Transgender WWII veteran comes out as a woman at 90

Patricia Davies, a 90-year-old World War II veteran, has come out as transgender after decades of "living a lie" as a man.

Davies, who served in the British armed forces from 1945 to 1948, told Caters News Agency that she always knew she was in the "wrong body" as Peter Davies.

Since the age of three, Davies said she knew she was transgender.

"I've known I was transgender since I was 3 years old. I knew a girl called Patricia, and I decided I wanted to be known by that name but it didn't stick," Davies said.

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But for decades Davies feared she wouldn't be accepted by her friends and family if she came out as a woman. She also worried for her physical well-being, fearing she would be subjected to electric shock treatment, a once-popular method to "cure" transgenderism and homosexuality.

"The atmosphere [around being transgender] was not safe. People did not understand what transgender was," she said.

Davies said she had to keep her gender identity secret while in the army, which would have labelled her as homosexual and barred her from enlisting.

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"I feel quite proud having served during the war and having done military service, in particular during the trouble in Palestine," Davies said.

After the war, Davies married a woman at 21. She says she learned about transgender identity years later in the 1970s while watching a television program.

She came out to her wife in 1987.

"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," said Davies.

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Her wife was supportive of her transition and bought her dresses and jewelry, Davis says, but she stopped wearing certain items outside after vandals attacked her home for wearing high heels.

Davies was inspired to take estrogen and complete her transition after watching the film, "Boy Meets Girl," which portrays characters who are transgender.

"I have been keeping quiet. I have slowly started to tell some of my neighbors. Everybody said, 'Don't worry, as long as you're happy,'" Davies said.

"It's not 100 percent 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."

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