Sweden: First gay-friendly retirement home opens

People unfurl a gay pride flag at the Stockholm Pride march Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Regnbagen is the Swedish word for rainbow

The first retirement home in Europe for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people has opened in the Swedish capital Stockholm, it's reported.

About 40 people live in Regnbagen House's 27 apartments across three floors of a residential building in central Stockholm, Radio Sweden says. There are already 95 people on its waiting list. The Swedish public broadcaster notes that it fulfils a growing demand for "profile housing projects" - homes for elderly people based on religion, culture, language or sexuality. One resident, retired art teacher Bjorn Gate, tells Radio Sweden it's important that people from the same background live together in retirement. "It matters a lot that you are among kindred spirits."

Speaking to The Local news website in 2009 when plans for the home were hatched, Renbagen chairman Christer Fallman said they were hoping to create a care home where "LGBT people can speak their own language and feel secure who they are". Resident Lars Mononen, a 64-year-old former Volvo worker, thought that the Renbagen probably won't be the last LGBT-friendly retirement home in Sweden. "I know already they are looking at doing something similar in Gothenburg," he told The Local.

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