For all but the last 15 years, Creamer suppressed his desire for men and his desire to cross-dress -- it wasn't until he moved to the Rainbow Vista Senior Living Center in Gresham two years ago that he felt free.
"It is really the first time to be myself, my inner self," Creamer said.
Rainbow Vista is operated by and for gay and transgendered men and women.
Creamer, whose closet is filled half with men's clothes, half with women's clothes, sometimes dresses as Dennis and other times as Dee.
At Rainbow Vista, no one cares how he dresses, he says.
While being gay or transgendered is more acceptable than ever before, it was fireable offense for Creamer's generation. In many places, it was also against the law.
Before he retired, Creamer was a biologist with U.S. Fish and Wildlife in Florida.
"You could be put in jail for any kind of activities in that direction," Creamer said.
Sharon Rose, 67, also lives at Rainbow Vista. She has been "out" for several decades, and has many friends, gay and straight. She lives at Rainbow Vista for a sense of community and camaraderie. She says it's hard for everyone to grow old, but elderly gay and transgendered folks may feel even more lonely and vulnerable.
For Creamer, who only learned late in life to accept himself, living at Rainbow Vista allows him to enjoy his later years without fear. He was recently featured in a documentary called "Before You Know It." For more information, visit www.beforeyouknowitfilm.com.
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