Despite the recent shift in a few countries towards greater acceptance of LGBTQI people and greater recognition of the need for tailored services for older LGBTQI individuals, this growing older population remains largely invisible and many still experience stigma and discrimination, negatively impacting their health and well-being. This Town Hall aims to draw attention to the inequalities experienced at the nexus of ageing and LGBTQI identities, as well as explore how that connection becomes more complex through additional forms of oppression such as culture, class, age, ethnicity, religion and ability.
A survey conducted in 2017 by International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) and RIWI, with the assistance of SAGE included a subset of questions related to older LGBTQI people. SAGE CEO Michael Adams will begin this Town Hall with a review of the ILGA Minorities Report 2017: Attitudes to sexual and gender minorities around the world data. As panelists, Brenda Appleton, Co-Chair of the Victoria, Australia LGBTI Taskforce and Jeffrey Walimbwa, Program Manager of Ishtar MSM in Kenya, will provide their personal and regional insight.
In addition to exploring the systemic inequalities, this session will also delve into the impact of ageism and age-based discrimination (internal and external) within the LGBTQI community. The loss of community many older LGBTQI people experience compounded with loneliness perpetuates the conditions of social isolation. Older LGBTQI people are also more likely to experience: discrimination when accessing services and poverty and financial instability due to laws and regulations impacting access to pensions, social security and other services important during retirement, as well as reduced access to safe and appropriate housing. To add context, panelists Panamanian Older Adult Human Rights Activist Angel Avila will share his life experiences and Frank Evelio Arteaga Flores of Bolivia will discuss his efforts developing initiatives to support ageing LGBTQI people.