The first step has been taken, since October the Month of Vitality also has a pink silk that was well received. On Thursday 15 October, the first Pink Elderly Congress was a fact. With this, COC Haaglanden has opened its doors for more movement in LGBT emancipation for the elderly.

Read more about the organization and what it took to realize this congress below. For this I spoke with Arnout Timmerman and Ton de Wit.

Why this congress?…
The Pink Elderly Congress was organized to get a clear picture of what is going on around LGBT elderly people in the society of Haaglanden. It was important to take a critical look at which challenges there are and which themes should be on the agenda. The purpose of this was to use all the collected information to develop one or more business cases.

Together with the Hague University of Applied Sciences
The Municipality of The Hague and The Hague University of Applied Sciences (HHS) are partners in the Month of Vitality. It was considered to organize a symposium for the elderly. The idea for a Pink Conference for the Elderly was brought about by the Municipality. She wanted to draw attention to the theme of LGBT elderly people. The board of COC Haaglanden saw various opportunities and possibilities in this and presented the idea to the new Working group on elderly policy.

Arnout Timmerman, the coordinator of the Elderly Policy Working Group, has thought about the structure and form together with the members. And with the support of the board, the Communication Working Group and various stakeholders, the idea became more concrete and tangible

What ideas was the congress decorated with?
The spearheads: housing, welfare, care and safety were used as fixed topics to organize the content of the congress. Various activities were developed from these spearheads. These were necessary to initiate interaction between stakeholders from science, society and business.

Why is this conference important
LGBT seniors have endured a lot in their time to break taboos to live as they are. Today's young people are reaping the benefits of this. Unfortunately, it is too often forgotten who fought for it. And emancipation has unfortunately not yet penetrated sufficiently into the welfare and health care on which vulnerable LGBT elderly depend. There are experiences of pink elderly who went back into the closet in order to survive in a care institution. And those are steps backwards while we have to move forward. It remains a sensitive subject that deserves more attention and awareness. And that is why it was so good to organize this conference together with and at the HHS. Because education is one of the seeds from which we can hopefully reap the benefits in the future.

Was the Pink Elderly Congress a success
The congress was a success in several areas. Never before has such a conference been organized on this scale and in combination with volunteers. In the short term, a lot of information has been collected with which we can move forward. And there is more to get out of it, as evidenced by the number of visitors and positive responses we have received. The question of whether it will take place again next year has been asked several times. And the compliments about the organization and atmosphere are endless. And that certainly leaves you wanting more, also because there is more to be won. I am thinking of attracting more students from healthcare and more national attention

How is 2016 filled in
This is still coffee grounds because we also depend on the current affairs of that moment. In any case, we have already noted that LGBT people with a disability and transgender 50+ are being brought more to the attention. We are also dependent on what emerges from the business cases. The results will follow later in November.

And what can and finally be added
COC Haaglanden must participate again as an interest group in 2016! And preparing the whole of Haaglanden for the Pink Elderly Congress, which means that we will campaign more. And recruit more guests and speakers to realize a program in which all stakeholders are stimulated to do more for the pink elderly.

This was more than just a convention. The information, the relevant speakers and artists made this congress a beautiful whole in view of the performance. Next year we can confirm this and provide a solid foundation with this year's knowledge and experience. It is also nice to volunteer for such a valuable initiative as the Pink Elderly Congress.

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