Prizm News / June 17, 2019 / By Ken Schneck
NBC News Recognizes an LBGTQ+ Dayton Change-Maker
By Ken Schneck
Dayton residents will see a familiar face on NBC News’ #Pride50, a list of change-makers, innovators, and rising stars. Alongside such luminaries as trans rights pioneer Marsha P. Johnson, legendary lesbian activists Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin, and literary icon James Baldwin, the list also features the extraordinary efforts of Jerry Mallicoat, co-founder of Rainbow Elder Care of Greater Dayton.
Inspired to come out of the closet following the 1978 assassination of his idol, Supervisor Harvey Milk, Mallicoat has been fighting for full LGBTQ+ rights in Ohio for decades. After caring for his own aging parents, he decided that more needed to be done to support LGBTQ+ elders who may not have children to assist them as they age. Alongside a few members of his church, Mallicoat created Rainbow Elder Care of a Greater Dayton to provide advocacy, educational resources, support and referral services to the elder LGBTQ+ community and straight allies in the Greater Dayton area in ways that affirmatively address their unique needs and enhance their quality of life.
“We have a beautiful, beautiful tapestry of humanity in the LGBTQ community,” Mallicoat said. “We have people from all communities, and for me, it’s important that we appreciate and recognize the contributions that all of those people have made on the journey to get us to where they are, and we have so much to thank them for and so much to learn from them.”
In addition to his work with LGBTQ+ elders, Mallicoat also serves as the LGBTQ health initiatives manager for Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County. A long-time survivor of HIV, Mallicoat spearheads efforts to both address the stark LGBTQ health disparities that exist in our community as well as educate service and health care providers to increase their LGBTQ cultural competence.
Prizm salutes Jerry Mallicoat on this wonderful recognition, alongside all of the LGBTQ+ elders in our community who have fought so hard to achieve all that we enjoy today.