Aging with pride in israel: An israeli perspective on the meaning of homosexuality in old age

Orna Meri-Esh, Israel Doron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article deals with the meaning of aging for gay men and for the lesbian population. A unique segment of the population, approximately 10% statistically, this group has yet to be researched in Israel and has received relatively little attention in gerontological literature. The lack of Israeli research here is particularly remarkable considering the overall increase in aging research. The purpose of the research herein is to examine the world of older lesbians and gay men, to present their experiences firsthand, life stories, remarks and inner concepts. The study attempts to learn from and understand the components that gay men and lesbian experience in old age, the implication of aging for them and whether or not aging brings a change in the understanding of homosexuality and lesbianism. The findings show that aging as a gay man or lesbian means living with many contradictions. On one hand, this study shows that in Israel the aging gays and lesbians are likely to suffer from a double stigma: from homophobia and ageism. The interesting finding of this study is that older gays and lesbians also suffer from a third type of oppression: ageism within the gay-lesbian community. In addition, the study's findings indicate that the common image of older gays and older lesbians as being depressed, lonely, despairing and inactive sexually is empirically groundless. Old age, it turns out, has some liberating aspects, including liberation from sexual influences and from multiple personal and social obligations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-59
Number of pages18
JournalAgeing International
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2009


  • Ageism and gender
  • Homophobia
  • Homosexuality and aging
  • Lesbians and old age
  • Sexism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)


Dive into the research topics of 'Aging with pride in israel: An israeli perspective on the meaning of homosexuality in old age'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this