Number of people over 65 identifying as LGB rises for first time … Paul Sinha-ha-ha … Manchester Pride volunteers wanted … Back in the Closet

News

Number of over-65s identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual rises for first time

The figures are based on data from the Annual Population Survey, which gathers information exclusively on sexual orientation.

A new question on gender identification was added to the 2021 census, with results from this expected to follow in 2022.

The number of people aged 65-years-old and over who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual in England and Scotland has increased for the first time, according to new figures.

Data shared by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals that the number of people identifying as either lesbian, gay or bisexual has risen from 0.7 per cent in 2018 to one per cent in 2019.

Despite the increase, the largest number of people identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual remains concentrated in the lower age brackets, with the youngest age group accounting for one third of all lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the UK.

The new analysis reveals that one in 15 people aged between 16 and 24 years old (6.6 per cent) identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual – an increase of 2.2 per cent since 2018.

These figures reflect a wider trend across the UK population, with an estimated 2.7 per cent of people aged 16 and above identifying as either lesbian, gay or bisexual in 2019, up from 2.2 per cent in 2018.

According to the ONS, this may be because “younger people could be more likely to explore their sexuality, combined with more social acceptability of different sexual identities and the expression of these today.”

Among English regions, people in London were most likely to identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, with 3.8 per cent of those in the capital placing themselves in this category.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the East of England is home to the lowest number of people identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual at just 2.1 per cent.

Penelope McClure, statistician at the ONS, described the increase in younger people identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual as “statistically significant”.

She said: “An estimated 1.4 million people aged 16 and over in the UK identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) in 2019 – a statistically significant increase from 1.2 million in 2018 – continuing the trend we have seen over recent years. People aged 16 to 24 continue to be the most likely to identify as LGB, however, the proportion of older adults identifying as LGB, while much smaller, is also increasing.”

Paul Sinha-ha-ha

Standup comedy night Laugh Riot made an appearance at the Waterside Arts Centre on 21 May as part of the week-long Pride in Trafford festival which explores and celebrates identity and LGBT+ life locally and beyond.

Paul Sinha

Comedian Paul Sinha was born in the UK to Bengali parents. Whilst studying medicine in the 1990s, Paul took his first steps on the stand-up comedy circuit.

He pursued both careers and at the 2006 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, he earned a nomination for the highest accolade in live comedy, the Edinburgh Comedy Award.

Shortly after his nomination, Paul became a full-time comedian.

He is a familiar voice on radio and television including programmes such as QI and Would I Lie to You? and was a competitor on Taskmaster.

Paul is also one of the UK’s finest quizzers and this has led to another concurrent career as a general knowledge expert on the award-winning ITV quiz show, The Chase.

Paul is currently the fourth-best quizzer in the UK and his husband, Oliver, is the eleventh. Out of all the chasers, he has the worst nickname – the Sinha-man – but he is definitely the best at reciting the periodic table whilst hula-hooping!

The review

This was my first night out in over a year – the event was live but there was also an at-home live stream recording.

There were robust measures in place to reassure people regarding Covid safety, including mandatory use of face masks (unless exempt), staggered arrival times, a one-way system, and reduced audience capacity.

The MC was Kerry Leigh and she introduced the best in alternative comedy – Josh Jones (one to watch out for), Jessica Fostekew, and Paul.

It was also the first night out for the performers for over a year and there were some nerves. Most of the performers had notes written on the backs of their hands. It was a fun night of LGBT+ humour, but it was also just great to be out and about and was an all-around fantastic experience!

Manchester Pride volunteers wanted

Manchester Pride are excited to announce that volunteer applications for the 2021 Pride Festival will be opening next week! 

National Volunteers Week takes place every year between 1 – 7 June and Manchester Pride will be celebrating the wonderful people who make the festival possible. 

This year they have loads of great opportunities to get involved and help them make 2021 better than ever. 

If interested please see the flyer and go to the Volunteers hub on their website: www.manchesterpride.com/volunteers 

You can also meet members of the team, other potential volunteers, learn about the opportunities and ask any questions at a Meet and Greet zoom meeting on Thursday, 3 June, 5.00pm – 6.00pm.

Tickets are free and can be booked here

Back in the Closet

Image: Anna Raczynski recording setup for Back in the Closet

Join Pride in Ageing on 10 June (12.30pm – 2.00pm) for a one-off webinar to celebrate the launch of the Back in the Closet project.

The artworks were made as part of a series of artist residencies exploring the experiences of Greater Manchester’s LGBT+ communities living in retirement housing. 

The Back in the Closet project saw four artists paired with four older persons’ housing schemes across Greater Manchester. They worked with both staff and residents to open a discussion on LGBT+ identities and to find both small and significant changes to make these environments more inclusive.

You’ll hear about how this project was developed, what they have learnt about adapting and delivering artist residencies during the pandemic and how creative approaches have shed light on LGBT+ visibility in housing for older people.

The link to register for this free online event is here, but if you can’t make it we will be sharing a link to view the artworks when they are online.

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