Research into the experiences and needs of older and ageing Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex (GLBTI) people in Australia is slowly gaining the recognition it deserves as a legitimate issue in the wider ageing society in Australia.
This has not been achieved without a concerted effort by groups like GRAI to raise the profile of older and ageing GLBTI people in Australia and in other countries around the world.
GRAI was established in Perth, Western Australia in August 2005 to explore the development of retirement and aged care services and facilities for older and ageing people of diverse sexualities and gender identities.
Vision: Older GLBTI will enjoy a rewarding quality of life.
Mission: To create a responsive and inclusive mature age environment that promotes and supports a quality life for older people of diverse sexualities and gender identities.
Our Values: Dignity, Diversity, Respect, Well-being, Health, Self-worth, Excellence, Community and Choice.
As we grow as an organisation, GRAI is keen to explore a range of opportunities to talk with current providers of retirement and aged care services, government agencies and industry groups to ensure the issues of GLBTI ageing and retirement are being taken seriously.
It is worth noting that GLBTI baby boomers are most likely to be the first generation to be openly ‘out’ as they age. This very fact means that service providers, agencies and government will need to approach older GLBTI people very differently to any other group of retirees in the years to come.
This is where organisations like GRAI have a vital role to play in working with a range of stakeholders to appropriately address the gaps that exist in this area.
In addition to addressing areas of inequality and isolation of GLBTI people, it is increasingly important for us to be acknowledging those organisations, services and agencies that do understand the needs of older GLBTI people are not the same as those of their heterosexual counterparts.
In recognising this, GRAI will continue to work to establish successful partnerships with providers, services and agencies that acknowledge the needs of older GLBTI people and encouraging the GLBTI community to support these organisations when they need to access relevant services.