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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 281 > NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

IF ALL GOES TO PLAN, THE UK’S FIRST LGBT+ CARE HOME WILL OPEN IN CENTRAL LONDON LATER THIS YEAR. IT’S A WIDELY SUPPORTED SCHEME, BUT THAT SUCH A PROJECT EVEN EXISTS IS INDICATIVE OF THE ISOLATION AND PERSECUTION MANY OLDER LGBT+ PEOPLE EXPERIENCE IN MAINSTREAM SERVICES

THIS YEAR MARKS the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales. The generation that began life outside the law has grown old. They survived state-sanctioned homophobia, Thatcher, the Aids crisis, the birth of the modern LGBT+ rights movement and same-sex marriage. Their struggle ensured future generations grow up experiencing something resembling equality — in legislation at least, if not wider society. But as they turn to care services in their senior years, many of these gay men ind themselves forced back into a closet they escaped long ago.

In 1959, at the age of 16, Paul Foss was outed to his father by a neighbour who took issue with the company he was keeping. He left home and quickly met his partner. By November 1963 the two men had decided to move in together. Although many landlords weren’t prepared to offer a home to a gay couple, a Jewish tailor eventually agreed to rent them an apartment. Foss and his partner went on to spend five decades together.

In 2011, health complications meant the couple began looking for a living situation which would provide an element of care. After a swift interview process, they were offered a spacious flat at the Hanover Extra Care scheme in suburban Bristol. Although downsizing from a suburban three-bedroom house required a ruthless detachment from half-a-century worth of possessions, they quickly fell in love with the new place: it was affordable, secure and had unspoilt views of the adjacent park and trees.

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About Attitude

On the cover, Emma Watson and Dan Stevens discuss the gay surprise in the new Beauty and the Beast Also, exclusive interviews with Joan Collins on her new film The Time of Their Lives, Alison Goldfrapp in her most honest interview yet, and BBC news reporter James Longman on life on the frontline. Plus, Turner Prize winning artist Wolfgang Tillmans and ballet’s bad boy Sergei Polunin.
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