Queer ageing

Document Type


Publication details

Post-print of: Hughes, M 2006, 'Queer ageing', Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 54-59.

This unenhanced electronic version of the article is reproduced here with the kind permission of The Australian Psychological Society

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Peer Reviewed



This paper examines the potential of queer ideas for social gerontology and aged care practice. It overviews developments in lesbian and gay gerontology, and questions heteronormative influences within this literature, particularly in relation to its reliance on concepts such as ‘successful ageing’. The value of a queer approach to ageing and aged care practice lies in its challenging of restrictive binary definitions of both homosexuality and old age. It is argued that a queer ageing approach would encounter older people not just as bodies with sexual needs, but also as erotic beings with diverse sexualities to be celebrated and desired. In aged care practice, awareness of the multiplicity and constructedness of older people’s identities highlights the value of facilitating their narratives so that they might present their own understanding of their identity in their own way.

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