Older people in the LGBTQ+ community have said they feel “excluded and isolated” at being left behind by a “youth-celebrating culture”.
According to the charity Open Doors, people over 50 “feel less visible, particularly within the gay community” because they are “less likely to have family networks”.
They also claim that older queer people are less likely to turn to outside support networks due to “distrust of the system.”
John Campbell, 64, who identifies as androsexual, told Metro.co.uk: “My experience as an older member of the LGBTQ+ community has been a little trying at times due to the amount of emotional trauma over the past 40 years that may never happen. ‘ be fully healed.
“Sometimes I feel left out of the community as it’s mostly geared towards younger people.”
A large part of this is due to the fact that many older generations were lost to the AIDS pandemic.
“It wiped out a generation of doers and left trauma for so many,” John said.
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Growing up in a “less accepting society” can also make people feel cut off from the younger generation.
Angela, 59, a trans woman, said: “I’ve only been my authentic self for a few years and have had the uncomfortable experiences that come with a life of hiding, self-denial, guilt and shame, and the somewhat traumatic experiences of finding yourself late in life to come out to family, friends and colleagues.
“The majority of people my age or older have lived through different times and share common experiences and feelings associated with a far less accepting society.”
“Being known as LGBTQ+ is less scary than it ever was when I was growing up in the 1970s, 80s and even 90s.”
Now charities are calling for better education and understanding to help those who feel isolated.
Jonathan of Opening Doors UK, the only UK charity dedicated to LGBTQ+ people aged 50 and over, said networks need to stop building support systems that assume everyone is straight.
He said: “As we age, we become less visible in society and that’s especially true for the LGBTQ+ community.”
“We don’t have the same family networks and are increasingly cut off from social networks and services. “It can be quite a scary and unsettling experience.”
He added, “Growing up in an era where they are less tolerated, some of the activities that focus on remembrance – like remembrance cafes – aren’t always the best thing.”
“LGBTQ+ people also suffer from health inequalities, as they are more likely to struggle with alcohol and addiction – but they also trust the NHS less than straight people because they can remember a time when conversion therapy was available.”
“Everything is geared towards straight people without even knowing it.”
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