On April 25 and 26 the Second European Conference FOCUS ON LGBTIQ+ SENIORS took place in Amsterdam.There were many attendees from all over Europe (200+ persons). They joined the conference to exchange experiences and talk about concerns regarding aging LGBTIQ’s.
One of the surprising conclusions was that there are a lot of good practices available throughout Europe. Also interesting to note that the younger generation enjoys a positive influence by the older LGBTIQ’s and are keen to be inspired and learn from their activism in the past.
There is much more to explore, to improve and to fight for. For example discriminating health-care practices and hidden or renewed loneliness. And also gender based and age based discrimination practices and a legal insecurities regarding for example partnerships, parenthood and succession rights.
The first day of the conference was filled with social, touristic and cultural events; a boot-trip through the canals of Amsterdam, line-dancing lessons, visits of exemplary housing sites, a senior-diner and senior cafe, a walk along historical spots of Gay-Amsterdam.
All participating organisations (the City of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam rainbow networks, to organisations of professional care-takers and various special interest groups) joined efforts to welcome the guests affectively and proud.
The second day was filled with presentations of Dutch and foreign speakers, workshops moderated by seniors themselves and inspirational sessions. The short breaks were needed for refreshment and reflections among the attendees.
We enjoyed a presentation by Roos Pijpers. She told about her 100 interviews with independently living elder LGBTIQ’s, receiving care and support in their home space until a very advanced age. Roos Pijpers is associate professor in Human Geography at the Radboud University Nijmegen.
We also enjoyed a presentation by Andrew Shield , an assistant professor at the Institute for History at the Leiden University. He spoke about the ethnic-minority seniors in Europe.
Professor Andrew King, Department Sociology of the University of Surrey – UK, spoke of the-state-of-the-art empirical research from leading UK researchers relating to the lives of older LGBTIQ people.
The conference ended with a relaxing networking reception with music by Drag Queen Victoria False. A three-course dinner with a show in the Palace of Nostalgia topped this very enjoyable and interesting conference in Amsterdam.
Feel free to contact us for much more background information.