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Madrid to open LGBT-friendly retirement home

The retirement home will be funded by Madrid's regional government and will be open by the end of the year.

2018-08-25

Madrid is set to open the world's first-ever publicly-funded LGBT-friendly retirement home by the end of the year.

A property in the southern Villaverde district of the city will become the home, housing 66 permanent residents as well as 30 additional people in an adjacent day centre. 

The centre will be funded by Madrid's regional government and LGBT activist Federico Armenteros believes it will be the world's first publicly-funded retirement home. 

In an interview with La Vanguardia, Armenteros said: "There are some people who are now 80-years-old and have never experienced the freedom of the LGBT movement because it didn't exist until 2005 when the same-sex marriage law saw homosexuality removed from the criminal code.

 

"Something had to be done so that these people could live out their last moments with as much dignity as possible." 

Armenteros, who is in his 70s, spent almost eight years campaigning for an LGBT-friendly retirement home and launched Madrid's December 26th Foundation, named after the 1979 same date when Spain decriminalised homosexuality, in 2011. 

He has since spoken about how elderly LGBT people have been forced to "go back into the closet" after entering retirement homes. Recalling his own experience, Armenteros told the BBC in 2011: "They started to steer clear of me and insult me. 

"They called me 'queer' and it made me feel awful. My room has two beds but no-one wants to share with me. So I'm alone and it's bad." 

Although the retirement home will be funded by Madrid's regional government, it will be managed by the December 26th Foundation and will be open to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation.