Gay and Grey Montreal launches new project in NDG/CDN
Gay & Grey Montréal is excited to announce the launch of a new social group this coming July providing activities for seniors from, but not limited to, Montreal’s Central-West region who would like to share time with other seniors identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or are questioning (LGBTQ+). The project will promote inclusion and socialization. It aims to “break down the barriers” between access to underused resources available within the community and underserved LGBTQ+ seniors by establishing a network and resources.
Complimentary to their Francophone LGBTQ+ counterpart, Aînés et retraités de la communauté (ARC), Gay and Grey Montreal’s focus is on the Anglophone and Allophone senior LGBTQ+ community of retirees and pre-retirees (50+), with the majority of activities being carried out in English or bilingually. The group proposes volunteer-run activities, with Gay and Grey Montréal acting in a promoting and coordinating capacity. “Already existing community programs do not account for the specific needs of an aging Anglophone or Allophone LGBTQ+ population, which requires an accepting and non-judgemental atmosphere,” says Bruce Cameron, one of the founders. “Having a community lunch, engaging in group activity, or attending events with other like-minded seniors adds an additional dimension of inclusion and acceptance,” he continues.
Currently, Gay and Grey Montréal is focusing on growing group membership and on their promotional campaign, which will hopefully include a presence in this year’s Montreal pride events alongside ARC and Fondation Émergence, as well as potentially carrying a banner in the parade itself taking place on August 19th.
A host of local organizations are interested in this issue since no service or organization currently exists accommodating the English LGBTQ+ senior population in Montreal. Gay and Grey Montréal, which adheres to the Pour que vieillir soi gai charter principles, has sought community support from the CIUSS Centre-Ouest, the NDG Senior Citizens Council, the New Hope Centre, Fondation Émergence, and Prévention CDN-NDG. Subsidized by The New Horizons program and spearheaded by Bruce Cameron and Miranda Potts, the project is based on their research. Bruce summarizes: “this is a marginalized group entering their final life phases by hiding and denying who they really are because we still live in a homophobic society.”
Analysis of research and data indicates the project has a potential outreach of approximately 1,995 people. Furthermore, Fondation Émergence cites multiple studies between 2000 and 2011, revealing that LGBTQ+ seniors:
- are 50% more likely to be isolated and living alone than the general senior population
- 53% received differentiated treatment, felt hostility or a lack of understanding from health professionals
- 65% declared having experienced homophobia, and
- 8.3% declared having been neglected or abused by an intermediary due to homophobia
Julien Rougerie, program officer of Pour que vieillir soit gai at Fondation Émergence confirms “Ingredients required to eliminate mistreatment and ensure humane and positive welfare for the senior LGBTQ+ population begins by promoting inclusion, demystifying prejudices, and adopting good practices and policies against homophobia and transphobia. We are proud to be partnering with Gay and Grey Montréal by providing sensitization training.”
For more information on how to get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Bruce Cameron at 514-484-4266 extension 222 or Miranda Potts at 514-690-2034, or look for us on social media.