Older LGBTI Australians have not been visible. This has meant that their experiences and needs have not been well understood. Stories are an important way of creating visibility and social change. Stories capture the heart.
Letters of Love and Dementia
The Letters of Love and Dementia Campaign includes this film called Our Hearts Are Bigger, which shows Anne Tudor and Edie Mayhew opening and reading letters they wrote to each other every day for a week. The film is part of a series documenting Edie’s journey with Younger Onset Dementia and Anne and Edie’s approach to deepening their relationship.
In October 2016 an event for Senior’s Festival Victoria bought over 100 LGBTI elders together for High Tea and Dancing with a number of Victoria’s Commissioners. The Commissioners were invited to dance – to show their support for LGBTI elders.
The Baroness of Balaclava
Richard James (5/8/1931 – 23/9/2014) was a gay activist, artist, senior’s advocate, community champion, pianist and dad. He created drag persona The Baroness of Balaclava to challenge the invisibility of older gay men. Richard’s life was celebrated at the Victorian Senior’s Festival in 2016 in an event coordinated by Alice’s Garage (alicesgarage.net) and Switchboard Victoria (www.switchboard.org.au). The film was produced by Franklin Image (franklinimage.com.au) and the project was funded by the Victorian Senior’s Festival and the City of Port Phillip.
Edie: A Day in the Life of a Lesbian with Younger Onset Dementia
This film was made in 2016 as part of a project documenting LGBTI people’s experiences of dementia. The film sought to destigmatise dementia and challenge the myth that lesbians (and gay men) who develop dementia “become straight”.