Midlife Sex Change: Becoming a Man at 50

The ultimate reinvention.

Photograph: Photos courtesy of Jamie Carr.

Jamie Carr, 63, pastor and landscaper, Tucson

"When I made the transition [from female to male], I felt at home. I felt like all those years, I’d been a drag queen the other way, and I was exhausted trying so hard to be something I was not.

"I didn’t have to work at trying to be a man. It was just there. But I lost my family, my friends. I had nothing left. I’m close with only two of my five sons. I saw two granddaughters at one son’s wedding, but I was not introduced. You just have to give those things over to God and not let them eat you up.

"I was already beginning menopause when I started the hormone shots. Within a month, my voice started to do the cracking thing and I started to go through male puberty. That testosterone is something else! Of course, the first thrill everyone looks for is getting facial and body hair. Your muscles start to develop, and your skin texture changes. When I had my top surgery [mastectomy], I thought, wow, I am really doing this! I get a hormone shot every two weeks. It keeps my libido at the level of a 20-year-old. The only drawback is male-pattern baldness. I have to wear my hair short, and it’s definitely sparse. And I used to cry real easy at certain movies, or over hymns at church. Now I’ll get choked up, but I don’t cry. I have been praying that the Lord will bring that back to me. I don’t want to be hard."

Originally published in the July/August 2009 issue of MORE. Read more more wild "What It’s Like" stories.

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