A new study in the UK has concluded that more older gay people live their lives alone and with less support than their straight counterparts.

The report, commissioned by LGBTI rights group Stonewall, found that 40% of older gay and bisexual men were single compared to 15% of heterosexual men.

“Thousands of gay people are growing older without the same family and support structures that many straight people enjoy,” Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, told The Observer.

“Quite often, that’s because their own families have disowned them just because of the way they were born.”

According to the report, forty one percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people lived alone while only 28% of heterosexual people were in the same circumstances.

While 21% of straight people see their families a few times a week, this figure is only 8% for LGB people. LGB people are also more likely (15%) to be working after the age of 70 than straight people (6%).

Summerskill noted, however, that as younger LGB generations age they are becoming more assertive. “For the first time this generation of ageing gay people fully expects to be treated with respect by both public and commercial service providers.”

“They want to be able to share a room in an old people’s home or to be supported through their partner’s terminal illness just like anyone else,” he said.

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