Half of older LGB people feel their sexuality has a negative impact on getting older

Published: 21 May 2015 Tags: Older, LGB, Report, State of the City, Manchester City Council, Research By John Walding

LGBT Foundation’s new report, The State of the City for Manchester's Older Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Communities has found that sadly, half of all lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people over 55 feel that their sexual orientation has or will have a negative impact on getting older.

There are at least 7,650 LGB people aged over 50 living in Manchester today and these communities experience specific health inequalities and care needs.

Older LGB people have grown up in a world hostile to their identities, and the impact of discrimination, homophobia and biphobia is felt as they age, experiencing an increased reliance on services, isolation from family and community, and a need to renegotiate their identities within the wider LGBT community.

The report focuses on the needs of older LGB people in Manchester and presents the evidence on inequalities related to health and the wider determinants of health, explores the inclusion of older LGB people’s needs in service provision across Manchester, and makes recommendations for how this can be improved.

Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation, said:
"As an Age Friendly City, Manchester is working to improve the lives of older LGB people, but you only have to look at the very low response rate to our survey of current service providers to see that much more needs to be done. Equalities should be front and centre of this work and meeting the needs of LGB people must be made a much clearer priority."

Sexual orientation and age are not often discussed together, due perhaps to a mistaken assumption that older people do not have a sexuality. The State of the City for Manchester's Older Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Communities challenges this by establishing sexual orientation as an important characteristic that is part of an individual’s identity throughout their life, and highlighting the ways in which sexual identity can impact upon their life chances.