Older LGBTI people who are already retired are less afraid of dying than their counterparts still in the workforce.
A survey of more than 3,000 people asked them questions about ageing, sex, retirement and even their thoughts on the after life.
Gay Star News conducted the huge survey to coincide with the inaugural, global LGBTI Founders’ Day on 24 September.
It created LGBTI Founders’ Day to tackle ageism.
It promotes the idea that the LGBTI world owes its current freedom to the older generations. Furthermore, Founders’ Day will emphasise that older LGBTIs are very much at the heart of our community today and have wisdom and experience to pass on to younger people.
LGBTI Founders and death
Of the 3,000 survey respondents about 35% were retired, while 65% were not. We will be publishing more results over the course of the week.
The extensive survey covered more conventional topics related to ageing such as living in care homes and feelings about ageing.
But it also explored people’s attitudes to death and preparing for death.
Retirees were least likely to be afraid of death. Only around 8.7% of retirees said they were ‘absolutely’ afraid of death, but about 15.7 of older people who were not retired said they were ‘absolutely afraid of death.
But when it came to being more organized in the event of their death, retired LGBTI people had their ducks more in a row than than working LGBTI people.
More than 67% of retirees had made a will but only 42.5% of non-retired LGBTI people have completed the important legal document.
Survey respondents had other concerns about getting sick or dying that didn’t relate to the fear of dying or making a will. But one survey respondent said they believed creating an ironclad power of attorney for while they were still was alive, was just as important as having a will.
History and legacy
A number of the survey respondents were concerned more about preserving LGBTI history.
One respondent said the LGBTI community should help curate older people’s possession such as books and ‘other important things’.
‘So we don’t lose our history, because most (people) are afraid that everything they worked for in life will just be put in a dump when they die, which means they didn’t matter,’ the respondent said.
Another respondent said we should ‘contextualize the older queer stories’.
‘Don’t shame younger guys… they don’t know how to be older gay uncles because they didn’t have that. Everyone older than them died,’ they said.
‘Have more dialogue about our differences generationally to make space and understand eachother. We need to create safe (non-predatory spaces) for non-sexual friendships/partnerships.’
The Great British Bake Off host, Sandi Toksvig, reiterated the importance of creating legacy. Speaking at the Gay Star News and Barclays LGBTI Founders’ Day launch, Toksvig said we had to create our legacy.
‘As LGBTI people, it’s difficult to find our legacy… it’s difficult to find your heritage,’ Toksvig said on LGBTI Founders’ Day.
‘We look to those who have gone before us.’
Are you afraid of death?
- Absolutely: 8.67%
- A little: 23.21%
- I’m not bothered: 7.18%
- Not really: 22.32%
- Not at all: 33%
- I don’t think about it: 5.69%
- Absolutely: 15.69%
- A little: 27.09%
- I’m not bothered: 8.26%
- Not really: 21.55%
- Not at all: 23.80%
- I don’t think about it: 3.61%
Do you believe in the after life?
- Absolutely: 23.8%
- A little: 18.56%
- I’m not bothered: 16.17%
- Not really: 10.48%
- Not at all: 28.47%
- I try not to think about it: 2.51%
- Absolutely: 20.67%
- A little: 18.58%
- I’m not bothered: 15.4%
- Not really: 15.45%
- Not at all: 27.97%
- I try not to think about it: 1.93%
Have you made a will?
- Yes: 67.88%
- No, it isn’t important: 7.29%
- No, but thank you for reminding me: 22.67%
- No, I don’t really know how to do it: 2.16%
- Yes: 42.55%
- No, it isn’t important: 10.94%
- No, but thank you for reminding me: 35.10%
- No, I don’t really know how to do it: 11.41%