When deteriorating health forced David McClure, who is 81, to enter first one Ottawa nursing home, and then another, he felt as though he was going back into the closet, after decades out of it. “I couldn’t let my gayness show,” he said. “The looks were very askance.”
But when a degenerative neuromuscular disease compelled Paul Leroux, 62, to enter a different nursing home, “they welcomed me with open arms.” He is organizing the centre’s first Pride Day later this month. As the only openly gay resident (though he has his suspicions…), he’s stressing that Pride means pride for all.
The contrast is revealing. Improving the quality of life for queer seniors nearing the end of life is the next frontier for LGBTQ activists. In some long-term care facilities, staff are trained and vigilant in protecting the rights of sexual minorities. In others, ignorance can lead to discrimination.
Read more in The Globe and Mail.