From despair to joy: At 69, Phillis Rolli embraces a long-delayed transition journey
"It's never too late to be happy," says Phillis Rolli, a 69-year-old hairdresser from Seattle. The woman confessed that she contemplated suicide for much of her life, unable to accept her body. She found relief only when she decided to transition. Finally, she felt as if she had started her real life.
"I experienced deep despair inside"
One day Phillis's father caught her dressing up in girl's clothes. His reaction was severe. He implied that what she had done was wrong and that she mustn't tell anyone about the incident. Consequently, Phillis ceased wearing colourful clothes, but she felt overwhelmed. "I knew I should have been a girl when I was just five years old," she admitted in an interview with the Daily Mail.
She started her adult life as Phillip. She married and raised two children with her wife. She ensured her desire to live in harmony with her true self did not impact her family relationships. "I was putting on a fake smile every day. In reality, I was experiencing deep despair inside," she confesses.
In 2022, Phillis began hormone therapy. When the medications started to take effect, she decided to reveal to the world that she identifies as a woman. "That day I put on women's clothes and did my makeup. Looking into the mirror, I saw the real me for the first time," she added.
The challenging journey to happiness
Before Phillis decided to transition, she battled internally for years. "I spent every evening alone, crying into my pillow. I was isolating myself from my loved ones," she recounted in the interview.
She made two attempts at "transitioning," both of which were unsuccessful. "I tried to take my own life. The hormones given to me before enhanced the male features of my body. I was terrified," she expressed.
When she felt hopeless that her situation would not improve, she remembered a personal pledge made 20 years earlier. She didn't want to cause her parents pain by transitioning. She promised that as long as they were alive, she would refrain from taking such a significant step, at most hoping to spend her twilight years as a woman.
"I kept my promise. That day I shaved my beard and began hormone therapy. A year has passed, and my body has changed significantly. I no longer resemble Phillip. Finally, I can be Phillis," she concludes.