I read an article this morning about Grace Anne Stevens who began her transition at the age of 64. I really relate to a lot of what she says in the article, especially what she says about “not having the words”. I think a lot of people have trouble understanding why people transition so late in life, how could they not have known?
I think fear has a lot to do with it, but more so, I think, is that growing up there just was not open discussion of transgender people. There wasnt much when I was growing up, I doubt there was any other than negative when she was growing up. I simply did not know I was a man because I was told I wasnt and I didnt know that it was possible for me to be anything other than what people told me I was. Older trans people coming out and speaking up really helps to show that the “sudden growth” of young trans people isnt something new, its just that there is far more available information for young people to make sense of who they are and much more acceptance of gender variance, its far easier to come out now. Trans people have always been here, its just that it is now much safer to come out from the shadows and finally allow ourselves to live as the people weve always known ourselves to me but just did not have the words to explain.