At the age of 90, a WWII veteran has come out as trans and begun to fully embrace her female identity.
Though Patricia Davies said that she’s known for most of her life that she was transgender, she kept quiet about it for fear of not only what those around her would say, but how authorities might act.
“The atmosphere [around being transgender] was not safe,” she told the Telegraph of growing up in the United Kingdom in the 1930s and 40s. “People did not understand what transgender was.”
“Really even the medical profession didn’t understand it as the treatment was to give you the ’electric shock treatment.’ They thought they could make you better. They didn’t realize it was something that you could not cure.”
“Because of the general hostility of people, I kept quiet,” she continued. “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.”
In the 70 years between acknowledging her true identity and coming out publicly as transgender, Davies served in the British Army, had a fulfilling career and a long and happy marriage to a woman.
Davies first discussed her trans identity with her wife in 1987, but said she remained in the closet after receiving abuse from people on the street.
“I was 60 when it all came pouring out to my wife, she was very sympathetic and helped me all the way but we agreed to keep it quiet,” she said. “She used to buy me jewelry and she would call me Patricia. I kept it a complete secret.”
“When I first came out… I started to wear female shoes, some teenagers spotted it and started hurling abuse,” Patricia added. “They used to… throw eggs at my windows too. They did it so much I had to get the police involved.”
The taunts kept Patricia’s true identity confined to the safety of her home with her wife. However, when her partner passed away six years ago, she vowed to come out publicly as a transgender woman and start undergoing hormone replacement therapy.
“It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” she described. “I was living a lie.”
“If people don’t like what they see, then I don’t care, but no one seems to be causing me any trouble. Nobody questions it. Nobody seems to bat an eyelid, they accept me as I am.”
Though Patricia was forced by circumstances to suppress her true identity for most of her life, she’s not bitter about the years spent in the closet.
“I was never totally unhappy,” she remarked. “I always made the most of things and looked on the bright side of things. I’ve always had a wicked sense of humor. I’m having a great time.”
She concluded: “[Now], I have a new lease on life.”