Manchester announces plan for first LGBT retirement home
More good stuff from Manchester. Its city council has revealed a plan to build the UK’s first retirement community aimed at the aging LGBT population of the city.
Manchester has the biggest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community of the UK, after London, and there’s a large number of LGBT residents reaching the age of 65 in the next two decades. According to the local authority over 7000 LGBT-people in Manchester are now over 50 years old.
A recent report from Manchester’s LGBT Foundation showed that a lot of them experience more loneliness and isolation than their hetero-sexual peers. Many LGBT residents fear for discrimination when they eventually have to move into one of the existing retirement accommodations, so the demand for a place like this is growing fast.
Last year Carl Austin-Behan became the first openly gay Lord Mayor of the city and he said to the Guardian: “In this day and age, when people are more open and able to speak freely about their sexuality, some of the older generation are still a little bit more reserved with it. It’s important that once they’ve come out and been themselves, that 20 years later they don’t feel like they can’t be themselves, and aren’t discriminated against.”
The plan for the retirement home is to have over 51% of the residents to be either lesbian, gay, bi or transgender, so that means heterosexual people are also welcome. The staff will be specially trained and based on site. Right now a lot of elderly people don’t disclose their sexual preferences to the staff at their respective retirement homes in fear of being judged.
Besides the LGBT Foundation and the mayor himself, the project is being supported by Stonewall Housing and the Homes and Communities Agency. However, no specific location or timetable for the project has been announced.