The lives and experiences of LGBTQ+ elders will be celebrated with the first-ever Silver Pride Day, which is due to take place on 24 June.
Care homes across the UK will mark the occasion in a variety of ways, from drag shows to musical and dance performances.
One example of this is the Belong retirement village in Crewe, which will host an afternoon of festivities that offer a safe place for everyone.
Samantha Wolsey, a 68-year-old transgender resident living in one of Belong Wigan’s independent living apartments, said events like this help “to make people aware, more accepting and not revert back to when it wasn’t.”
“Everyone is so accepting,” she continued. “I feel comfortable here, and I can finally be myself. If you want to talk to anyone, someone is always there for you. I can walk freely as myself. You can talk to any member of staff and customers are accepting too.”
“Regardless of age, no one should live in fear of prejudice and discrimination”
Fanny Burns, a drag queen who recently paid a visit to Fairway View care home in Nottingham, expressed her pride at these establishments “supporting the right to be who you are”.
“You don’t have to be LGBTQ+ to fly the flag – just flying the flag will make a difference to someone around you and make them feel loved.”
One of the goals of Silver Pride Day is to ensure that those who have been ‘out’ for most of their lives do not feel forced to hide their true selves when entering a care home later in life.
“There are over 1.5 million LGBTQ+ people in Britain over the age of 55 and we need to break the taboos that stop them from celebrating their true selves,” Sue Learner, editor of care home review website carehome.co.uk, said.
“It is inspiring to see so many care homes celebrating Pride Month and Silver Pride by organising fun events that bring communities together and foster a culture of inclusivity and diversity.
“Regardless of age, no one should live in fear of prejudice and discrimination, and it is great to see a growing number of care homes holding LGBTQ+ awareness training sessions for their staff, to make sure they understand and are able to best support their LGBTQ+ residents.”