Scotland’s Luminate Festival comes together with LGBT Health & Wellbeing to open up discussions on LGBTQI-inclusive care


Collaborating with filmmaker Glenda Rome, as well as older members of the local LGBTQI community, Luminate Festival and LGBT Health & Wellbeing introduce, (drumroll please…) Return To The Closet?

A short, community-led film exploring issues around care for older LGBTQI people, Return To The Closet? will be screened on the opening day of this year’s Luminate Festival – 1 May 2019 – at the Centre For Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, followed by a panel discussion.

The culmination of an eight-month project in which members of LGBT Health & Wellbeing’s Age Project reflected on their knowledge and experiences of the care sector, in the film, those collaborators discuss their feelings around ageing.

A key theme was that of, “needing more support from care providers,” as well as one question in particular, “Will more engagement with services later in life mean having to return to the closet?”

Glenda Rome, filmmaker, collaborated with the group in the making of the film which came out of those reflections, including teaching filmmaking skills – everything from interview techniques, all the way to editing.

Living through less liberal times and often having to hide their identities, Return To The Closet? captures a shared history of stigma and discrimination, as well as this group’s perception of non-LGBTQI-inclusive care settings, spaces which invoke grave concerns for older LGBTQI people about what care could look like for them. 

We want this film to raise awareness about the care needs of older LGBT+ people, and to open up the conversations which will help our care needs be met,” explains Derek Anderson, who appears in the film.

“The idea of going into care can be daunting for anyone. We’ve lived through much less understanding times and we carry the impact of that with us. If we don’t feel welcomed as our authentic selves, this can be a real barrier to health.

“It’s so important that care providers deliver inclusive services where all older people can be their full selves and live healthy lives.”

Anne Gallacher, Director of Luminate added: “Luminate’s creative work gives voice to older people’s views, hopes and dreams. 

“Our collaboration with LGBT Health & Wellbeing has supported older LGBTI+ people to share their experience as part of a creative project, and to learn a range of documentary-making skills along the way. 

“The group’s film is a thought-provoking exploration of their hopes and concerns for the future.  I hope Return To The Closet? will prompt discussion of the issues around care that the film raises, as it is important that our care services meet the needs of all older people.”

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