Comfort among older lesbian and gay people in disclosing their sexual orientation to health and aged care services Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Being comfortable in disclosing one’s sexual orientation to health and aged care providers is important for older lesbian and gay adults, given that nondisclosure is associated with poorer health and well-being outcomes. In a sample of 752 lesbian and gay adults aged 60 years and older living in Australia, we found only 51% of lesbian women and 64% of gay men felt fully comfortable to disclose their sexual orientation to health and aged care service providers. For both the women and the men, those who felt fully comfortable to disclose reported significantly less internalized homophobia; had fewer experiences of discrimination in the past year; and reported greater lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community connectedness. Feeling fully comfortable was also predicted by fewer experiences of lifetime discrimination among the men. These findings may help those seeking to assist older lesbian and gay people in feeling comfortable and being open with health and aged care service providers.

publication date

  • 2020