Susan Kocen

It seems typical that Susan Kocen didn’t want to furnish a head shot for her Queer Hero poster. Instead, she requested the collage from the Story Corps project she organized at Q Center, with the other people in the program. She’s in the collage, twice in the second row and twice in the fourth.

eRa screen gabSusan Kocen came to Q Center in September 2012, as their brand-new Senior Services Coordinator. She created the *eRa* program (encouraging respect for aging) pretty much out of nothing, figuring out what to do and then attracting her clientele – the seldom-documented, seldom-served population of LGBTQ elders.

Susan’s background is eclectic and cosmopolitan. She studied textile design as an under-graduate in England, and as a post-graduate at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad in India. She has work experience as a textile designer, artist, organic food activist, and retailer. She also trained in and qualified for a Diploma in Applied Science, Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture.

She arrived at Q Center with all of the above, plus a diploma in Process Work and a fresh Master’s degree focused on Gerontology.

That sort of depth and breadth translated into extraordinarily quality in the offerings of *eRa* groups and programs. Writing and art workshops, discussion groups and presentations, the intergenerational program with middle schoolers, and even the gentle yoga for seniors have all been presented with professionalism, sensitivity and respect.

Personal and professional growth have called Susan away from Q Center, but it’s impressive what she leaves behind: a community of LGBTQ seniors with talents they didn’t know they had, and empowerment that will keep on giving.

Little GLAPN return

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