Not So Gay

In a compassionately drawn picture of gay seniors who have been affected by Centrelink’s recognition of their relationships, Benjamin Law (‘A Gay Old Time’, July) neglects a couple of key questions. Why does Centrelink pay less to couples ($24,747) than to two single people ($29,630)? The cost of living is no less; Woolworths gives no discount to shoppers buying for two. Secondly, Law interviews ‘out’ gay men at a gay-community seminar. But what happens to older gay and lesbian couples who have lived quietly together for decades, never coming out? Privacy has been their lifelong survival strategy. Now they face intrusive, traumatic questioning, with a choice of losing one-sixth of their income or becoming ‘welfare cheats’. In their headlong rush towards gay-marriage rights, gay conservatives have thrown our elders overboard.

Daniel Reeders

Footscray, VIC