|Photo from Davide Ragusa |
Or should I say the opposite, dying admiration. On the rare occasion I visit a cemetery., especially in the military section I wonder how many of buried service members took their deep dark gender secret of being transgender to the grave with them. Men in particular have a higher portion of transgender service because they saw the military as a way to denying the fact they wanted deep down to be a woman. Sadly many took that to the grave with them.
On a lesser scale, there are those trans women in the closet who decided to stay there later in life. I can understand the inner turmoil which existed by staying in the closet for the sake of family, job, or even friends. I did it for six months for my second wife just before she passed away. I was so polished in my feminine presentation, you might say in many words I "de-transitioned" to do it. I became so bad off, I resorted to growing back my hated beard, gaining weight and drinking way too much. Terrible is the word which comes to mind when I think back on this period of my life.
To be able to stay in the closet later in life can most likely be looked at in a couple ways. One of which is the thought pattern I have made it this far in life in the closet, why risk my life as I know it for such a radical change. All you have spent your entire life trying to build could be in jeopardy. Using a current term, you could put your entire life into the "hot mess" category. Spouses, extended family and property are just a few of the things which can be thrown suddenly into the junk pile. The other way is the complete opposite.
If you are not going to try to get out of your closet later in life, mortality is closing in and you may never have another chance. Sometimes relationships with spouses have become routine all the way to toxic, so a change could do you good. My own parents became increasingly toxic to each other somewhere following their fiftieth wedding anniversary and I often wondered who or why they were staying together for.
These days it would not surprise me to hear of more senior citizen de-transitioners. Perhaps it is because many of given up so much, it makes no sense to go back. On the other hand, in my case I would never give my brother and his family the satisfaction of thinking they were right concerning my right to live as my authentic self. Plus, the fact I enjoy now who I am for the first time in my life can be factored in. I guess I can say those transgender individuals who never came out of their closets until death were better men than I never was.