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Championing Older LGBT+ People

by James O’Donnell

As someone who has just turned 57, there are certain things you start to think about. While many people will say 50s are the new 40s, there’s the reality that you need to start considering your life and health in different ways, and what sort of supports you need as you get older. This is an issue for everyone as we age, but for LGBT+ people many of us have to wonder and worry about being open about our sexuality, gender identity or gender expression with the people we rely on to support us, the medical professionals and the health system itself.

I grew up in the Ireland of the ‘60s and ‘70s, when this was a very different country. Being gay was not acceptable, it was illegal, and so many of us still bear the scars of having to deal with a society that forced us to stay in the closet. There are older people who have never come out, who have had to live hidden and concealed lives. The ones who did come out, like myself, had to struggle through really difficult times.

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