LGBTI seniors in Queensland
LGBTI seniors in Queensland

Information and activities aim to increase the visibility of LGBTI seniors in Queensland

Far North Queensland will host its first Over 50s Expo specifically addressing the needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) seniors on Sunday, March 22nd at the Aitkenvale PCYC in Townsville. A similar event will be held in Cairns the following week.

The Expo is an ideal opportunity for aged care organisations and community groups to start building better relationships with LGBTI people so as to meet their specific and unique needs. “For too long, many of our older people have not felt safe or comfortable using aged care and community services,” said James Keightley, Ageing in Diversity Health Promotion Officer. “This free event will address some of those concerns in a friendly atmosphere of celebration.”

Initiated through the Ageing in Diversity Project, part of the Queensland AIDS Council’s Healthy Communities Programs, the Expo will draw together information booths staffed by aged care service providers and community groups, and a range of activities including films and a forum about intergenerational experiences. Visibility as LGBTI seniors and celebrating our age will be the central premise for the event and paramount in every aspect of the day’s activities.

The Expo takes a holistic approach, providing food for the spirit as well as the mind and body. Live entertainment with Townsville Jazz Band ‘Counterpoint’, the ‘Seniors Creating Change’ Choir and entertainer Laurel Sampson is a feature.

Competitions, like the Amazing Ageing Race, as well as games, talks, balance, and even Delta therapy dogs to pet or cuddle will mean an engaging day.

Several workshops will be on offer, including an in-depth workshop on Advanced Health Directives for LGBTI people conducted by Professor Colleen Cartwright. “Given the history of criminalisation and discrimination, and the fears these have caused amongst our elders, it is vitally important for us to have a clear Advanced Health Directive. The Expo provides the perfect opportunity to begin the process, guided by expert guidance and help,” said Gai Lemon, Director of Healthy Communities Programs at QuAC.

The screening will be the internationally acclaimed documentary “Gen Silent”, exploring ageing issues for gay men, lesbians and transgender people in America. This will be followed by a forum and discussion with elders, young people, and service providers.

Over-50s Expo
Date and time: Sunday, March 22; 10 am to 3 pm
Location: Aitkenvale PCYC, Wellington St. Aitkenvale, Townsville
Cost: FREE
Food and drink are available at the venue during the day.