23 June 2023
Hilda shares her experiences this Pride month
As part of our Pride month activity we are speaking to different people about their life experiences. Here Hilda Beaumont shares how the accepting community at her Anchor retirement housing scheme has positively impacted her life over the past two and a half years.
Since discovering she was far more comfortable and much happier dressing and presenting as a female around five-six years ago, Hilda’s life underwent a number of dramatic changes which led to her struggling significantly with her mental health.
Following a voluntary stay in hospital to help her mental health recovery journey, Hilda purchased a retirement apartment with Anchor.
Before purchasing, Hilda explains: "While I was viewing the flat and deciding whether to move in, I talked to Anchor’s location manager and asked if there would be any problems with my identity. It was really reassuring for her to tell me “absolutely not!”
Since moving into her new home, Hilda has made the decision to embody her new identity full time and has found that all residents have been very accepting.
Hilda says: "It’s very important for me to be in an accepting place. It’s led to many interesting conversations with other residents and allowed others to feel able to share their personal life experiences too. I have what I like to call my ‘4 o’clock club’ where I get together with a group of other residents and have insightful debates about a range of subjects, including the difficulties that transgender people can face particularly in later life."
Hilda has spoken about the struggles she has had with her mental health – she now uses this experience as an ‘expert by experience’ with the Specialist Older Adult Mental Health Services to help and support others that may be going through something similar.
Hilda says: "You must be strong. People need to know that you can get better and that things do get better, even though it’s hard to think that in the difficult moments. I’ve been very lucky in the support I’ve had from my sons in particular, friends, and other close relations and now the residents I live with."
She also felt able to take up her place within the academic community of which she was part before deciding to transition and has recently reconnected with the Anglican church after 50 years, when a fellow resident invited her to come along to the local parish church.
"It’s so empowering to be accepted and be able to try and live a good life as Hilda and I finally feel I have the space and opportunity to do so, thanks in part to Anchor."
Hilda Beaumont has lived at an Anchor retirement housing scheme for the past two and a half years
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