“In 1971 I started hormones, and I had surgery in ’72 and ’73 at Stanford University. My family and friends were very supportive. I’ve been with my wife, Carol, for 24 years.
“I’ve kept contact with as many transgender people in my generation as I could. But so many never came out because of the stigma. Also, in the old days people would not even be considered a viable candidate for [medical] transition if they did not go stealth. Then there’s just the invisibility of aging.
“Transgender people who are aging worry about privacy issues, especially about their bodies—whether or not they’ve had surgery—and what that’s going to mean when they’re in a nursing home: ‘What am I going to do when I’ve been more or less private for all these years and then my body is exposed?’ ‘What’s going to happen to me as a result of other people’s ignorance?’
“I’m still working because I have to: I didn’t go to college because there was no college that I could get into [before I transitioned] that did not have a requirement that I wear a dress. I’m very lucky that my health is still good and I have a supportive doctor—I have certainly heard the horror stories.”