Spain opens first gay retirement home

In an effort to stop LGBTI elderly people ‘returning to the closet’, Spain is building a special retirement home

Spain opens first gay retirement home
15 April 2014

Spain is opening its first gay retirement home in Madrid.

The 26 December Foundation, a Spanish organisation for the LGBT society, started the retirement home project because ‘as far as society is concerned, elderly LGBT don’t exist’.

The project is an attempt at stopping Spain’s elderly LGBT population from returning to the ‘closet’ in old age.

‘They don’t have children and grandchildren they can talk about and often they conceal their sexual orientation to avoid rejection,’ Federico Armenteros, president of 26 December Foundation, said.

Armenteros continued saying the home would be open for everyone, but would specialise in elderly LGBTs.

‘We’re not going to ask you who you sleep with when you apply,’ he said.

‘Anyone can come, the only thing to bear in mind is that it specialises in elderly LGBTs. As it is, there are homes for ex-servicemen, nuns or retired workers from specific companies and no one says they are being discriminatory.’

The 26 December Foundation adopted its name from when Spain’s gay legislation was reformed in 1978.

Before 1987, being gay in Spain was considered extremely dangerous and you risked prison or internment in re-education centers if it was discovered that you were gay.

Boti Garcia, president of Spain’s LGBT Federation said Spanish people still view gay people as young and therefore there is no place for the elderly.

‘There’s a tendency, as there is in society as a whole, to leave out the elderly,’ she said.

The retirement home is planned to open next year. 

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