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It can be hard to make friends later in life. For members of the LGBTQ community, who may face discrimination from their peers or might be navigating their sexual or gender identity for the first time, it can be especially challenging.

“The biggest issue we heard from our LGBTQ elders was loneliness,” said Jane Haskell, 29, LGBTQ community support counselor for EPIC, a local nonprofit health system that oversees the group. “To combat that, we wanted to offer a way to meet people that wasn’t on the apps or at a bar — and not to date, but just to make friends.”

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