Guest Post - Senior LGBTIQ persons need our attention!
Everybody is affected by the pandemic. However, my guess is that many persons of the LGBTIQ community are particularly stressed, especially senior ones. Apart from the financial constraints, the necessary restrictions to meet other persons, even possibly loneliness, or the fear and/or physical limitations to do basic things like going shopping can be very stressful and sometimes lead to psychological problems.
My very rough calculation is that there are 4,815 senior citizens identifying as LGBT. We not only should pay them more attention and help them, but we owe it to them. They already had to endure a lot of constraints and suffering because for centuries being LGBTIQ was a taboo and often ended up being persecuted if their true nature was discovered.
Living life to its full potential often proved to be challenging. The ones who fought against societal discrimination had to face negative impacts. But all of them in a way did the ground work for everything which has been achieved in recent years.
It is payback time. And here we need the input of the whole community.
If you are one of the senior people please share with us what you need, how we can support you.
Everybody else we encourage to submit suggestions what you/we can do to help. One proposal is to launch a companionship scheme were younger persons take over a kind of godparenthood and regularly stay in touch with an older person. This can be done in person or virtually, depending on the wishes of both participants and the COVID19 regulations in place.
First of all how can we reach our senior fellows? Not everybody is using social media or even e-mails. Therefore please talk to elderly LGBTIQ persons you know and tell them about our initiative. If need be maybe within the good parenthood younger people can teach senior LGBTIQ, who are not so technology savvy, how to use digital means to communicate and stay in touch.
These are only initial thoughts but I hope we can start something to help the community beyond generations to stay strong and show much needed solidarity.
This is the second article of a loose series within we want to tackle topics of interest with a particular focus on elderly LGBTIQ. Please continue following us. And contact us if there are specific issues you are interested in.
 The estimate calculation: population in Malta 515,000 (NSO). According to Eurostat 18,7% of the Maltese population were 65+ in 2019. Let us conservatively estimate that 5% of the people in Malta identify as LGBT (US 4,5%, EU average 6%).