Diane Wilson
Search my site:
Diane Wilson -> Gender -> Gianna Israel -> Transition -> Late Transition Regrets

Gianna Israel Gender Library

*

Self

*

Family

*

Health Care

*

Closets

*

Transition

-

Transition Frustration

-

Late Transition Regrets

-

Pre-Transition Dilemma

-

Post-Op Living

-

Passing Perfect

-

Reversing Transition

-

Starting Transition

-

Former Gender Shame

-

First Romantic Date

-

Hormones? Maybe, Later

-

Remaining Friends

*

Living

*

Community

*

Legal

*

Special Focus

Gianna Israel Gender Library

Late Transition Regrets

Although I have counseled all age groups, well over half of my clients consist of persons who are forty years of age or older. Often this age group has typically acquired a variety of personal skills and life accomplishments. Yet, after going through the ordeal of transitioning gender many are left with regrets and questions. This article will explore that dynamic.

It is not that many regret transitioning; after all being true to oneself generally has a positive effect on people. What arise are deep seeded fears that, now having discovered something integrally fulfilling, it may be ending all too soon. There is also often a significant sense of loss over not having acted sooner. At least on the surface it sometimes even seems that coming out and transitioning at a late stage doesn't offer a wealth of opportunities.

It is reasonable for us as humans to fear aging, possible illness and passing. In order to truly appreciate the richness of life as it exists at the moment we must be cognizant that we don't have that sense of immortality that young people have. But, maturing does not mean we should start writing our obituaries, either.

Often when a new friend or even a stranger finds out that I work as a counselor, I hear comments that it must be interesting to hear about people's secrets. Actually, what is inspiring to me, is to watch how late-transitioners with a little extra effort will create extraordinary lives.

Certainly, no one can be faulted for wanting a leisurely life confined to gardening and shopping. Indeed, I have been a counselor a long time, and I know half of my readers immediately wonder where the nearest mall is - whenever they hear the word 'shopping.' There are other things, however, that offset transpersons as remarkable humans.

Unlike the person who simply picks up a new hobby to placate a mid-life crisis, I have repeatedly observed that transitioning subtly changes one's values for the better. Former political conservatives suddenly develop and often act on new interests in women's rights, sexual minority issues. Some even lobby on Washington on transgender issues. Others, who once mostly thought of themselves, can be found volunteering or taking care of others. Some individuals build new careers they never would have imagined as possible a short time ago.

I have never encouraged transition to be a source of regret for people. Particularly considering how much energy and resources one must invest into the process. So if you are going to transition, make it the best years of your life. Before plunging into major change, take a look around you, look at what other people have done. Definitely, at any stage, look for genetic and trans-women role models. Learn how they got where they are at, and how they dealt with road blocks that they encountered.

One of the difficulties with a late transition is the possibility of being disowned family members - And, it may seem too late to start building new relationships or waiting on old ones. Never give up. Transgender men and women are very resilient, and it is definitely possible for persons of any age to find love, companionship, closeness, even intimacy. It may not come in the way you had it before, or exactly how you imagine it will be, but if but relationships are definitely there for the asking. After all, you're not the only person out there that needs those human callings fulfilled. -Good Luck to creating the life you want.


GENDER ARTICLES. This educational column authored by Gianna E. Israel is regularly featured on the 3rd Monday of each month in Tg-Forum, the Internet's most up-to-date, weekly Transgender Magazine <http://www.tgforum.com/>. Several weeks later each article is forwarded to Usenet and AOL <Keyword TCF>. Each column has been written to inspire contemplation and dialogue. Columns may be reprinted in any medium insofar as each article, its introduction, and the author's contact information remains unaltered.

GIANNA E. ISRAEL provides nationwide telephone consultation, individual & relationship counseling, evaluations and referrals. She is principal author of the Transgender Care (Temple University / in press 1997). She also writes Transgender Tapestry's "Ask Gianna" column; is an AEGIS board member and HBIGDA member.She can be contacted at (415) 558-8058, at P.O. Box 424447 San Francisco, CA 94142, or via e-mail at Gianna@counselsuite.com.


Copyright © 2001 by Diane Wilson. All rights reserved.