Friday, February 18, 2011

GERMANY - A shelter for gay older

Like other industrialized countries, the population pyramid has changed in Germany so that the senior class is now better represented. According to official figures, nearly 10% of Germans say they are gay or lesbian, yet the service offerings are lacking for these populations are also aging. Early 2012, Berlin should host the first European project aimed at gays and lesbians older.

Work currently underway in a house Niebuhrstrasse in the Charlottenburg district, will offer 24 rooms, single or double, from 33 to 100 m2 and a library and a cafe - the Oscar Wilde [game words referring to the British writer and the German word wild, "wild"] - as a meeting place on the ground floor.

On the other hand, five apartments would be rented to young homosexuals in order to bring different generations . This unique project aroused great interest and more than 180 people are already on the waiting list to participate. Because of the many problems of discrimination related to sexual orientation, public debate has often focused on the care reserved for these categories Social recent years.

Besides the legal difficulties and social discrimination that affect how homosexuals are treated elderly victims are also marginalized within their own communities, where they much prefer the youth, consumption and fashion. In their study on "gay way", the researchers Martin Dannecker and Reiche Reimut wondered how age "homosexuals [could] say to young people." According to the standards in the community, we can tell young as 30 years.

Then follows a short transition period before the "old age", a course usually taken at age 35. This is especially true old homosexual, those who are elderly, who are paying the price. Bars and meeting places such as parks, movie theaters and porn motorway services they are assured anonymity.

While heterosexuals can find partners in almost all circumstances, it is not the same for homosexuals. Despite a greater tolerance in society, they can see their partner as a potential partner or like-minded few. "Gays have as much trouble to avoid this tendency than heterosexual marriage.

They can hardly survive without support and protection, "said sociologist Michael Bochow in his book Ich bin doch schwul und das immer bleiben Will [I'm gay and I always want to remain, unprecedented in French], published in 2005. Therefore, we can understand why gays and lesbians older would spend their evenings with people sharing their ideas.

Michael Bochow also highlights the fear felt by these people when they should be placed in institutions where they are often afraid of being ostracized by other residents or caregivers if they advertise their sexual preferences. They are afraid of giving in to social pressure and having to abandon a hard-won gay identity.

Anyway hope that in Berlin that pension, the maximum of gays and lesbians manage to escape from social discrimination, or sex-related disease and will live under the same roof, all generations. This form of community life at least reduces the risk of spending an evening in solitude, deprivation and exclusion.

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