Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Ageing and gay

Recently a Radio 4 programme highlighted the issues of identity in relation to older gay and lesbian people finding suitable accommodation in care homes and sheltered housing schemes. The programme included a broad discussion of the difficulties gay and lesbian people face in being open about their sexuality in predominantly heterosexual care settimgs. Contributors to the programme spoke about their concerns around being accepted and how, for some, this in fact meant they had to camouflage or deny their sexuality. This is a 'hidden' issue and I was struck by the way in which some older gay and lesbian people would feel they were trapped and excluded by being different to the majority. The potential for social isolation came across strongly and I was left feeling a sense of sadness that being gay in old age is something that might have to be covered up.