Older LGBTI+ people remember an era of state-sanctioned stigma and discrimination that might be hard for younger people to fathom. It wasn’t until 1997 that sex between men, for example, was decriminalised in every Australian state and territory.
For many older LGBTI+ people, the world they live in today is drastically different to the world they inhabited in the past. Getting older can sometimes mean both a feeling of invisibility and, conversely, an increased sense of surveillance. For LGBTI+ people, those propositions can pose a particular set of problems.
How can we respect the diverse sexual orientations of older Australians? How can LGBTI+ elders know and assert their rights as they navigate the complex, confusing and sometimes intimidating aged care system? And how important is visibility of LGBTI+ older people – for individuals and for the broader Australian population?
At the tail end of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey – and months of heated, often painful public debate on the issue – join Tristan Meecham, Heather Morgan, Lois Weaver, Lizzi Craig, Pauline Crameri and more for a conversation about a compassionate and respectful future for LGBTI+ people as they age.
Tristan Meecham is an artist who facilitates creative frameworks that enable social transformation; connecting community, audience and artists together in events that transcend the everyday. He is the Director of All The Queens Men.
Lois Weaver is an artist, activist and part time professor of Contemporary Performance at Queen Mary, University of London. She was co-founder of Spiderwoman Theater, WOW and Artistic Director of Gay Sweatshop in London. She has been a writer, director and performer with Peggy Shaw and Split Britches since 1980.
Pauline Crameri is the co-ordinator of Val’s LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care, part of GLHV, at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, Melbourne. Val’s is a Victorian statewide programme working to increase the visibility, health and quality of care for older LGBTI people, and includes the National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Conference, to be held on 5–6 October 2017 in Melbourne in partnership with the Coming Back Out Ball.
Bob Linscott is Assistant Director of the LGBT Aging Project based at the Fenway Institute, Boston, USA. Bob is a member of the Massachusetts Commission on LGBT Aging, which is the first state wide commission on LGBT aging issues, and a member of the LAIN council, the American Society on Aging’s LGBT Aging Issues Network.
Heather Morgan retired in 2017 as team leader at The Positive Living Centre, part of the Victorian Aids Council, where she worked since 2008. In 1991, she was a founding member of Switchboard – a confidential telephone counselling service for Melbourne’s queer community. Following this, she joined Aidsline, where she worked for 14 years.
Lizzi Craig is now retired, after working for over a decade with the Victorian AIDS Council as a Client Care and Support Officer at the Positive Living Centre. As part of this role, Lizzi engaged with many clients at the centre and at their homes to offer support, assessment and ongoing referral to meet the concerns and issues they identified.