Joint policy paper: Equality for older lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people in Europe

In the framework of the 2012 European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, AGE Platform Europe (AGE) and ILGA-Europe have decided to focus on the situation of older LGBTI people in Europe. In a joint policy paper, the two NGOs suggest best practices and policy recommendations to help older LGBTI people going through those life stage transitions.

The policy paper ‘Equality for older lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people in Europe’ is the first of its kind at European level. AGE and ILGA-Europe are calling on actions both at European and national levels; the two NGOs call for a comprehensive and coherent approach to tackle multiple discrimination of older LGBTI people, and for development of adequate policy responses to support ageing LGBTI communities on a national and as well as on an European level.

In the policy paper AGE and ILGA-Europe have identified four main challenges faced by older LGBTI people:

  1. The lack of recognition of same-sex couples has an impact on their access to social protection and on their financial security. This becomes particularly worrying when people get older and cannot ensure that their partner will have access to their pensions and assets.
  2. Older LGBTI people may have specific health needs and may face ongoing stigmatisation in the field of healthcare.
  3. Some elderly LGBTI people experience social exclusion and invisibility and cannot rely on the same family support as other older people.
  4. This raises specific challenges related to long-term care, inclusive of older LGBTI people needs.