They often can’t live with their partners in seniors homes, encounter medical workers who don’t understand their culture, and face lonely times without children. But the aging gay community in Windsor — growing, like all baby boomers — now has a new and uncommon club they can turn to for help and companionship: 50+Proud. “This is the next step in the evolution of Pride,” said Dani Bobb, the 50+Proud committee chair, referring to the annual Windsor Pride gay celebration and organization. “We want a better quality of life for gay seniors.” Calling themselves “gay and grey,” the club was made possible through a $25,000 grant from Human Resources and Social Development Canada. Bobb said older gay people often face unique challenges that mainstream society does not address well. “You’re sometimes working with people who don’t understand the issues, the language, the culture,” Bobb said. “Everything is legal about homosexuality in Canada. Now it’s about education. Difficulties can mount “It’s essentially generational. With the younger generation, it’s basically cool. But it’s sometimes a problem with the older generation.” Since the aging population often deals with the older generation, their difficulties can mount. For instance, Bobb said gay seniors often can’t stay with their life partners in nursing homes, as straight couples often do. Bobb said he hopes for gayfriendly retirement homes, as exist in Toronto. Also, arranging finances can be more tricky. “What happens when you’re not around? Families can come in and scoop the house if you have arranged your finances so that it goes to your partner,” said Bobb, 62, a local hairstylist. “Same with investments.” Bobb said some gay seniors also face special medical issues. “Gay seniors are more sexually active, so you have to make sure they stay safe,” Bobb said. Activities coming up for 50+Proud are a barbecue, a wine picnic, and seminars on financial planning, legal affairs and health. But Bobb said besides bigotry, perhaps the biggest reason he and the rest of the volunteers helping with 50+Proud, such as Windsor Pride board chairman Marc Dubois, believe a gay seniors organization is necessary is isolation. “We’re finding that gay seniors are afraid to go into nursing homes, so they’re going back in the closet,” Bobb said. “Some have been abandoned by their families, many don’t have children, or don’t have partners, so they isolate themselves. “I want to get those people out of the house and socializing again.” I'm glad to support this type of social awareness in my community. Another reason why Canada is a great place to live. I wish more communities had groups like this so no one has to feel shut out and alone. HUMAN RIGHTS FOR ALL!!