9: Survival of an older Bangladeshi lesbian experiencing intersectional vulnerability

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Living as an older lesbian in a society that stigmatises marginalised communities is challenging. Patriarchy significantly impacts the experience of gender and sexually diverse populations in Bangladesh, especially for lesbians. This chapter explores the experiences of an older lesbian that speak to the intersectional oppression with which she lives. Bangladeshi society is significantly patriarchal, and women continue to experience that patriarchy as oppression. Being an older lesbian brings additional vulnerability, because older people often lack adequate financial support and health and social care. Her experience as an older lesbian is used as a lens to understand what it is like to live an identity that sits outside enforced cultural norms and to get access to health, social care and social relationships. This chapter further investigates the impacts of religion in her life and the implications of mental health support for people with HIV, based on her experiences.

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