It's very obvious I'm transitioning towards the end of my life. What may not be so obvious is the amount of interaction I have had with other younger transgender women considering their transitions. The only constant is, a gender transition is never easy. While a younger person may have the benefit of building a life from scratch in their chosen gender, in fact an older person may be close to or in retirement and not have to worry about a work transition at all.
Then, there is the ever important "appearance" factor which seemingly benefits a younger trans person who doesn't have the effect of living years and years in an unwanted gender. However, with out being too derogatory, later in life women begin to gain heavy features and sag when men lose their "T" naturally and start to soften.
All ages agree medical coverage availability and legal rights are huge injustices. I have talked with several young transgender women who are just incensed they have to go to a therapist for permission to even start HRT. On the other hand, I just don't want to face the day when I'm taken to the hospital with this highly androgynous body I'm developing especially with new gender markers.
Ironically, it was my generation (the baby boomers) who could have made a serious impact with all of this but just didn't get it done for what ever reason. Just as ironic is I picked up this story from Al Jazeera America:
In the end, living an authentic life is a financial risk for transgender individuals. A 2013 study found that transgender workers report unemployment rates two times higher than the population as a whole, and are generally underemployed, more likely to have lower income and more likely to be in an unstable housing situation.
But there’s always retirement, right? Not always.
As more and more transgender individuals get older, the unique challenges they face are becoming apparent. Shortfalls in health care could mean the difference between life and death for some. Discrimination in retirement communities or assisted-living facilities could tarnish the golden years, and a later-in-life transition could leave some ostracized from the families they’ve loved their whole lives.
But just when you think all is lost, there are beginnings of hope here and there, such as the group Forge which is described as a transgender support group with a focus on aging.
As I said, no one has it easy and the younger trans generation seems to have the task well in hand of changing the world from their end. We old-timers need to do the same!
Follow the links above for more information on all of this!