LGBT Retirement Home to Open in Madrid

Old Couple

A retirement home for LGBT pensioners is in development, and will reportedly be opening next year in Madrid.

The home is the brainchild of the 26 December Foundation, and will be situated in a converted hotel in Lavapiés.

Federico Armenteros told The Guardian that in the eyes of society, “elderly LGTB don’t exist”.

He has said the home won’t exclude straight people, but it will be catering towards the LGBT market.

“We’re not going to ask you who you sleep with when you apply,” he said. “Anyone can come, the only thing to bear in mind is that it specialises in elderly LGTBs. As it is, there are homes for ex-servicemen, nuns or retired workers from specific companies and no one says they are being discriminatory.”

Homosexuality was criminalised in Spain until late 1978. The 26 December Foundation takes its name from the date the law was reformed. Prior to the law reform, gay people faced prison sentences or internment in ‘re-education centres’, and in some cases had their movements restricted.

Boti García, president of Spain’s LGTB federation, had this to say: “When people think of LGTB people, they think of young people. There’s a tendency, as there is in society as a whole, to leave out the elderly.”

Armenteros said that some elderly LGBT people often feel pressure to go back into the closet, especially in cases where they are living in a home. “They don’t have children and grandchildren they can talk about and often they conceal their sexual orientation to avoid rejection.”

The foundation is also planning the development of a civic centre for the elderly LGBT community, due to be completed within the next few months. It is planning to offer painting classes, physiotherapy, a classroom for the University of the Elderly, and a gym, as well as other facilities.

Armenteros said that neither the civic centre nor the retirement home will be “places to park old people”.

“We want elderly people to feel useful, that they have a good time and feel at home.”

Tags: , , , , , ,