LGBT seniors:

Twice as vulnerable

LGBT seniors experience the same aging-related issues that all seniors experience. However, studies of their living conditions show that many LGBT seniors also face special challenges. In general, they:

  • do not have a family support network as strong as that of heterosexuals;

  • are afraid of being subjected to homophobia and transphobia in senior settings and fear that they will have to hide their sexual orientation or their gender identity or expression;

  • are more prone than the average person to experience loneliness and depression and develop substance use disorders;

  • are more likely to contemplate suicide;


of LGBT seniors experience isolation

39 %

have seriously considered taking their lives

21 %

have not revealed their sexual orientation or gender identity to their general practitioner

This situation is the result of hardships encountered during their lives. The criminalization, medical pathologization and religious condemnation of homosexuality and trans identity are the source of stereotypes, prejudices and stigmas that persist today. This failure to recognize their special circumstances, notably in settings where seniors live and receive services, has negative impacts on their physical and psychological health.

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