‘I have no intention of hiding’: the 6th week of the #AgeingEqual campaign in a nutshell
Our sixth #AgeingEqual campaigning week decrypted older people’s sexuality: we explored the stereotyping of older people as asexual beings and the impact of this misconception on older people’s health, social inclusion and life choices. New partners and academics built up on research findings to remind the importance of recognising the right of older people to have (or not) an intimate and sexual life. Some older people’s testimonies were invigorating, some others were astonishing… Get a chance to read them all again with this snapshot of the week!
We need to tackle restrictive social attitudes and the lack of awareness so that services can offer support for the sexuality-related needs of older adults
Testimonies and life stories showed the importance to see sexuality and intimacy as an integral part of life that contribute to people’s definition of their identity and do not stop after reproductive years are over! Experts and academics contributed to stress the disastrous impacts of ageism in health services and care institutions. A stereotypical approach of older persons as non-sexual beings leads to:
- Older people being less likely to be offered an HIV test
- Two thirds of people aged 50+ receiving their HIV diagnosis late
- Negative effects on older peoples own sense of autonomy and wellbeing as well as it constitutes to a missed opportunity for many to explore and experiment with their sexuality
- Greater risk of exclusion for older lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people (LGBT)
- A lack of the accessibility, inclusiveness and safety of care services for LGBT older people
- Older women being removed their vagina without their consent
- Older women being denied damages after a medical error caused difficulties to have sex
Read them all! Find all blogposts, testimonies, good practices posted in relation to our thematic focus ‘ageism and intergenerational solidarity’ with the dedicated tag. Grow your understanding of ageism and spread the word!
We noted many grassroots initiatives…
- #RevolutionSenior, a series of suggestive photos to confront us with what we too often refuse to see – the active and diverse sexual lives of older adults
- #SilverRainbow, a social media campaign showcasing life experiences of older LGBTI people as well as resources on the topic
- RUDE Older People, a project which sought to develop digital teaching and learning materials to encourage practitioners to listen to older people about their own sexuality
- The House of Diversity, an inclusive housing project where 24 older LGBTI people live together their affinities far from the still largely hetero-standard care institutions
- A forum starting in the UK to organise a society-wide conversation on sex in later life
- The art of composition, a movie about how one can “compose” life passionately at any age
- Sexclus, a multimedia coverage about those who are excluded from sexuality because they are either in jail, in a psychiatric hospital, homeless, living with a disability or in a care institution
— Grey PRIDE (@VieillirLGBT) November 5, 2018
We heard calls to action!
- By signing a pledge to take action for the protection and respect of older LGBTQI
- By adopting a sexual rights approach that would ensures that older adults are treated with dignity and respect, and feel empowered to safely express their sexuality
Do you want to share your initiative? Contact us to give visibility to more examples of projects tackling age discrimination. You can also use the hashtag #AgeingEqual to add your voice in social media!
And more voices rallied against ageism!
MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen who has already showed commitment to defend the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer people (LGBTIQ) on the occasion of the #Health4LGBTI project rallied the #AgeingEqual campaign with a call to respect older persons’ varying identities.
— Sirpa Pietikäinen (@spietikainen) November 6, 2018
The #AgeingEqual campaign community grew again with the participation of new partners working for the recognition and respect of older persons’ right to sexuality and fighting against all forms of discriminations on the ground of gender, gender identity and sexual orientation. Among them we were pleased to receive the contribution and support from ILGA-Europe, AIDS Map, the French association Grey Pride, the International Federation on Ageing, as well as diverse researchers and academics!
💬 “The last 50 years of my life have been lived as an openly gay person. Why would you suddenly, at the age of 70, decide to go into the closet?”https://t.co/czivQHcLMs #SilverRainbow #AgeingEqual pic.twitter.com/H1Fsm7DFq2
— ILGA-Europe (@ILGAEurope) November 8, 2018
You kept spreading the word too and we once more applause your determination to work with us in fighting against ageism!
— The Big Middle (@thebigmiddlepod) November 6, 2018
Ageism & sexuality ‘Older people are often stereotyped as non-sexual beings who should not, cannot, and do not want to have sexual relationships’ by @ArchwayDiva Visit #AgeingEqual https://t.co/DoOljcenCU to read more! #ageism #LGBTQ #ageing @PaulSim10353260 @KathrynAlmack
— Paul B Willis (@pwillis5) November 7, 2018
— grandmawilliams 80+ (@JoyceWilliams_) November 2, 2018
The next week (12-19 November) of this 70-day campaign will be dedicated to ageism and racism. Life-long discrimination has an impact in older age and put people victims of racism at greater risk of premature death, health inequalities, social exclusion and poverty.
Together We Can Make A Difference!
Share your story using the hashtag #AgeingEqual
and help us shine a spotlight on ageism.
Read our previous weekly highlights: