What It’s Like To Transition At 70

"I was supposed to go to my grave with this."

The Washington Post examines what it’s like to transition at age 70 in a new short doc on Kathryn Rohr, a retired orthopedic surgeon who came out as transgender after 44 years of marriage, and recently underwent gender confirmation surgery to correct the “secret she thought she’d take to her grave.”

In the video below, Kathryn — or Kate for short — explains how she knew she was “different from other boys” at a very young age, how she came to realize she was transgender before there was even a word to describe it, and how she ultimately decided to bottle it up and continue living as male when she met Linda, the woman she’d marry in 1968.

But, after a lifetime of researching her condition and experimenting with the beginning stages of transitioning, Kate finally decided she’d transition after retiring on December 31, 2015.

Kate recalls the moment she sat Linda down to tell her, fondly remembering her positive and supportive response.

“[I was] feeling very sad,” Linda said, “that this little boy had to grow up his whole life with this inner struggle and could never reveal it to anyone for the fear that if they found out about it, he would lose what he’d worked so hard for.”

When Kate is finally wheeled out of the operating room and into recovery after surgery, family members gather around to celebrate the milestone she describes as “only five percent of the journey,” albeit “a very important five percent.”

“She still has a smile on her face,” Linda said. “Can you believe it?”

Check it out below:

Matthew Tharrett is a writer, filmmaker, and above all else, a Britney fan. He once shared a milkshake with Selena Gomez.
@mattharrett