Elderly lesbian woman Malloy was devastated when told she could no longer visit an aged care facility's lonely residents.
The volunteer visitor, who is referred to only as Malloy, could not understand why any of the residents would complain about her, as the facility claimed in October 2017.
She was horrified. An uncomfortable meeting with the nurse manager only added to her hurt.
"She said that I was not allowed to talk about my sexuality with the residents," Malloy told the aged care royal commission.
The nurse manager said Malloy could continue to visit one male resident because he liked her and another two or three people.
"I was devastated to be told that I was no longer allowed to visit all my usual residents and to hear that they had been complaining about me," Malloy said on Thursday.
The 84-year-old said she did not hide the fact that she was a lesbian while at the facility, but it was not something she actively spoke to residents about.
"I do not think they would have even known what my sexuality was."
Malloy said the nurse manager told an aged care rights advocate: "We don't have people like that here."
The discrimination opened up old wounds, Malloy told the royal commission's Melbourne hearing about diversity in aged care.
"I experienced a lot of discrimination when I was younger and these events brought back all of those negative feelings.
"I think that LGBTQI people should be treated with respect and people should be able to be themselves without having to hide their sexual orientation."
Malloy said her mother tried to beat her after discovering the then-teenager with one of her girlfriends in her bedroom, while her father called her insulting names for years.
In 1960, when she was 25, Malloy ended up in a psychiatric hospital after suffering a breakdown.
"I was told that if I ever went back to being a practising lesbian, God would not love me.
"My psychiatrist tried various types of conversion therapy on me including electroconvulsive therapy and LSD treatment."
Now an advocate for LGBTQI people in aged care, Malloy said she did not believe any complaints were made by the aged care residents and blamed the nurse manager's personal issue with the volunteer's sexuality.
Malloy continues to volunteer her time visiting residents at the aged care facility next to her retirement village, a practice she started after her partner of 22 years died.
She said the facility had never acknowledged her story nor apologised, although the nurse manager no longer bullied her.
Australian Associated Press
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