Imagining the unimaginable: bisexual roadmaps for ageing

Jones, Rebecca L. (2012). Imagining the unimaginable: bisexual roadmaps for ageing. In: Ward, Richard; Rivers, Ian and Sutherland, Mike eds. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Ageing: Biographical Approaches for Inclusive Care and Support. London: Jessica Kingsley, pp. 21–38.



Life, as the old cliché states, is a journey. We journey into our own ageing but, apart from the end point of our eventual death, most people do not know where they are going to end up or the route they will take to get there. We use roadmaps to guide us into the unknown territory of our futures, roadmaps that give us a representation of the route we might take. These maps usually include major landmarks on the way, which will allow us to check that we haven't got lost and give a sense of predictability and progress to our journey. Conventionally, these major landmarks might be life events such as education, starting paid work, marriage, having children and retirement. We may also navigate by following well-worn roads or, if the path we are following is less-travelled, we may follow a trailblazer. While many people's journeys turn out to be different from the ones they had anticipated, whether through unwillingly becoming lost or a more positive choice to change the route, roadmaps for some people's journeys are much more difficult to identify.

This chapter discusses the roadmaps produced by one group for whom traditional roadmaps may be less useful; bisexual-identified adults with a high degree of unconventional life course features. It introduces the particular challenges of imagining bisexual ageing and examines the ways in which using creative methods in an unusual research setting enabled them to overcome this difficulty.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Item Actions