Julie Bates PhD, is associate state director for AARP and the Interim Senior Advisor and National LGBT Liason. Julie strongly believes that as staff and as an organization, AARP is uniquely positioned to be a positive voice for LGBT Americans 50+. She has been actively engaged in the PRISM SEERG (AARP’s LGBTQ employee resource group) for many years and feels that we have the opportunity to shape both internal and external policy by being a strong voice in the association. Along with this, she is a Social Gerontologist who believes our elders’ experiences, throughout their life course, impact our understanding of aging. Her primary research focus is around America’s vital aging programs of Medicare, Social Security and the Affordable Care Act, ageism and Lesbian Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) elders. It is her goal as a Gerontologist to bring gerontology, life course theory, diversity, aging policy and the reduction of ageism out the esoteric into the main stream.