Birmingham LGBT celebrates the older LGBTQI+ women who helped shape today’s community

BY BIRMINGHAM LGBT

Ageing with Pride launched in August and aims to increase the visibility of older LGBT people, dismantle barriers such as ageism (particularly from within the community itself) and confront the homophobia, biphobia and transphobia too many of us face in our daily lives.

Perhaps most crucially, Ageing with Pride wants to tackle the isolation older people can face as they age…

‘For me, there has been a lot of change in socialization in the LGBT community over the years. Going to the Birmingham LGBT Centre actually got me back into the LGBT community. 
I don’t have children of my own, so community is really important because that becomes your family. I had a bad experience on the Birmingham gay scene once, and women came up to me and said ‘what are you doing here?’ Because they we’re all in their 20s and 30s’ – Barbara Platts

As part of the year-long, National Lottery funded campaign, Birmingham LGBT also aims to create opportunities for older and younger generations to mix more and to learn from each other’s life experiences.

To help facilitate this, the campaign has recruited Ageing With Pride Ambassadors; volunteers from across the community who will visit GP surgeries, care homes, libraries and other key spaces to talk to the wider community and businesses about the project.

Research by Stonewall highlighted that social isolation is a serious issue for older LGBT people, with older LGBT people significantly more likely to be living alone – 41% compared to 28% of heterosexuals.

It’s for this reason that the campaign places much emphasis on things like signposting older LGBT people to community groups and activities that bring people together.

Birmingham can be a place where all LGBT people feel included, both in the community and in mainstream spaces, and where older LGBT people are less likely to live in isolation.

By working with cross-city stakeholders, Ageing with Pride brings the issues faced by those who have helped shape the freedoms LGBT people enjoy today to the front of everybody’s awareness.

After all, they were the generation who fought for our equality!

To find out more, or to get involved please visit ageingwithpride.co.uk and follow us on Twitter at @AgeingWithPride.

www.blgbt.org.uk

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