In most societies, the thought of what to do with lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender old people is not exactly a priority. But in Spain, where homophobia could be considered a national pastime, gay people often had to go back into the closet when it came time to think about elderly care.
That is all about to change, at least in Madrid, when the country’s first LGBT retirement center opens next year. The center, which has not yet been named and which will be the second in Europe after a Swedish LGBT retirement center that opened last year, is the brainchild of Federico Armenteros, founder of the 26 December Foundation, an NGO for Spain’s LGBT community named after the day in 1978 when homosexuality was no longer “dangerous to society” in Spain. He says the center is necessary because “elderly LGBT don’t exist” in the eyes of most people. That, he says, “pushes people back into the closet,” often those who have fought for equality during their younger years.
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