Qian Jinfan, who is married and has a son decided to disclose his secret four years ago, and gave himself the feminine name Yiling to realise his childhood dream to become a woman and concealed the secret until he was 80.
"I thought it was great to be a girl since then," Qian told Nanfang Daily. "When I was around 14, I like swaying my hips when walking and posing in feminine gestures. But I only showed the real me when I was alone."
Qian, calligrapher by profession, deceived his parents, wife and son all these years.
They never thought he was a transgender person though he wore long hair, bell-bottoms and tight clothes since the 1980s.
"The current me is the real me," said Qian, dressed in leopard-patterned sun top, adding "the past 80 years covered the true me."
He goes to women's restrooms and his wife is willing to go out with her female-dressed husband.
He told the newspaper he tried to take pills to look more like a woman in the 1960s, but gave up.
Qian, who lives in southern Guangdong Province, said he has longed for transsexual surgery, but the procedure always seemed too risky and complicated.
In September 2009, Qian wrote a letter to the Foshan Cultural, Radio, TV, Film, Press and Publication Bureau in Guangdong Province, where he retired, to express his intention.
"I didn't write the letter on impulse. I didn't care whether the authority would degrade my ranking or decrease my income," he said.