It is nice to be visible, with or without hi-vis! My bike is very important to me, no more so than now as I am struggling to walk. I hope my hip replacement will change this. I am so fortunate to be able to get around still and enjoy our beautiful town.
Enjoying life in my 50s getting better like a good glass wine.
Life is still fun and exciting the older one gets.
A few lines...
1) I am Betty. And I am 93, born 1929.
2) I want to be seen to exist as an OLD LGBT person, and not to be rejected for what only a small part of me actually IS, and what I was born with.
I want to share that many old folk, including LGBT want to be acknowledged as still valuable members of their communities.
3) The letter box signifies communication and I strongly believe in the importance of personal communication preferably by handwritten letter.
Lisa and Liesa, in their 50s, taking time out down at the beach for a dip and a picnic. It makes a change from mountain-biking and kite-surfing, when they're not busy running the Rock Project in Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth. Seen here with their friends and neighbours Helen and Jane (50s and 70s) when it was too hot to be organizing the next Aberration or writing, researching and performing their Queer Tales from Wales.
My name is Ray and I wanted to be part of the wave project as it’s never too late to say who you really are. I live at Innage Grange and I wanted people to know that’s its ok to live in a care home and be gay I have people around me who understand and support me.
David is an out gay proud man happy to live in Telford, Shropshire, now retired and active in charity work.
"One in ten" - that's why I've chosen to take part, 'one in ten' or thereabouts, we are here in Shropshire within all age groups.
"We treat everyone equally" - is another reason I've chosen to take part, to challenge this rather lazy assumption that there is no need for any special actions / sensitivity for LGBT+ people, or others in need of support.
Here we are enjoying a restaurant meal after 42 years together and so glad our campaigning for equal rights has been so successful. We never want the clock to go backwards as we head into our eighth decade! That’s why we’re so happy to be involved with the Wave Project; we’re here, we always were and we always will be.
We're like any other couple, we laugh, cry, argue, hurt, and have fun. It's important that everyone is accepted for who they are and be recognised as "normal". And what could be more normal than putting up the Christmas tree together.
A civilly partnered couple, Peter and Tony, having a fun time in Shrewsbury’s C:21 ‘Fabulous’ LGBT+ night where Marty was performing. Despite being the oldest there (probably) we were first onto the dance floor. “Dance like no one’s watching” is a good motto 😁
[SAND's "Future Proofing" afternoon] was instructive, irrespective of whether or not much of it applied directly to me. As with the second case example, I live alone - in my case, in rented accommodation in the form of a bungalow. Technically, I'm bisexual, but have not been in a regular relationship for many years. With very limited resources I'm conscious of the need to keep fuel bills to a minimum. As and when finances allow, I like to use the theatre and cinema. As a singer I have joined a good choir in Shrewsbury, which offers both excellent repertoire under a superb musical director, and also companionship. I haven't driven for years, so rely mainly on public transport. Fortunately, walking from my place into town (Shrewsbury) is perfectly manageable. Neighbours are friendly, some to the point of being extremely helpful - especially to one who is not of a practical bent!
Having been together for 24 years now, we still love spending time in the countryside with our lively spaniel, Dylan. We love an eclectic mixture of activities and hope all LGBT+ folk can have the freedom we have have been lucky to have enjoyed, whilst many around the world do not have this freedom nor even a safe place to be themselves.
A walk around Haughmond Hill with Angus.
My name is Trevor, I am a happy bear who though in my 60s still has a satisfying (if quiet) life. I am participating in this project to show that LGBTQ+ people exist, in the wider world, in the LGBTQ+ community (in both these we tend to be invisible due to their youth orientation), and in the Buddhist community, which I have been part of for 40 something years, and why the photo was shot in front of my shrine.
Joseph Applebaum and Stu Maddux are California filmmakers who discovered Shropshire during a screening of one of their films at the Rainbow Film Festival. While it's definitely not San Francisco where they live, they also spend much of their time in Shrewsbury because of the welcoming queer community they find here as well. This wave is from a recent commute between both places.
Annie: We’ve been together for about 37 years. Caroline a ceramicist and sculptor. I’ve recently given up my business career to write novels. My first was published by Penguin in 2021 and my second is on the way! Walking, kayaking etc helps the creative process!
Caroline: We both like getting out and about in the countryside, be it walking, open canoeing or being on the sea in our kayaks. The first attempt at having our photo taken inside went a little awry so we opted for an outdoor shot as we spend a lot of our time out and about.
I'm Inge Thornton (she/her). This photo was taken at home, against a background that I thought showed something about some things that are important to me. Although I don’t live in Shrewsbury, I’ve visited it socially for many years for LGBTQ+ events, both while I lived in Birmingham, and now I live in mid Wales. I used to go to the monthly Border Women Sunday lunches at the Peach Tree, and made many friends there, and now really enjoy coming to the History Month events.
I spotted a 'latin and ballroom' class in Brighton in 2001 and thought, what a great way to meet other lesbians outside of the bar scene. It's fun and a great way to keep fit mentally and physically. It's also a real antidote for times when life gets just a bit too serious. There's a big 'same-sex dance' scene in London that my dance partner Jane and I hope to get down to again this year.
Marilyn: I met with Laura at the Border Women Burn’s Night party and we were happy to be paired up for the photo while enjoying great food and good company.
I took part because I lost my partner to cancer after 22 years together and it’s important to show that there is life after loss and with a community like Border Women you may be single but you are never alone.
I am 67, recently retired and a keen gardener, traveller and photographer. I am looking forward to being able to spend more time doing all of these things as well as meeting new people and making new friends, especially in the LGBT+ community.
Hi. My name is Helga, and I'm 71. I feel that is important to increase the visibility of older LGBT+ people, to claim our rightful place in today's society.
This photo was taken at an LGBTQ history month film in Shrewsbury. As the Wave project recognises, these events are really important as they showcase lives and work that counters the narratives that make us invisible. It’s also great to have the opportunity to meet up together and watch queer art. I’m a 55 year old radical dietitian and poet. I work as a researcher around gender, power and the right to food.
This photo was taken at Carl's home in Birmingham by our (straight) neighbours after a lovely meal and evening together. Our favourite way to spend time with friends. We support this project as we believe loneliness and isolation in old age can be alleviated by love and understanding and this problem is more prevalent in some minority groups where there can be prejudice. Educational or social action to make older gay and trans people more welcome is incredibly beneficial.
I am projection manager at The Old Market Hall Cinema Shrewsbury. I have been involved with The Shropshire Rainbow Film Festival for a number of years. During that time we have seen some great advances in LGBT+ awareness but also a realisation that there is still work to be done. I decided to be part of the Wave Project to promote the importance of visibility in our community.
I'm Jane and I wanted to be part of this project for greater visibility and awareness to be who you are.
I'm the leader of Shropshire Council. I'm very happy to be included in this project as I think it is important to show that us LGBT+ folk are involved in a very wide variety of careers and that age is not a barrier.
This is me. I hope it shows I am happy and enjoying life because I am. I want to take part in this project to show that older LGBT people are real people. We are normal people. Everyone deserves to be happy and to enjoy life. Not everyone finds it easy and as a community we should support others.
Hi, I'm Kathy. I live (almost) in the shadow of the beautiful Brown Clee hill with my partner, Ann. The photo shows me Nordic walking in the hill near Nordy Bank hill fort. I usually walk with a group, often in Shrewsbury, Nordic walking is great for fitness and I enjoy spending time with the people in the group.
John and Alan been together for 6 years and got married on 9th July 2021, this is our home with field behind us in Ironbridge for 2 years. We are proud to be gay and happy to support LGBT.
I'm proud to be out. It took me a long time. I'm wearing my Gay Outdoor Club cap. Through this group, I meet a lot more people in the same situation and I've made a lot of friends by joining it.
Hi, I'm Ann. I've lived in Shropshire for about 30 years now and I live in a very rural area. I'm retired and enjoy volunteering, gardening and walking. We've had a campervan for the past 11 years and I just love holidaying in it.
Love my holidays in the sun. Picture taken Gran Canaria November 2022.
Hi, I am Robin and I work in Social Housing. I wanted to take part in the Wave Project to promote the importance of visibility in our community and in the workplace. Its important to bring your whole self to work.
I’ve had enough of being part in the closet. I get the point of being visible at the moment be it about gay rights or politics etc., though I’m not particularly “political”.
This photo was from when I opened Shrewsbury’s LGBT+ History Festival at the Hive, during my Mayoral year. I attended with two of my children, my eldest being non-binary and gay and myself being bisexual. I wanted to take part in the project because I believe that we should all be free to be ourselves without persecution and to continue to help my eldest develop their confidence with who they are, whilst also being autistic. I’m a half-glass-full type of person, with lots of enthusiasm, so what is captured in a photo is me in the moment.
Hi I’m Ming, I’ve just turned 60, I’m with Nancy my 7 year old sheepdog. We’re in the van that I’m currently converting into a camper so that we can go on some big adventures together. It’s important that I live my life as authentically as possible and be visible to show that people like me do exist over the age of 50.
When we founded SAND some 10 years ago I had no idea I’d be so proud of the journey we’ve been on and what we’ve achieved!
Hello from Lis and Mary in Newport
My name is Wilf Talbot, that’s me giving you all a wave, I live on my own, I lost my husband a few months ago after nearly 61 years together. This project is so important, the wave and the hand show there are people ready to help in various ways. I am very happy to be taking part if even in a small way.
This photo was taken on a fun social evening with fellow Border Women in Shropshire. We wanted to take part in the Wave project to show that older LGBT people are out there and hopefully this will inspire others to have the confidence to come out and find happiness later in life, just as we did.
Paul & Nigel, happily together for over 37 years, enjoying Carnarfon Castle. We live near Craven Arms having moved up from Hertfordshire many years ago