Of course, GB News and right-wingers are furious about this LGBTQ+ housing project

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GB News and other right-wing outlets are, predictably, outraged at a proposed LGBTQ+ housing complex for queer elders.

At the beginning of January, Great Places Housing Group launched a public consultation on its proposals to create the UK’s first purpose-built and co-produced majority LGBTQ+ Extra Care housing scheme in Whalley Range, south Manchester. 

The development is planned on the site of the now-demolished Spire Hospital – which has remained vacant since 2019 – and would see 80 one and two-bedroom social rented apartments built for people aged 55+ in a brick building of four to five storeys. The complex would also include shared facilities, lounges, treatment rooms and landscaped gardens. 

But after the project was announced, it didn’t take long for anti-LGBTQ+ bigots to attack the plans to build an “open and inclusive, physical and psychological place of safety for the older LGBTQ+ community”. 

So-called news channel GB News covered the story with all the sensitivity of a lead hammer. 

On Friday’s (5 January) edition of Friday Night Live with Mark Dolan, the presenter described the plans as “another example of wokeism’s love affair with segregation”. 

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“This time, what I am calling sexual apartheid. Giving people a special building of their own to live in based upon who they fancy or the gender by which they identify. 

“Putting certain groups of people into certain buildings – this is progress is it?” The presenter shouted at the screen.  

Dolan failed to note that whilst a a majority of the residents would be members of the LGBTQ+ community from Manchester, not all of them would be. The plan being for the LGBTQ+ elders to live alongside allies and other local community members.  

Dolan then proceeded to sardonically claim he wants to move into one of the flats and proceeded to flash a photograph of himself up on the screen, saying he does not have a “chance of getting into one of those LGBTQ+ flats” being that he is “male, pale and stale” – in his own words. 

“But let me introduce you to my brand new identity: Jennifer Dolan,” he told viewers, his picture transformed using a filter into a female version of himself in a crude jab against trans folk.  

LGBTQ+ Extra Care housing scheme in Whalley Range, south Manchester (Great Places Housing Group

Comments by readers of the Daily Mail were no better.

“Oh pleeeease give us a break,” one wrote.

“Oh, for GOD’s sake stop this nonsense!,” another said.

Writing for Unherd, anti-trans journalist Josephine Bartosch wrote that an LGBTQ+ housing complex would “further fragment communities, by stoking fear, resentment and ignorance”. 

“The idea of what cheekily might be referred to as a “gay ghetto” is based on a paranoid worldview of lurking danger. But the UK is undoubtedly one of the safest places to be “out”,” she wrote. 

“Most people in Britain shrink in horror at the gated communities which are common in other parts of the world, where people lock themselves away from would-be neighbours deemed too poor or too different. 

“Yet while it might not be gated, the idea that specialist housing is needed to keep people safe is divisive and regressive. 

“It can only be justified if one believes minority groups in Britain need protection from a backward and bigoted majority. Thankfully, this is not the case.” 

Research has shown that LGBTQ+ folks living in social housing often hide their identities from neighbours and housing staff – such as engineers –  for fear of facing abuse and discrimination. 

‘No Place Like Home’ found 32 per cent of LGBTQ+ respondents felt their neighbourhood was not a safe place to live as an LGBTQ+ person. For trans folk, this figure was much higher at 60. 

Whilst 34 per cent of survey respondents were completely open with their neighbours about their sexual orientation, but 35 per cent were not open at all

Whilst in other settings, such as care homes, research has shown LGBTQ+ elders have also faced abuse due their identities – the case of Noel Glynn being one such example. 

The Whalley Range complex would not be the first one for LGBTQ+ older people as London’s London’s first residential hub for queer folk was opened by Tonic Housing last year. 

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