A Second World War veteran who was happily married to his wife for 63 years has decided to live as a woman aged 90.
Patricia Davies, who was born Peter Davies, has started taking female hormones and says she has not ruled out having full surgery to complete her transition.
She said she has believed she was female since the age of three. However, the social conventions of her generation made her keep her preferred identity secret until now.
Speaking this week from her home in Leicestershire, in the English Midlands, Miss Davies said she previously tried to come out as a woman publicly but teenagers saw her wearing women’s shoes and threw eggs at her home.
Last year, with the help of her doctor, she decided to make the change. She said: “It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I was living a lie. I have slowly started to tell some of my neighbours. 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.”
She served in the British Army from 1945 to 1948 in the Far East, India, East Africa and Palestine but says she never considered herself a gay man.
Of this time, she said: “I had to keep my mouth shut about being transgender. You couldn’t flaunt that as it would have been a disaster. Transgender wasn’t really known in those days. I would have been classed as homosexual and ended up in prison. But I got through it.”
Patricia married in 1948 but never had any children. She admitted her true feelings to her wife in 1987. Her wife was supportive, buying her dresses and calling her Patricia in the privacy of their home. She died in 2011.
Of her new life, Miss Davies said: “I feel quite relieved, quite happy. Being accepted as a woman – that has been something I’ve wanted all of my life.”