Student plans gay retirement home in Canada

Student at Nova Scotia's Dalhousie University says LGBT elderly face homophobia in standard retirement homes

Student plans gay retirement home in Canada
03 September 2012 Print This Article

A student in Canada wants to set up a retirement home for gay pensioners to help end alienation and loneliness among many LGBT old people.

Alex Sangha is raising $25,000 for a feasibility study on the project, which is part of his masters degree in social work at Nova Scotia’s Dalhousie University.

The Vancouver student told CTV news that many elderly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experience homophobia in retirement homes and are forced to go back into the closet as a result.

Sangha claims they are forced back into the closet, leading to ‘alienation, isolation and loneliness’.

Richard Sullivan, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia’s school of social work, said the problem extends beyond loneliness and is actually putting the safety of elderly members of the gay community at risk.

‘Who wants to come out again in your 70s and 80s?’ he said.

‘For fear of prejudice, [gay and lesbian people] are avoiding aggregate care to the point where they probably should be using it, where they’re no longer safe in their own home.’

Sangha adds that many gay retirees are unable to settle in Vancouver’s LGBT area because of the high cost of living there.

He said: ‘The population is aging and it’s important to develop infrastructure for the senior population and this includes all the vulnerable sectors of the population.’

Sangha added: ‘We need to [help] our elders and our seniors who have fought for years for rights for our generation to live in dignity, to live in respect and to live with compassion.’

It is not the first time a retirement home has been mooted for LGBT pensioners around the world. However, many projects have failed to get off the ground.

HAVE YOUR SAY

OTHER POSTS

No thumbnail available

Pope suggests French lawmakers ‘repeal’ gay marriage law

Provoking a nation already torn over gay marriage, the head of the Roman Catholic Church urges French politicians not to follow ‘fashions of the moment’
No thumbnail available

Lesbian lawmaker who was briefly California governor has fun on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Kimmel suggests Toni Atkins should have invaded Oregon during her hours in power
No thumbnail available

GLAAD: Lady Gaga, Dallas Buyers Club up for awards

See who has been nominated for the GLAAD Media Awards this year
No thumbnail available

Boy George: Straight artists have more impact on gay rights than gay artists

Culture Club star says if a gay rapper had released Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' 'Same Love', it would have had a lesser influence on LGBTI rights
No thumbnail available

Ben Cohen Stands Up! against homophobic bullying in Ireland

Rugby star joins politicians and activists at launch of 2012 anti-bullying campaign
No thumbnail available

Is the lady of the house there? Meet the iRetrophone

A classic take on a modern necessity
No thumbnail available

Gay UKIP politician: 'Equality Nazis Labour and Lib Dems want to ban sex'

He also thinks same-sex marriage is just for 'old queens who want to dance like the Village People'
No thumbnail available

Indian lesbian filmmaker receives $50,000

Sonali Gulati’s new film will look at doctors who sell liquid ‘cures’ for homosexuality
No thumbnail available

Uganda speaker wants anti-gay bill passed by Tuesday

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has promised the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will be a 'Christmas gift' to the Ugandan people
No thumbnail available

LGBTI homeless shelter for 250 people planned for Poland

A shelter for marginalized LGBTI people has been proposed for the Polish city of Warsaw that would house 250 people and provide free meals and help to find jobs