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WWII veteran comes out as transgender aged 90: ‘I’ve known since I was 3’

Joseph McCormick March 29, 2017

A World War II veteran has come out as transgender aged 90.

Patricia Davies says she knew from the age of three that she was transgender, but that she was scared for decades of how people would react if she came out.

Last year, after the death of her wife, Davies had her medical records changed to female.

She had opened up to her wife in 1987, and she had bought Davies jewellery and dresses which she wore in secret.

In fear of receiving electric shock treatment, and following abuse from people on the streets, Patricia continued to live as a man.

Davies is a retired industrial photographer. She served in the British Army between 1945 and 1948.

As she has an aunt who lived to be 104, she hopes she has some time left to enjoy her post-transition life.

According to the New York Post, she said: “It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I was living a lie.

“I have been keeping quiet. I have slowly started to tell some of my neighbours. Everybody said ‘don’t worry, as long as you’re happy’.

“I’ve known I was transgender since I was three-years-old. I knew a girl called Patricia and I decided I wanted to be known by that name but it didn’t stick.

“From about the age of four I didn’t want to play with girls’ toys. I didn’t want toy soldiers. I wanted an ironing board.”

Adding: “My mother seemed to go along with it. We went to see ‘Peter Pan’ and I wanted to be a fairy. She made me a wand. She didn’t say it was strange.

“I have always been attracted to women but not in a sexual way. I’m not gay. My attraction to women was that I wanted to be like them. I would have liked to be like the pin-ups.

“I was never totally unhappy. I always made the most of things and looked on the bright side of things. I’ve always had a wicked sense of humour.

“The atmosphere [around being transgender] was not safe. People did not understand what transgender was..”

“Because of the general hostility of people I kept quiet. It wasn’t until recently that I felt safe to come out and I felt an overwhelming desire that I wanted to break free. So I came out and I’ve not regretted it.”

Patricia left the army age 21, but not before serving across various continents.

She adds: “You took your life in your hands in the army. I lost a couple of mates and had a close shave myself.

“I had to keep my mouth shut about being transgender, you couldn’t flaunt that as that would have been a disaster.”

She said she kept quiet in the army about being transgender for fear of being known as a homosexual.

“But it was alright overall and I feel quite proud having served during the war and having done military service, in particular during the trouble in Palestine.

“Perhaps Hitler got news I had joined in April 1945 and gave up. That’s what I like to think.”

Now 90, Davies is receiving hormone therapy and has officially changed her gender.

She said she saw a television programme in the 1970s about a man who wanted to wear women’s clothes, but that even then she had never heard the word transgender.

Eventually, she saw the BBC series Boy Meets Girl, which encouraged her to come out as transgender, and she is now a member of the Beaumont Society.

Of her wife, Davies says: “She used to buy me jewellery and she would call me Patricia. I kept it a complete secret.

“When I first came out to my wife I started to wear female shoes, some teenagers spotted it and started hurling abuse.

“They used to often throw eggs at my windows too. They did it so much I had to get the police involved. But they have grown up and gone now thankfully.

“I also started to wear female tops. People thought I was weird and bonkers but I don’t care.

“I feel quite relieved, quite happy. [The best thing about coming out] is being accepted as a woman. That has been something I’ve wanted all of my life.”

Patricia says: “It’s not 100% safe now but it’s much better than it was. People that I have told seem to be very accommodating and haven’t thrown abuse at me.”

Check out Patricia’s story below:

More: patricia davies, transv, Veteran, wwii

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