Ending prejudice in care: ‘As we go grey we don’t become less gay’

Ramses Underhill-Smith set up Alternative Care Services, which provides home care support to LGBTIQ+ adults in London, after a friend contracted HIV.

“He was living in New York and when the carers discovered he had HIV they refused to touch him. He was really distressed and I decided I wanted to do something about it. It made me think: What will happen to me when I get older?” says Underhill-Smith, who is transgender.

What occurred to Underhill-Smith’s friend is not confined to the US. Underhill-Smith cites examples of homophobic behaviour he has come across in the UK: in one case, a man who was being looked after by nuns found they would only wash him with a mop when they discovered he was gay; in another case, a gay man receiving care in his own home had to hide photographs of himself with his partner before the care worker called …

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