Homophobic abuse of elderly LGBTQ+ people in care homes exposed in new documentary

Ted and Noel

Ted & Noel, a documentary shining a light on the abuse of queer people in care homes, has arrived on Channel 4’s streaming service after winning an LGBTQ+ film festival award.

The documentary follows the work of activist Ted Brown to raise awareness of the abuse faced by his late husband Noel Glynn, who was burned by a cigarette and left bruised by staff in a Croydon care home, where he lived because of his struggle with dementia.

In 2021, the couple sued Lambeth Council, which has since apologised for the abuse. Brown was awarded £30,000 in compensation.

Julia Alcamo’s short film won the Iris Prize Co-op Audience Award thanks to the festival’s in-person and online voting, meaning Channel 4, formerly All 4, will stream it until October 2024. 

The film follows veteran LGBTQ+ activist Brown as he grieves for Glynn while mustering the strength for one last campaign. 

In a trailer for the documentary, Brown says: “I feel slightly guilty about what happened to Noel, I don’t want anyone else to go through that. I want them to recognise that homophobia is an issue in care homes. 

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“There are a number of things that need to be done before I feel I can let go about what happened to Noel, and what’s happening to gay people in these care homes. I’m not going to give up fighting for it.” 

Marc Kurucz, the retail operations excellence manager at the Co-op, described the documentary as “an incredibly captivating film and very deserving of [the] award, telling the story of dealing with grief as life goes on”. 

Ted & Noel
Julia Alcamo (left) and Ted Brown (right) at the Iris Prize festival 2023. (Iris Prize)

Kurucz added: “The film encapsulates the struggle Ted has gone through as a Black gay man and the challenges that he and others within the community continually face, and this is told beautifully by Ted throughout, as he recollects his journey through his amazing life.” 

Director Alcamo said: “We hope viewers will go out and share the issues raised by the film far and wide and join us in our determination to protect all LGBTQ+ lives.”

Ted & Noel‘s release follows London-based charity Compassion in Care publishing the second part of its “Stripped of All Pride” report in July.

The report highlighted harrowing data on the abuse suffered by LGBTQ+ people, with contributions from whistleblowers and family members of people in care settings

Ted & Noel is available to watch on Channel 4 in the UK and will be touring the UK with Iris on the Move, sponsored by Welsh TV channel S4C, in February and March 2024.

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