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Stonewall report: Older gay people at risk of loneliness

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  1. That the one thing about us we can find fault in others but we are happy to discriminate within. Older people are treated with contempt. It’s a pretty mean and nasty way to live

    1. Jock S. Trap 12 Sep 2011, 11:35am

      Thats certain true of some but definitely not most.

      1. I think you will find that most older people are shunned or scorned. How many people mock older men who go cruising or go eww when an older man is dating a younger man. It’s casual discrimination and its accepted as the norm

        1. Jock S. Trap 12 Sep 2011, 2:43pm

          Again though, your still talking about a small minded minority, not a majority of people who are willing to do something no matter how big a part or how small in helping.

          1. No it’s the majority that call the quebec an elephnats graveyard

        2. But James! is it really that different from the way non-gay old people are treated? There’s nothing uniquely blameworthy about the attitudes many gay people have about the elderly.
          .
          And I know a number of gay men in their 60s and 70s who have pretty satisfying social lives, with friends of all ages. Sure, they may not feel especially comfortable in a gay bar, but then none of those I’m thinking of would want to go to such venues in the first place.

          1. Jock S. Trap 13 Sep 2011, 12:02pm

            Indeed Rehan. Good comment.

          2. It’s true it’s a cultural thing. Some cultures respect elders this is not one of them. I wish for the days when we lead the way instead of following

  2. Senior gays have been paying taxes all their lives and they deserve the best of social services.

    1. Jock S. Trap 12 Sep 2011, 11:36am

      Exactly. Sure the answer is simple, Respect our Elders.

  3. As a 53yo Gay7 man I realise I am lucky enough to have both a wonderful partner AND a son. Recently I watch this film documentary, it outlines the problem of older LGBT perfectly

    1. Mary Flying Eagle 15 Sep 2011, 9:47pm

      Thank you Shane, for posting this site address, much help to me, and I am sure many others.
      Elders in the lesbian/gay community. Open secret, Seldom mentioned.

  4. Ive been saying this for years…there is an ignorance within nursing home care of LGBT issues. I have a friend whos partner ran away from a nursing home because of inbred homophobia amongst the staff and residents. Also there are no lgbt specific nursing homes in the UK or gay friendly ones. Most nursing homes do not even know if they have any gay residents. There is an ignorance in assuming sexuality doesnt exist in elderly LGBT people. I wish I could find a job in this area as I would really want to champion this cause.

    1. Jock S. Trap 12 Sep 2011, 11:42am

      Agreed and I can see an opportunity for nursing homes that specifically cater for members of the LGBTQI community but against those who harp on about why the need for a Gay nursing home when the evidence is quite clear why.
      -
      Sadly we live in a ere where the Elders still now feel they have to hide who they are because of past ignorance. Hopefully as the generation that grows old since 1967 that will become less and less and with each generation that gets better and better.
      -
      The biggest problem is getting the right staff too. If people are in care, for older age they should never have to hide themselves and hopefully this will, eventually, get become standard. The respect of the resident(s).

      1. David Myers 13 Sep 2011, 8:07am

        Jock, you are so totally right. We have to work on “liberating” and raising consciousness in retirement homes (of both straight residendts and staff), just as we have to address homophobia and bullying in schools. The film that Shane linked to (at least four minutes of it) is called “Gen Silent” and we just saw it at our Vancouver Queer Film Festival. It is exceptionally well done and very emotional. I fully recommend it.

    2. Without in any way diminishing the failings of provision for LGB people, I must point out that Stonewall have again done their usual trick of erasing the equal (but probably significantly different, according to the many diverse communities and individuals swept up under the T label) shortcomings for T people. When most people expect that such reports will cover T, Stonewall gives the impression they have done that and found no problems. Instead they should always make clear that they, unusually, are forbidden by their founding articles from considering T issues. Even when LGB people are of T history.

  5. Jock S. Trap 12 Sep 2011, 11:34am

    It is very sad that these facts show how society needs to change away from the religious dominance to exclude others because of how they were born.
    -
    Luckily we have a society growing with a better understanding of humanity and a better caring of people to help those in need.
    -
    Of course a lot of the problem as well is that older people are less likely to ask for help as they don’t want to feel they are putting people out.
    -
    This is why we need a better care system that people can rely on and ask instead of waiting to be asked for help. Though for pity sake LGBTQI people do pay taxes too. They also have pension plans. We should never be excluded when we have Equally paid for our old age.
    -
    In all there are plenty of people in there old age, men, women, Straight, Gay, Lesbian etc who are alone, so again the answer is give people what they have contributed to most of their lives.

  6. Arijit Stocking 12 Sep 2011, 1:57pm

    As a 68 year old and original member of GLF we oldies are not welcome in gay venues due to ageism although began the campaign for equality. It would be good to have a visitation service such as offered to PWAs. The thought of eventual residential care is daunting who have been described as the invisibale and silent minority. But even worse if you are a gay Asian or Black in these circumstances.

    1. As I said we know whats wrong with everyone except ourselves

      1. Staircase2 13 Sep 2011, 3:35am

        …Its called ‘oppression’
        as in “oppression fvcks people up – and the more layers of oppression a person has experienced/endured, the more multiply fvcked up they’re likely to be”

        So the more ill someone’s behaviour is towards others, the more oppressed they’ve been (ie the more illness they have that needs healing)

    2. David Myers 13 Sep 2011, 8:09am

      Unfortunately many, including some of us who fought for gay liberation, end up going back into the closet in a resthome for fear, safety, or to avoid even more social isolation and prejudice.

  7. Robert J Brown 12 Sep 2011, 4:32pm

    Once again Stonewall are duplicating research that has already been conducted. Once again Stonewall is taking away funds from organisations who are leading the way. Age UK’s Opening Doors and Opening Doors East programmes conducted a research paper a couple of years ago that was released last year.

    1. Staircase2 13 Sep 2011, 3:36am

      Not sure what your point is….
      Or why ‘duplicating research’ is a bad thing as opposed to a good thing…

  8. Spanner1960 12 Sep 2011, 4:43pm

    What “risk” is the in loneliness?
    You are only lonely if you choose to be.
    I go for days, even weeks without meeting or even speaking to a soul, and that’s the way I like it. Learn to enjoy one’s own company. Everybody else just gets in the way.

    1. Spanner1960: I wouldn’t recomment misanthropy as a way forward. We need more organisations like Age UK’s Opening Doors to build friendship networks and social groups for older LGBT people. I have already volunteered for the Wandsworth one.

  9. Shouldn’t we include the link to the charity that’s trying to do something about this?
    openingdoorslondon.org.uk
    It was reported on a week or so ago.
    As soon as I have an evening a week reliably again, I’m signing up.

    1. Take a look at http://www.rorysboys.com
      It’s a novel about the UK’s first retirement home for gay men.
      Fiction, yes, but highly amusing and it highlights the serious issues involved. Hit No 1 on Amazon gay fiction when published in June

  10. Mary Flying Eagle 13 Sep 2011, 1:24am

    As the rule, not the exception, lesbian/gay elders, in our community are the forgotten ones . Many fought for rights/freedom taken so for granted by lesbians/gays of today,we wear the scars,have not forgotten the pain of early struggles. Blame? there is no blame, only saddness, and yes, lonelines.
    There is no place that welcomes us in our exit years Retirement homes, that cater to straights, can be more danger to lesbian/gay elders, than the church/street bullies.Many lesbian/ gay elders, disabled, ill,homeless, hungry,a broken people, once proud in the fight, now unseen in our own community.

  11. littlebadwolf 13 Sep 2011, 2:49am

    even the most ordinary of heterosexual families fight, and members die off. while we still can, we must reinforce our ‘families of affinity’ by sharing and doing, both within and outside the gay community. there’s no personal ‘fault’ to being lonely, but there are things to do to prepare for later years.

  12. All part & parcel of society’s anti-gay prejudice: if gays were allowed the simply human right of marriage, they would have SPOUSES in their old age like us straight people!

    1. Unfortunately, even with civil partnerships having been available for a few years, it will be decades before there is any chance of LGB and T people having spouses like that. Most couples pair up and marry by the age of 30, and most of us were cruelly and deliberately denied that – along with the ability to adopt or bear children, and often the love and support of our birth families too – in those years, and are never likely to have the chance to create such networks now, even if equal marriage were introduced in the morning, never mind delayed for some stupid consultation and whatever other excuse.

  13. Depression is a scam to sell pills and make the head shrinkers money don’t fall for it, remember these are some of the same people who are working for the Christians to sell their “pray the gay away”, gay treatments, that don’t work either. It is all a scam done by psychiatrist who don’t really help like they say they do. They are a fraud and a scam. Now having said that do what they do everywhere start older gay senior groups where they get together and play games and paint pictures and drink coffee and talk about when they were young. This way they can enjoy what life they have left with people who love and understand them. They can call the Gay Senior Centers and get government funding and support from companies who sell stuff to older people.
    Someday we will all be old and will need someone to talk to and a place to go. The sad truth is most Senior Center are not gay friendly today. This area needs attention and equal rights too, LGBT people. My uncle is a gay senior so I know.

    1. David Myers 13 Sep 2011, 8:15am

      Yes it does need attention, action, and a demand for the rights of older gays and lesbians for basic human compassion and equal treatment by both other residents and staff. Some of these people led the charge for gay lesbian rights that all benefit from now, so payback should be easy. Demand equal treatment with respect for our elderly gays and lesbians.

    2. Cpt kibbles 13 Sep 2011, 10:42am

      ‘Depression is a scam to sell pills and make the head shrinkers money don’t fall for it’

      what evidence do u have for this? as far as im aware no major medical body would agree with this statment, i would say the issue with antidepressants is open to discussion yes as many studies seems to have been inflated on their effectivenes and may well be considered little more than a placebo but thats a seperate issue as no studies have ever suggested that depression does not exist

  14. AIDS Part II
    Those gay men who survived the AIDS massacre 30 years ago are now in their 50s and 60s. Obviously, those who died have reduced the numbers of gay men – already a minority – entering retirement. Meanwhile, the homophobes didn’t face the same death toll. Result: the reduced minority of gay men can expect even more of the bullying and physical abuse they endured but for two or three decades. Golden years?!

  15. I read the story with great interest then read ALL the comments. Very interesting to see in black and white and confirms even more why I launched my website almost a year ago.

    I look forward to staying on top of this issue.

  16. G’day All, I’m an older gay male & in my experience until recently I’d say this is correct, older gays are derided by many younger gays.
    I was actually made look stupid & made feel out of place at a gay function by a drag queen.
    I have joined a gay car club called Motafrenz & since joining this I’ve found the members of all ages to be friendly & I was made feel right at home in their midst. So even though there seems to be bad vibes in the general gay community I’m happy in this club.

  17. lol – Well I’ve just entered my 50s so perhaps I should be looking forward to a bleak old age, judging by some of these comments! It’s true that some younger guys make fun of the older guys but then again, ‘ancient’ to a late teen/early 20′s can be a young as late 20′s early 30′s! On the other hand, there are younger guys who actively hit on older guys, attracted by emotional security, experience & lets face it sometimes by money too. Reducing isolation isn’t just about sexuality & barriers is about feeling good about yourself & finding ways to overcome barriers & that applies across the board. In older age, it’s about being active & engaged in the world. I think its easy to take on a victim role, I hope that older LGBT people (including myself) don’t do that but get active and organised to support one another. I also hope we get out there into the wider community and don’t just sit within our own. As survivors of the AIDS years, we’ve already shown we’ve got what it takes.

  18. You judge how civilised a society is by how it treats children and older people. Ours does not have a particularly good record on either. That reflects of course on how older LGBT people are treated.

    I recently volunteered for the Wandsworth branch of Age UK’s Opening Doors project for older LGBT people. This is a pretty good set up for building friendship networks and social groups to combat isolation and loneliness. Most LGBT social venues are geared to the needs of younger people and are often uninviting places for us Goldies (Golden Oldies) so it is refreshing to be able to organise events just for us.

  19. I am a gay mature man and desperately alone as my civil partner who is twenty years junior than I with a Masters degree is in China. The intolerance towards gay men is increased tenfold toward the mature gay, and it is alas the gay community that shun us. No organisation supports us either. Such is the loneliness that I have contemplated suicide, and will most probably end my life that way. Let’s face it death is a release from living as a pariah, alone, ignored !

  20. I’m only 46, I wouldn’t class myself as old, but I am very lonely.

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