Partnership against bigotry in aged care
FOR many older Australians, moving into an aged care facility may be daunting, but for people like Geoff Davis, who is gay, the possibility of discrimination in the home can mean living a life of almost total isolation.
Geoff has been campaigning for years to have the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and intersex people recognised across all facets of society.
Today, the 79-year-old is a poster child for older gay people and is a member for Gay Rights in Ageing group (GRAI).
The group has just formed an historic partnership with Manning community care organisation Southcare to help end discrimination against gay and lesbian people in aged care facilities.”
“GRAI is important because many older gay people have never come out as they are in an age group who have a greater homophobic sense,” Geoff said.
“People going into these kinds of situations tend to feel isolated themselves, but fortunately a recent change to Federal law laid down that aged care facilities cannot discriminate against older gay and lesbian people,” he said.
Geoff said he first discov- ered he was attracted to males at an early age and was fortunate to have the support of his family.
“I lived for the first 40 years of my life until I came out, which was in the late 1970s,” Geoff said.
“I came out to my family when I started a relationship and sent them a letter while they were away to tell them.
Their response was that it was fine by them and my brothers and sisters were fine about it too.
“My father and step-mother were very accepting.”
Geoff Davis discusses issues affecting older gay people with GRAI board member Conrad Liveris.