I had gender transition surgery at 80 to become a woman
I’m a firefighter and trucker who’s changed gender aged 80 – my wife has Alzheimer’s but I know she’d want me to live as the woman I’ve always been
- Isobel Jeffrey underwent gender confirmation surgery in January this year
- For 40 years, Isobel privately dressed in women’s clothes bought by her wife
- READ MORE: I’m de-transitioning after realising I’m happier as a man
An 80-year-old transgender woman has revealed how she’s finally living as ‘the woman she’s always been’.
Isobel Jeffrey, believed to be from Cheshire, underwent gender confirmation surgery in January and told ITV’s This Morning she ‘knew from a young age that she had been born in the wrong body’.
She previously worked as a sailor, fire fighter and truck driver in her younger life, occupations which she said ‘helped her proved her manliness’.
She then met her wife Margaret at age 16 and they married five years later and had two children together.
For 40 years, Isobel privately dressed in women’s clothes which her wife bought for her. When Isobel hit her 70s, she received her wife’s blessing to start living as a woman, but Margaret has Alzheimer’s disease and isn’t aware of her full transition.
Isobel Jeffrey underwent gender confirmation surgery in January and it has allowed her to ‘be the woman she’s always been’
Isobel said: ‘I had Margaret’s support and obviously when I was younger, when I was 20, they were will imprisoning homosexuals so trans people won’t even talked about.
‘I had the support of a wonderful, wonderful wife who I should’ve been married to for 60 years, she has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t really know me now, in a nursing home.’
‘At 50, things were beginning to go wrong with Alzheimer’s, we always talked as we’d always talked about our lives and I said and I thought if I was to live any sort of life, without her, I wanted to become who I wanted to.’
‘And she said “whatever makes you happy dear”, a truly wonderful woman who loved me dearly.’
‘So as Alzheimer’s began to take her away from me and she began to give me less I thought, I began to become Isobel more and more.’
Although Isobel was nervous, she set a date and came out to her family, friends and ‘the world at large’ in July 2018 and started living as Isobel while she was still caring for Margret.
She said: ‘It was mostly a good experience, 90, 95 per cent of people accepted me, I was upfront, I told them.’
Isobel said there was a ‘very long’ waiting line for the gender identity clinic, which she says you have to go through. But a new one opened up in Liverpool, called CMagic, which sped up her process.
She met her wife Margaret at age 16 and they married five years later and had two children together
She lived her life as Isobel and came out while she was still caring for Margret, who has alzheimer’s
Isobel worked as a sailor, fire fighter and truck driver in her younger life, occupations which she said ‘helped her proved her manliness’
She said: ‘You need doctor’s signatures and this sort of thing, CMagic put me through all this and then you have to be on hormones, testosterone blockers and female HRT.’
‘CMagic did all this up until the back end of last year. But then I hit a brick wall really.
‘I was recommended for surgery on the NHS, but I was put on a waiting list for the waiting list and nobody will say how long the waiting lists are, rumours say two years, some say three.’
Isobel said she had some money left over from her redundancy at 50, which she offered to her family, but they refused, meaning that she had enough cash to have the procedure done privately.
Mr Christian Seipp, consultant urological surgeon, who carried out Isobel’s surgery said: ‘I must say, I was blown away when I met Isobel the first time, clearly as you said its major surgery, it carries risks, there are complications, it’s not something you’d consider likely.’
‘Her motivation was just exceptional, so you have to account for that and you have to be aware that this is something that will complete her journey, complete her transition, something she’s been looking for to for such a long time.
‘And ultimately, she sailed through the surgery, as I expected.’
When asked what she would say to people who are considering transitioning, she said: ‘Yes, go for what you want, if you can, yes. I was told I would get an uplift of feeling but I can’t tell you – I think it’s best summed up in happiness. Generally I am ever such a lot happier.
‘Suicidal thoughts have disappeared, I’m sleeping better, headaches that I’ve had in the past are very nearly gone.
‘And generally people will say “what are you so happy about?” I just am!
‘Surgery is non-reversible… you’ve got to be sure.’
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