Pam Murphy is a Policy Advisor with the Privy Council Office, LGBTQ2 Secretariat. Throughout her 10 year career in the public service, Pam has worked to promote the use of intersectional analysis to improve public policy outcomes for vulnerable or under-served populations. In addition to providing training on Gender Based Analysis plus (GBA+) to federal public servants, Pam has presented on the importance of intersectional analysis to audiences from the OECD and the ILO. Pam previously worked at Employment and Social Development Canada and Status of Women Canada, following a career in community-based social work.
Older LGBTQ2 People: A Canadian Perspective
Martin Krajcik a Human Rights instructor, MSW, delivers workshops for social workers, PSWs, police officers, teachers, school administrators and members of the public with the goal to create safer and accepting spaces and communities for LGBTQ people to make their lives visible and celebrated. Currently working with the Egale Canada Human Rights Trust as a Seniors Projects Officer, on the older LGBTQ adults’ projects with Egale’s National Seniors Advisory Council.
Arne Stinchcombe is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Human Sciences at Saint Paul University (Ottawa). He maintains expertise in psychosocial aspects of health, aging, and older adulthood. He is interested in understanding psychosocial factors that promote older adults’ continued participation in society. Current research projects are focused on understanding the psychosocial determinants of physical and mental health in older age. In particular, his research is exploring health inequalities among aging sexual and gender minorities in Canada. Dr. Stinchcombe is a member of Compassionate Ottawa’s Champion Circle. Through teaching and research, he seeks to value the diverse experiences of older Canadians.
Kimberley Wilson is an Assistant Professor in Adult Development & Aging in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition at the University of Guelph. As a social gerontologist, Dr. Wilson’s program of research is broadly focused on health and well-being for aging individuals and aging populations. In particular, Dr. Wilson’s current research is focused on understanding and accounting for diverse experiences of aging, including those of LGBTQ+ older adults and those aging with dementia and mental illness.
This symposium will highlight key issues affecting the older LGBTQ2 population in Canada. The Government of Canada’s approach in addressing issues faced by older LGBTQ2 people will also be discussed.
Despite the recent shift towards the improved recognition of rights of LGBTQ2 individuals and greater sensitization of LGBTQ2 issues, older LGBTQ2 people continue to experience stigma and discrimination in many aspects of social, cultural and economic life. Contrary to their younger counterparts, older LGBTQ2 people experience additional discrimination because they also face ageist attitudes. These attitudes towards older Canadians outside and within LGBTQ2 communities contribute to older LGBTQ2 people feeling less welcome and more disconnected from their local communities as they age, leaving them at greater risk of social isolation.
Older LGBTQ2 people are more likely to be single, live alone and be estranged from their biological families. They often rely on friends or their chosen family to form their network of support instead of their biological family. Furthermore, the “re-closeting” phenomenon among older LGBTQ2 people increases with age as they try to access health services and housing in retirement and/or long term care residence. As discrimination towards this population is widespread in the health care system, especially in long-term care facilities, older LGBTQ2 people often avoid seeking the services, programs and support they need because of concerns of further discrimination.
The subject matter experts will present their respective work as it pertains to various aspects related to issues facing older LGBTQ2 people.
Pam Murphy, Privy Council Office, LGBTQ2 Secretariat, Government of Canada
Government of Canada’s approach to addressing issues and inequalities faced by LGBTQ2 Canadians
The LGBTQ2 Secretariat, a newly established body within the Government of Canada, will provide an overview of the Government of Canada’s approach to addressing issues and inequalities faced by LGBTQ2 Canadians, with a particular focus on older LGBTQ2 persons living in Canada. The presentation will highlight key initiatives to date, including those to address historical injustices, as well as consider how LGBTQ2 issues fit within the government’s broader priorities on diversity and inclusion. The presentation will also provide an overview of the LGBTQ2 Secretariat, its role supporting the Prime Minister’s Special Advisor on LGBTQ2 issues and its function within the federal government. The presentation will conclude with a forward-looking discussion on priorities for 2019 and beyond.
Martin Krajcik, Egale Canada Human Rights Trust
leZlie lee kam, Egale Canada Human Rights Trust
Community engagement consult with LGBTI Seniors in Canada
Egale developed a Community Engagement Consult for LGBTQI seniors to investigate the pressing issues facing LGBTQI seniors across Canada. This project was a collaborative effort between Egale Canada, LGBTQI seniors, community organizations, and Egale’s National Seniors Advisory Council.
Despite the fact that LGBTQI Seniors live among our communities, very little data exists that can speak to these experiences on the national level. To address this gap, Egale hosted an LGBTQI Seniors Knowledge Sharing Forum in Toronto, ON to identify key issues and make recommendations for the ways that government, institutions, and communities can take action to improve the wellbeing of LGBQTI older adults. Conversations generated from the Knowledge Sharing Forum were extended to an Online Consultation Workbook that was launched nationally.
Through presenting of the issues and recommendations gathered, we hope that health practitioners, policy makers, seniors’ communities and allies will find these results informative and use them to create positive change in their own community.
Arne Stinchcombe, Saint Paul University
Kimberley Wilson, University of Guelph
Towards a more inclusive aging experience: research highlights on LGBT aging in Canada
As Canada’s population ages, it is imperative that diversity is considered in the health and social environments. In this presentation, we will highlight key findings from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) funded research project “Valuing the perspectives of LGBT older adults: an evidence-based approach to developing research and policy agendas.” In this project, focus groups were held with LGBT older adults from across Canada with goal of understanding their aging experiences. Additionally, we will present the results of a systematic search and review that examined the body of existing Canadian literature focused on LGBT aging. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with the research team and participate in discussions on building an inclusive research and policy agenda that responds to the needs of LGBT older adults in Canada.