“Many of the people in the meeting group for older homosexual men in the Soviet-Union were blackmailed, ‘treated’ or intimidated by the police in their younger years. They truly were criminalised, but now we fortunately can embrace life with each other, be ourselves, and take care of each other.” These are the words of Alexei Marcicov from Moldavia, who has been organising for some years a meeting group for gay men - unique for the region.
Marcicov's initiative is one of many in Europe for pink seniors and care, which was in the spotlight in Amsterdam during Europride. At the University of Amsterdam, the first international conference on pink seniors and care took place from.
Organiser Roze 50+, a collaboration of senior organisation ANBO and COC Netherlands, brought a series of good practises to the Netherlands in order to learn from one another. Initiatives ranging from initiatives for housing for LGBT seniors in the UK and a dedicated special helpline in Italy, to LGBT friendly health care in Germany, particular training for health care staff in Finland, Roze 50+ ambassadors in the Netherlands visiting health care providers, and initiatives to work with local governments.
Roze 50+ ambassador Martin Moerings: “We are active throughout the Netherlands with 80 volunteers to make the care and living situation of homosexual, transgender and lesbian seniors a subject of conversation. We do not only talk to the managers of health care providers, but also with the residents. Professionals and management often think that there are no pink seniors in their facility. And that is hardly surprising, as LGBT elderly often are hardly visible. Some of them have learned to keep their true nature hidden. And if they do show their true nature, they are often excluded or bullied. The Pink Passkey, the certificate for health care providers that address sexual diversity in their clients and staff, is a great help.”
Martin van Rijn, State Secretary of Health, opened the conference. Afterwards, two speakers from the UK and the Netherlands talked about two special projects. There were ten thematic tables were good practices from all over Europe were presented.