LGBTI Elders Advancing Project Interim Report Highlights Needs of LGBTI Older Adults Worldwide
Around the world, LGBTI older adults (LOAs) experience rampant human rights violations based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity and the stigma of ageism. While the specifics of LGBTI aging vary from country to country and region to region, older members of the LGBTI community commonly face widespread discrimination in care, services, and housing, and are at acute risk for severe social isolation and economic insecurity.
Created in partnership with SAGE, OutRight International, Mitini Nepal, EnGendeRights (the Philippines), CIPAC (Costa Rica) and Aspidh (El Salvador) the LGBTI Elders Advancing Initiative (LEAP) is a cross-regional initiative designed to strengthen the human rights protections of LOAs and build a more robust and well-connected global LGBTI aging movement.
As one of the first cross-regional, multi-year initiatives centering LGBTI+ aging advocacy, the insights gained from LEAP will inform not only the remainder of the initiative but also elucidate the challenges and opportunities inherent in building the capacities of LGBTI aging advocates and LOAs across diverse contexts.
The initiative is informed by three main objectives:
- Build awareness of LGBTI older adults and their needs through country-based data collection, documentation and dissemination of information to targeted audiences.
- Improve the ability of LGBTI organizations to work in support of LGBTI older adults and position LGBTI older adults as self-advocates.
- Support discrimination protections and health equity for LGBTI older adults through national policy reform agendas.
“Our LGBTQ+ elders have shared that being part of this initiative has encouraged them to build more social support networks and start speaking openly about their shared experiences of aging,” said representatives from CIPAC. “Not only are our older adults growing in their ability to advocate for their own needs, but they are also building friendship, solidarity, and trust among their peers. For a population that faces extreme isolation and loneliness, this kinship has been lifesaving.”