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LaurenA

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I've been on HRT for about two years.  I have plans for FFS and GRS.  What gas been holding me back is my unwillingness of accepting as what I am.  After a LOT of thought I've realized that the only way I can go forward (surgery)  is to allow myself to admit I really am a girl.  I'm 73yo and have been fighting this since my early teens.  Sometimes this feels like a solution to my feelings (deep depression).  I enjoyed my life as a male (married for over 25 years as a triad) yet I've always felt uncomfortable playing the part.  I mean I've loved women as well as men.  I've never  felt the was a huge difference between the two.  After so many years of dealing with this I'm not sure how to label myself.

At this point I have decided that I don;t have a lot off time left to me and should move forward on anything like this.  If this is what I really want then this is the time to do it.

But I'm unsure, no afraid.  What will this do for any treatment I get as I age.  My current health care providers are Very supportive and accept me gender and pronouns.  But do I want to go a physical transition (surgery) or am I too afraid of what my fortune as a trans-female female will be?  I know some people will say that I should get off my but and  be who I am.

 

Not looking at anything other than suggestion on how I should handle this.

 

Laurem

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An addendum...

 

I have a ticket for REO Speed wagon this night at the local state fair.  I've dressed up and added a little makeup, not too much because I can't get it right.

 

I wonder what is appropriate wear and makeup for a really old person? I keep wondering about that.  I see so many younger trans women dress in was I would have if I were 40 years younger. I cannot find any guidelines fo someone my age. So tonight I'm wearing slacks and a tank top both in black.  Since I have not not been able to find shoes that fit I'm forced to wear sneakers.

 

Tonight I am dressing as who I am and biting the bullet of whatever results it generates.  I'm afraid of violence and being p.  Here's wishing that's all not going to happen.

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31 minutes ago, LaurenA said:

I wonder what is appropriate wear and makeup for a really old person?

 

My guideline is to wear clothes that my mother would have worn.  She had good taste in clothes and grooming, and, although she never knew me as Kathy to give me advice in person, I take her as my role model for presentation.

 

Of course, my mother never went to a REO Speedwagon concert, so perhaps that wouldn't work in this situation.  🥴

 

Be safe and enjoy the concert!

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1 hour ago, LaurenA said:

But I'm unsure, no afraid.  What will this do for any treatment I get as I age. 

 

I won't tell you what to do.  This is the ultimate personal decision: only you can make it.

 

Treatment, particularly surgery, will get harder as you age.  I had my surgery at age 65.  I was in excellent health, but my body still wasn't as resilient as I had hoped.  If you are going to do it, sooner is better than later from a physical point of view.  It is major surgery.

 

I do understand the fear/hesitation.  I, too, had doubts going forward towards surgery.  I wanted to be sure that it was really what I wanted.  My doubts about safety were resolved partly due to where I live and partly due to having had several years of "real-life experience" under my belt.  I realize that, in your country, your level of safety will depend a lot on where you live.  I don't envy you that part of your decision.

 

I still had doubts about whether to have the surgery and if so, which variation of the surgery I wanted.  I find that, in a situation like that, bouncing ideas off someone else is very helpful in clarifying my own desires.  I booked a couple of sessions with a gender therapist to talk it over.  She helped me get clarity on what I really wanted.  I strongly recommend talking to a therapist about it.

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6 hours ago, LaurenA said:

I see so many younger trans women dress in was I would have if I were 40 years younger. I cannot find any guidelines fo someone my age.

Hi @LaurenA,

It takes time to develop a wardrobe that says, “This is me!”. I wish I could wear the clothes that I wore back in my 20’s and 30’s but IMHO, it’s plain silly at my age. My wife is a year my senior and I like what she wears although her colors are very different than mine. We only have very few things that we can share these days. Over the years, she has passed along some good shopping tips and she keeps me in line as far as dressing age appropriate. Ultimately, it’s a lot of trial and error that gets you looking good and feeling comfy presenting female in public. I want to share (with what I believe to be) some good ideas to find age and color appropriate clothing at our age.

 

If you haven’t done this already, you might try subscribing or looking online at a few popular magazines like “Better Homes and Gardens”, “Professional Woman’s Magazine”, or “InStyle”. Alternatively, you might also check out some shopping locations that cater generally to older women…”Blair”,  “Women Within”, or “ShopNational”. All of these have some great clothing items that may work for you.

 

One other resource I’ve found for fashion ideas are a few smaller non-franchised non-profit thrift shops. There’s one I really enjoy shopping at about 5 miles from my home. It’s run by a few wonderful elderly ladies my age who have been very helpful over the years. They love to give their opinions whenever I try on something. Often times they’ll tell me to try something new on that they just got in. I’m often pleasantly surprised. You might find something like this in your area and try to engage with the sales staff and ask them for their opinion. You might be surprised how helpful they can be.

 

Warmest Regards,

Susan R🌷

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Hi @LaurenA, if you have the money I highly recommend taking a one-on-one makeup lesson with a makeup artist. I went in thinking I was going to learn all sorts of fancy tricks for looking glamorous but came away with a solid makeup routine that I can do in 20 minutes before work. The woman I worked with has mostly older clients and is all about finding the tones and approach that work best for each particular person. Maybe there is someone like that near you?

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12 hours ago, LaurenA said:

I've been on HRT for about two years.  I have plans for FFS and GRS.  What gas been holding me back is my unwillingness of accepting as what I am.  After a LOT of thought I've realized that the only way I can go forward (surgery)  is to allow myself to admit I really am a girl.  I'm 73yo and have been fighting this since my early teens.  Sometimes this feels like a solution to my feelings (deep depression).  I enjoyed my life as a male (married for over 25 years as a triad) yet I've always felt uncomfortable playing the part.  I mean I've loved women as well as men.  I've never  felt the was a huge difference between the two.  After so many years of dealing with this I'm not sure how to label myself.

At this point I have decided that I don;t have a lot off time left to me and should move forward on anything like this.  If this is what I really want then this is the time to do it.

But I'm unsure, no afraid.  What will this do for any treatment I get as I age.  My current health care providers are Very supportive and accept me gender and pronouns.  But do I want to go a physical transition (surgery) or am I too afraid of what my fortune as a trans-female female will be?  I know some people will say that I should get off my but and  be who I am.

 

Not looking at anything other than suggestion on how I should handle this.

 

Laurem

Lauren, I am 69 and also not accepting what has happened to me. I know I am trans, but I seem to have a different understanding of that than others in our community. I fought transition all my life, but the fight ruined my health as my dysphoria was critical. I started transition at 65, and it lowered my dysphoria, making me realise I needed to do this for my health. But my heart was not in it. I realised this was like any other serious health condition, I didn't get to like it or not, just do what I needed to survive. That realisation in place, I thought what it would be like travelling as a woman, but with male bits. I also heard of the discrimination elderly trans women are subject to at care facilities, so I felt it was practical to make my body match my formal ID's. 

 

I got GRS in January 2021, and I was amazed how much it reduced my dysphoria. My BA was also for practical reasons. At nearly 4 years on HRT, I felt my growth had finished, and I was asymmetric about half a bra cup, and I was having difficulty buying bras with my cup and band combination. Both of these problems have been solved, and I found I have more confidence to wear bathing suits in public, and use women's change rooms. I still am not happy that I am trans, but I have to make the best of it. The overall confidence boost has enabled me to reclaim much of my normal life, and to better engage socially. So my life now has improved due to these surgeries, you just need to assess the potential benefits for yourself.

 

Hugs,

 

Allie

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for me I will be 64 on sat. and I have made my mind up that the boy parts are going away, I love Rachel she is out and not going back I am going to get things done that I can, you have to live for you ,I am getting better at it but some times it dont always work,  so just be the best you can be enjoy life and be happy.  I am still working on it

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    It is hard for me to understand where the strength and certainty came from.  Somehow posting here and seeing a gender therapist me to go full time at 63.  I've had heart issues for years so at first i gave up on surgery.  Eventually i simply got an orchiectomy.  That alone has helped me with the side effects of long term HRT and feeling better about myself.

I had surgery, receiving a new hip last week.  I'm 75 and recovery has been a bit rough.  

    As to fashion:  i wear long simple skirts with simple T's or plain long sleeve blouses when i'm off the farm.  Working i'm often in UPF50 slacks.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

 

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Well I'm a lot younger and still wished I did it earlier but I got a lot of life to live still. I would suggest that you live how you want. Even cis gendered women don't fit the "perfect model" type. 

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I'm 73 myself.  When I realized I was transgender I just went with it.  It was scary at first.  I think in some ways it is actually easier if you are of a certain age.  Older men and women start to look a bit more alike anyway.

I've been on HRT for a few years and have had some changes, but slowly.  It's too late for my hair, but I do wear a wig or some other head covering.  As for surgery, I can't see it happening.  It would be nice, but I'm concerned about the recovery especially at my age.  And of course the VA doesn't do it and I don't have the funds for a private dr.

For clothing I stay age appropriate.  I wear dresses or skirts that are below the knee or longer.  Full skirts easily hide what "bulge" I have.  (It was never that impressive anyway, and the hormones have also had an affect.)  

I've accepted that I will be clocked as trans by anyone that has a good look at me.  So I avoid situations where that might be a problem.  But even in this conservative area it hasn't been a big problem yet.

Just the act of accepting who I was was a huge relief after a lifetime of denying it.  For me it was very liberating.

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@KathyLauren Thank you for the wonderful advice.  Monday I’m going to try to get an appointment with a surgeon here .  That alone takes care of one of my fears.  I had been planning on going to Thailand because the price was half to a third of what it would cost here.  The logistic of that are overwhelming.  My mother seldom dresses in anything bu pajamas and a robe.  I guess at 97 she can do that.

@Susan R  I defiantly am going to subscribe to some magazines for clothing ideas.  I haven’t checked out local thrift store.  My only problem with that is that I need to build more confidence.  Thursday was the very first time I went out of the house dressed as me.

@Betty K@Betty K   There’s a Sephora’s nearby.  I’ve already talked to them about lessons.  I’ve been going there for small amounts of makeup.  No hassle at all, no questions asked.  Next time I’m going to dress more female.

@AllieJ  I wish my dysphoria has never as bad as yours.  You have my sympathy.  That’s one of the reasons I’ve been hesitant about surgery.  My dysphoria raises it’s ugly head and causes deep depression.  Things are much better now but I can’t determine if it’s because I’m moving forward or all of the anti-depressants proscribed.

@rachel w  I agree that what time is left should be spent as our true selves.

@Charlize@Charlize   The recovery is going to be tough on me  I live by myself.  I’m going to have to gain a lot more confidence before I’ll go out in a skirt.

@Ashley0616  I wish I had done something about it back in my 20;s.  But at that time (1970) it was unheard of.

@Ivy  Since I’m in good health I’m hoping my recovery won’t be too bad.  I’m looking at a zero depth vaginoplasty.  What triggered all this is a talk I had with my PCP.  She told me that Medicare will cover it know.  I’m not sure it’s true so I have to do some resarch

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You are an amazingly strong woman. I am proud of you.

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Like you, my dysphoria can lead to an ugly depression - I'm sure we're not alone in that and it seems to go in cycles, at least for me. I have decided that surgery is not in my future, but HRT is still a possibility. I'm still so early in this journey of discovery and, despite the age-related internal pressure to move quickly, I've decided to move ahead slowly as I gain confidence in "me."

 

In terms of fashion, I dress fairly conservatively, but do enjoy colors, above-the-knee skirts and skorts sometimes and wearing heels when appropriate...or just for fun. For make-up, I've watched quite a few Youtube videos for hints. I've come to realize that, for me at least just short of 70, less is more. Light foundation, gel liner on my lower eyelid margin and perhaps just a light touch on the upper, mascara on my lashes, and an appropriate color lipstick (I do like bolder colors here). I found a tip on highlighting my cheeks by dabbing on a bit of gel lipstick on each cheek and then using a make-up sponge to smooth it over my cheek bones. Much easier than trying to blend blush for me.

 

I look forward to reading more about your journey You are an inspiration!!

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7 hours ago, LaurenA said:

I’m looking at a zero depth vaginoplasty.

If I were to get the surgery, I would probably go with this myself.  

But, I'll admit that I do fantasize about having the right equipment.

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Medicare will cover vaginoplasty.  Unclear if they will find any other surgery "necessary."

 

To develop your eye for style for women over 50, I recommend you sign up for the free newsletter at www.awellstyledlife.com

 

It is an amazing resource, especially the discussions among the women in the Comments section.

 

And, yes, see a therapist!  This is too great a burden to tackle solo.

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Well, after several days of contacting all of the therapists suggested to me (which includes almost all therapists in SE Wisconsin) I have found the following responses:

 

1. They are not taking new patients

2. They are no longer in business

3. They don't accept medicare.

4.  They don't deal with transgender services.

 

So at this point I don't know what to do.  I'm afraid I'm going to go with my default response and drink until it doesn't matter anymore.  At least that's better than my alternate response.

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46 minutes ago, LaurenA said:

Well, after several days of contacting all of the therapists suggested to me (which includes almost all therapists in SE Wisconsin) I have found the following responses:

 

1. They are not taking new patients

2. They are no longer in business

3. They don't accept medicare.

4.  They don't deal with transgender services.

 

So at this point I don't know what to do.  I'm afraid I'm going to go with my default response and drink until it doesn't matter anymore.  At least that's better than my alternate response.

Hello  LaurenA    I Hope things start going in the right direction for you, for me my therapist is not really a transgender therapists she is learning but for me I have been lucky, I have had her since day 1 from when my wife passed away so I have stayed with her because I really like her and she has pulled me through really bad times.    just keep trying and also I have seen some for online services to. just hang in there Rachel

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also I have found  DR ZPHD  on u tube she is for transgender people I have watched some of her videos and it helps

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Have you considered working through a therapist on-line? I found my therapist through a well-known LQBTQ+ focused counseling organization. Unfortunately, they don't accept any insurance. I ultimately just switched directly to my therapist's private practice and she accepts various insurance plans (not sure she accepts Medicare, though). I've never had a physical meeting with her - he practice is 500+ miles away - but she's literally saved my life. 

 

If you can't find someone with a physical practice in your area who can take you on, perhaps on-line could be a viable option.

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Hi Lauren.   I think about you since we crossed paths in Wilmette and ever since one time when I tried to meet up with you.  I’m  with others who suggest an online therapist.  Maybe pay to consult them just enough to get any letters you need?   If you’re paying cash for surgeons, do you even need a therapist letter?  (I’m confused because sometimes it’s just the insurance company’s that require them who the f knows). Are you now trying for surgery at UW Madison?  I was blocked from any treatment there, and don’t know if you’re similiar situation.

 

My latest therapist was with Pathways in Milwaukee and had the masters in social work (=accepts Medicare).  But he recently moved to Boston.  I am sending him a message now to find out if he can help you virtually or lead us to someone who will take your insurance and help you SOON.  I will post back or message you when I hear back💕

1 hour ago, LaurenA said:

Well, after several days of contacting all of the therapists suggested to me (which includes almost all therapists in SE Wisconsin) I have found the following responses:

 

1. They are not taking new patients

2. They are no longer in business

3. They don't accept medicare.

4.  They don't deal with transgender services.

 

So at this point I don't know what to do.  I'm afraid I'm going to go with my default response and drink until it doesn't matter anymore.  At least that's better than my alternate response.

 

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They already got back to me.  He said for you to to contact Pathways.  If you have already done so, I apologize!!!

 

I was with Pathways in the 1990s before a mental health court order put a stop to my goals then.  When I started again in 2015, they wouldn’t take me due to the Medicare snag.   Had to wait until 2018 when they got a therapist with masters in social work.  

Hope they don’t run you around anymore though!!!!!  
 

How was REO?  

I was at the fair the night before and saw Halestorm.  It went ok.  But walking around the fair I found myself avoiding people I used to know in Milw when I spotted them.  I brought two males with me as camouflage ( I paid for everybody —but I was glad to not be walking around alone )

 

I guess it’s all a matter of us getting it done. No matter how overdue!!!!!!

It makes a life statement to this world that we WERE this all along.  
You matter as much as any child who is born happily cis or able to transition young.  Your experience mattered.  
You matter now. 

 

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10 hours ago, rachel w said:

Hello  LaurenA    I Hope things start going in the right direction for you, for me my therapist is not really a transgender therapists she is learning but for me I have been lucky, I have had her since day 1 from when my wife passed away so I have stayed with her because I really like her and she has pulled me through really bad times.    just keep trying and also I have seen some for online services to. just hang in there Rachel

Pretty much in the same boat.  Difference is that my wife died a year or so after I admitted I was trans.  She always supported me although she was unsure the label fit.  I tried all of the therapists who were only online and that was a nogo as well.

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10 hours ago, rachel w said:

also I have found  DR ZPHD  on u tube she is for transgender people I have watched some of her videos and it helps

I have been tempted.  I guess I'm worried that she's so popular that I'm insignificant to her practice.  Maybe I should just bite the bullet and contact her

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