Trans woman tells beautiful story of transition at 80

Isobel Jeffrey on the set of Good Morning Britain.

A retired trans firefighter has proven it’s never too late to be the real you after undergoing gender confirmation surgery at 80.

Isobel Jeffrey tells Good morning Britain on Friday (March 10) that early on she felt that her gender identity and assigned gender did not match.

To deal with her feelings at the time, she began working jobs that made her feel more “manly”, including work as a sailor, which took her around the world.

But in her 70s, with the blessing of her wife Margaret, she decided to publicly become the woman she had wanted to be for more than 40 years.

“When I was younger they locked up homosexuals, they didn’t even mention trans people,” Isobel said.

“I had the support of a wonderful, wonderful woman to be married to for 60 years.”

Isobel said her wife would support her by buying dresses to wear in the privacy of her own home.

Isobel speaks to the hosts of Good Morning Britain.
Isobel shared her incredible story during a Good Morning Britain broadcast. (ITV)

After Margaret developed symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, the two discussed their lives and concluded that life was too short for Isobel to hide her true self.

‘Whatever Makes You Happy Honey’

Margaret was eventually placed in a care home after symptoms worsened and Isobel said she “don’t really know me anymore”.

“Things started to go wrong with Alzheimer’s at 50,” she explained.

“We talked, like we always have, about our lives and I said if I was going to have any life without her, I wanted to be what I wanted to be.

“She said what she’s said to me a hundred times before: ‘Whatever makes you happy, honey.'”

After coming out as trans with the support of her lifelong partner, Isobel struggled to present herself as her true gender and has never felt happier.

After coming to terms with her decision, she set a date to come out to her family in July 2018 and was greeted with nothing but love.

“It was mostly a good experience,” she said.

β€œ95 percent of people accepted me. I was frank, you know, when I told them.

“It went on from there, I had certain medical things, I went to my doctor to skip certain formalities and hurdles.”

When asked if she was nervous about coming out, she laughed, “Yes, but not quite as nervous as now.”

Isobel mentioned the incredibly long waiting times for NHS gender identity clinics, where trans patients can wait up to four years for a referral.

After getting a doctor’s signature and other requirements, Isobel began taking hormones and eventually underwent gender confirmation surgery after reaching her 80s.

But the wait was so incredibly long that she finally decided to pay for a private surgery out of her own pocket.

“When I got laid off at 50, I offered my family certain things, like a new car, you know, that sort of thing.

“They said, ‘No, no, no, it’s your money,’ so give them credit.”

Also in conversation Good morning BritainSpire Yale Hospital’s Chris Seipp, who performed the operation, said he was overwhelmed when he met Isobel, who called the doctor a “wonderful, wonderful man”.

“It’s a big operation, it has risks, there are complications,” he said.

‘But when you see Isobel there you don’t even pay attention to her chronological age when you see her. There is so much energy in her, there is so much life in her.

“Your motivation is simply extraordinary.”

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Adam Bradshaw

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