State of the City Report

Approximately 7,650 people aged over 50 living in Manchester identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB), 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.

This report focuses on the needs of older LGB people in Manchester, discussing the available evidence on inequalities related to health and the wider determinants of health; setting out Manchester’s policy content in relation to older people; exploring the inclusion of older LGB people’s needs in service provision across Manchester; and recommending how this can be improved. ‘Older’ is a nebulous term defined variously by researchers, services and older people themselves. This report takes ‘older’ to mean individuals aged over 50 years, while recognising that it should not be used as an encompassing term; the needs of a 55 year old will be very different to those of an 85 year old, and this should be considered when implementing the report’s recommendations. Sexual orientation and age are not often discussed together, due perhaps to a mistaken assumption that older people do not have a sexuality. This report aims to challenge such assumptions by locating sexual orientation as an important characteristic that is part of in individual’s identity throughout their life, and highlighting the ways in which sexual identity can impact upon their life chances.