Older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex (LGBTI) people remember an era of state-sanctioned stigma and discrimination that might be hard for younger people to fathom. It wasn’t until 1997 that sex between men, for example, was decriminalised in every Australian state and territory.
For many older LGBTI+ people, the world they live in today is drastically different to the world they inhabited in the past. Getting older can sometimes mean both a feeling of invisibility and, conversely, an increased sense of surveillance. For LGBTI+ people, those propositions can pose a particular set of problems.
How can we respect the diverse sexual orientations of older Australians? How can LGBTI+ elders know and assert their rights as they navigate the complex, confusing and sometimes intimidating aged care system? And how important is visibility of LGBTI+ older people – for individuals and for the broader Australian population?
At the tail end of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey – and months of heated, often painful public debate on the issue – join Tristan Meecham, Heather Morgan, Lizzi Craig and more for a conversation about a compassionate and respectful future for LGBTI+ people as they age.
Presented in partnership with All the Queens Men, National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Conference and Warrnambool City Council. Haven is a pop-up safe space and a month-long series of events to support Warrnambool’s LGBTI+ community.
Tristan Meecham is the director of All The Queens Men. All The Queens Men create spectacular theatrical and participatory art experiences. Currently, he is developing The Coming Back Out Ball, a large scale social transformation project that celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex elders.
Heather Morgan retired in 2017 as team leader at The Positive Living Centre, part of the Victorian Aids Council, where she worked since 2008. In 1991, she was a founding member of Switchboard – a confidential telephone counselling service for Melbourne's queer community. Following this, she joined Aidsline, where she worked for 14 years.
Heather is thrilled to be recognized as an LGBTI elder by the organisers of The Coming Back Out Ball in 2017. In her retirement, Heather looks forward to officiating the occasional wedding in her new role as an Authorised Celebrant (once marriage equality is finally recognised in Australia) – but mostly looks forward to playing poker to supplement her income. She is better known as ‘Diamond Lil’ by the professional card sharks.
Lizzi Craig is now retired, after working for over a decade with the Victorian AIDS Council as a Client Care and Support Officer at the Positive Living Centre. As part of this role, Lizzi engaged with many clients at the centre and at their homes to offer support, assessment and ongoing referral to meet the concerns and issues they identified.
Lizzi has been a District Nurse for over 30 years and has a background in Family Sensitive Practice and Family Therapy. Lizzi is passionate about caring for all people aging and living with HIV, and has respect for the wisdom and generosity they bring in sharing their journeys through their narrative.