Retirement can often be a source of great apprehension, discomfort, and—in some cases—torment for older trans people. From care homes and carers, to mental health wards and the staff that populate them, transgender senior citizens are being failed by the services they rely on more and more as they get older. Whether plagued with ignorance about the specific needs of the trans community, or directly harbouring hostile attitudes towards them, one of society’s most vulnerable groups is being let down by the very institutions established to protect and look after them.
“We have actually seen cases where trans people have then been less cared for by their care givers,” says Jenny-Anne Bishop, a trans activist who helps to run The Rainbow Lives Project, a charity that offers diversity training to care workers, amongst other services. “They start to deteriorate until they are transferred to a place where they are better accepted.”