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A 90-year-old British World War II veteran has come out as a woman and is undergoing female hormone treatment.
Peter Davies, then 18, joined the Royal Army Service Corps in the final months of the war. He served in the Pacific, then India, East Africa and Palestine in the post-war period, according to The Telegraph.
He married at 21, a marriage that lasted 63 years until his wife died six years ago.
But Peter, who now goes by Patricia, identified as a woman from an early age.
“From about the age of four, I didn’t want to play with girls’ toys today. I didn’t want toy soldiers. I wanted an ironing board,” Patricia told The Mirror. “… 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.”
Patricia said she long kept those feelings to herself, in part because of the hostility toward transgender people. But recently she’s begun telling neighbors in her village in Leicestershire.
“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,” she told the Telegraph.
Patricia said she told her wife about her feelings in 1987, and her wife brought jewelry and dresses for Patricia, then still Peter, to wear, according to The Telegraph.
It was a BBC television show about transgender characters that led Patricia to make her change, according to The Mirror.
“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,” she said.
Patricia has not ruled out surgery, according to The Daily Mail.
“I’ve been made most welcome in the societies. I think people will benefit from being educated on this a bit more,” she said.