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Age Concern Comes Out At Manchester Pride

August 2, 2005 12:00 AM

Age Concern is planning a colourful appearance at this year's Manchester Pride Parade in an effort to highlight the needs of the often hidden population of older lesbians, gay men and bisexuals and transgender individuals.

Encouraged by the success of the charity's involvement in previous Pride events, Age Concern organisations in the North West are working with Age Concern Enterprises to submit a parade stopping entry into this year's procession.

The theme of the entry this year will be Partnerships, to highlight the introduction of legal civil partnerships for same sex couples later this year.

Plans are taking shape for a 7.5 tonne vehicle to be flamboyantly designed and decorated to highlight the theme, with a wedding theme incorporating two same sex marriages, one male and one female.

The parade entry will also focus on Age Concern Enterprises' successful products and insurance services, which help older people make more of life.

"Involvement in public events such as this is important as it challenges misconceptions, removes taboos and demonstrates to older people that there are support networks out there," said Tony Page, Managing Director of the trading arm of Age Concern.

Commenting on the issues involved, he added, "The situation for most lesbian, gay and bisexual people at the beginning of the 21st century is more positive, secure and affirming than ever before. However, the majority of older people have lived a large part of their lives in less liberal times and their experience has made them understandably wary and cautious".

The support network for the older LGBT community is steadily growing across Greater Manchester.

"Age Concern deserve sincere congratulations" said DELGA Chair Richard Porter.

There are estimated to be around three million LGBT people in the UK, around 33% of which are over 50.

"Age Concern are obviously aware of the challenges facing the older LGBT community."