Visible Lives: Older LGBT people in Ireland
- If you are unable to attend this morning’s launch of Visible Lives, it will be live streamed here from 9:30am.
Those surveyed were aged between 55 and 80 years, and gathered data from around 180 people across Ireland.
The document includes sections on older LGBT people’s experiences growing up and living in Ireland, their mental health and emotional well-being, their participation in the community and use of services, how they developed resilience to the difficulties they experienced and their reflections on ageing as an LGBT person in Ireland.
Among the key findings are that older Irish LGBT people grew up in an environment where they were pathologised, criminalised and faced stigmatisation, prejudice and exclusion. For many, this led to marginalisation from family and community, as well as discrimination in key areas of their lives, including in employment.
As they enter the later years of their lives, older LGBT people are faced with a double invisibility both as older people and as LGBT people.
The report finds that whilst some of the issues facing older LGBT people may be similar to those for all older people, there is a growing awareness of the need to identify the specific issues older LGBT people face. The recent public consultation for the development of a National Positive Ageing Strategy for Ireland highlighted the necessity for older LGBT people’s needs to be fully recognised and incorporated into the strategy.
Other key figures are:
- 35% still fear that friends will reject them if they tell them they are LGBT
- 28% are not out to any of their neighbours
- 27% are afraid of harassment if people find out they are LGBT
- 10% are not out to any of their close family
- 7% have not told anyone they are LGBT
- 26% had been married
- 33% are parents
- 20% feel safe holding hands or showing affection with their same-sex partner in public
- 46% live alone
- 43% are single
- 31% feel lonelier as they age
The study was commissioned by GLEN and conducted by a team of researchers from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Trinity College Dublin, with the support of the HSE, Age and Opportunity. It will be launched at the Royal Irish Academy by Kathleen Lynch TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People.
- If you are unable to attend, the event will be live streamed here from 9:30am.