and won awards for four consecutive years. LOAF was incorporated in 1990, and the non-profit status was completed in 1991.

The LOAF Lending Library was started with Eversmeyer's collection of lesbian material, including many rare titles. Over the years other women donated books and collections, forming a library of feminist, fantasy/sci-fi, poetry, periodicals, and also women's music and videos, and even some original "pulp" books. The collection was transferred in 2017 as a special collection to the Cushing Library at Texas A&M University.

LOAF worked proactively for the betterment of mid-life and older lesbians. Members participated in the Texas Lesbian Conference from 1987 to 2004, in the National Lesbian Conference in Atlanta in 1991, and PFLAG's Healing the Hurt Conference in 1994. In 2013 they participated in a conference sponsored by the Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project called "Celebrating Our Lesbian Legacies," held in Houston. LOAF members have appeared in documentaries, radio shows and panel discussions.

In 2017 in LOAF's 30th year of existence, membership continued to hold at about 150 lesbians between the ages of 50 and 92, but as always it comes down to the human element. As more women come out of the closet, or find themselves alone, LOAF provides a safe haven for lesbians to have social interactions, important to their mental and physical well-being. This is a challenge LOAF will continue to strive to meet.

L.O.A,F. Website