Aging Trans People Locked Out of U.S. Health Care System

Nov. 9, 2015 / By

In the rural Pacific Northwest, 50 miles from the nearest city, lives a man who does not want to be found. He came of age during the 1950s, when saying you felt as if you were trapped in a body that you didn’t belong in—you were assigned female at birth, but you identified as a boy, say—would be met with at best dismay and confusion, and at worst brutal abuse.

At 14, with no support system in sight, he attempted suicide, depressed at the physical changes taking place in his adolescent female body. At 19, he began taking testosterone, starting the transition into the person he knew he really was. His family told friends “she” had disappeared and then introduced him as a male cousin who had moved to the area.

He married, became a stepfather and went off to live his life as a man. He never told anyone about his past. Now in his 70s, he remains deeply closeted (even members of his own family aren’t aware of his transition) and deeply isolated (his wife passed away).

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New America Media

New America Media

New America Media is the country's first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 3,000 ethnic news organizations. Over 57 million ethnic adults connect to each other, to home countries and to America through 3000+ ethnic media outlets, the fastest growing sector of American journalism. Founded by the nonprofit Pacific News Service in 1996, NAM is headquartered in California with offices in New York and Washington D.C., and partnerships with journalism schools to grow local associations of ethnic media.