A few years ago, I met a transman who began taking hormones the year I was born, 1955. He’s now 75. I was the second trans person he’d met face-to-face (that he knew of); the first was in 1956. This man is so used to secrecy and hiding, it has become second-nature to him. He’s never even told his kids (now in their 40s) that he’s not their biological father. He contacted me for help finding a doctor he could see for various health issues; his main criteria was that the doctor be willing to not put his trans status in his chart.

Meeting Owen (not his real name) got me thinking about the experience of people who transitioned back in the day and didn’t write their autobiography. They are now aging and in need of medical care, retirement facilities, etc. How do they access services? Are they even willing to access services, if it means disclosing they once transitioned?

I would like to write a journal article, possibly a book, about these folks and the issues they now face. I could use some help here — finding these people isn’t going to be easy. Yet, their story needs to be told; they need services, they need access. The secrecy that has been their lived experience also holds them back from advocating for themselves as they age.

If you know anyone in this situation, or have ideas how I might find them, please e-mail me at I will keep all information confidential; if I end up relating anecdotal stories, I will change details to make sure the person isn’t identifiable.

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