To live and age as who we really are: Perspectives from older LGBT+ people in Ireland

HRB open research

HRB Open Res. 2020 May 21;3:6. doi: 10.12688/hrbopenres.12990.2. eCollection 2020.


This Open Letter discusses the theme of 'diversity in brain health' in research, practice and policy for older LGBT+ people. It is written by a multidisciplinary group of Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute in Trinity College Dublin (TCD), from a variety of disciplines (health economics, human geography, anthropology, psychology, gerontology) and professions (researcher, clinicians, writers, practicing artists). The group developed a workshop to explore the theme of 'Diversity and Brain Health' through the lens of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual plus (LGBT+). . Guided by two advisors (Prof Agnes Higgins, TCD; Mr Ciaran McKinney, Age and Opportunity), we invited older LGBT+ people and those interested in the topic of LGBT+ and ageing, healthcare providers, policy makers and interested members of the research community. We partnered with colleagues in the School of Law to include socio-legal perspectives. Following the workshop, Roe and Walrath wrote an opinion editorial, published in the Irish Times during the 2019 PRIDE festival, and were subsequently invited by HRB Open Research to provide a more detailed expansion of that work. In this Open Letter we describe the theme of 'diversity and brain health' and some of the lessons we learned from listening to the lived experience of older LGBT+ people in Ireland today. We illustrate why it's important to understand the lived experience of older LGBT+ people and highlight the failure of the State to evaluate the experience of LGBT+ people in policy implementation. We call on researchers, clinicians, service planners and policy makers, to recognize and address diversity as an important way to address health inequities in Ireland.

PMID:32296753 | PMC:PMC7141166 | DOI:10.12688/hrbopenres.12990.2