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Calling it Quits

| Jan 30, 2017
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The last few months, three people I know, two of them dear friends, decided they would no longer present as their true gender. These decisions were not made lightly, not without painful soul searching and not without regret. They boxed up their belongings or gave away the clothing, wigs, shoes, or donated everything to a charity. One of the ladies, cut her hair, bought guy clothes and moved back to her home town and returned to her wife. The other two decided too much was at stake for them to come out or continue now. Both had too many responsibilities and too much to lose. My heart aches for them all.

Such an agonizing decision

Not one of these ladies is young. Their ages run from 50s to 70s. Each knew as a teen or pre-teen their bodies did not match their true selves. They’ve lived for 40 to 60 years feeling this mismatch. Now they have decided it’s too much, or too late, or both. We talk and all of us have expressed how much we wish we knew then what we know now and also live in today’s world. We would have transitioned much sooner and lived happily for decades.

You can change your clothes, but not your gender

The most difficult part of their decision is living with the feelings that, no matter what you do or don’t do, your body and mind are misaligned. Each have acknowledged they may never be truly free or truly happy. The life they imagined, worked for, lived and now have given up is a memory. Could I make that decision? I don’t know.

Something most of us have considered

I have considered calling it quits, as have many of us. The difficulties living as your true self are occasionally brutal. If your family does not support you, there is that constant tension. If you live in a place where you have no protections, no rights and are in danger, this takes a terrible toll on you. There are days when you receive taunts and curses, struggle to completely change your life or are just weary that many of us have considered calling it quits.

Failure, shame and loss

My friends have spoken about losing their true identity. I heard one speak of the shame of failing to make it on her own. My oldest friend speaks of never again feeling the joy and freedom as she does when she is presenting. One likened it to a death. There is so much heartache.

Trans* is terminal

I’ve said this often when trying to explain to someone how I feel the way I do as a Trans* person. “Being Trans* is terminal. I will die with this.” My three friends know this also and have or are coming to terms with their decision. No matter what, they will always be the woman they know they are. My hope is that they will always cherish those truths.

Always our sisters and brothers

Those of us who, like my friends, decide to no longer present as their true selves are still and always are our sisters and brothers. Deciding not to present or stopping hormones or never identifying as Trans* again does not mean they are no longer one of us. They are and always will be a member of our family and they need and deserve our respect and love.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Opinion


About the Author ()

I am Cate, a mature transgender woman. I am a writer, blogger, parent, grandparent, sailor, activist and happy. I am a widow, and live with my yorkiepoo, Belle. I love music, reading, cooking, outdoors, DIY, theater, antiquing and flea markets, home brewing, and seeing what is around the bend in the road or over the horizon. I own the website. It is an outreach, support and resource for mature trans* people and especially for those who, like me, came out after fifty.

Comments (2)

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  1. Emily Emily says:

    My heart goes out to those who find it necessary to detransition. I do not think I could survive it, your friends must have an awesome inner strength. I hope hope they find contentment.

  2. Sophie Lynne Sophie Lynne says:

    I’ve lost so much by transitioning. Friends. Family. My marriage. Even if I detransitioned, these things will never return.

    I can’t imagine the pain of detransition. I am a woman. There can be no going back for me. I wish your friends Peace.

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