Bravery comes in many forms. For some, it’s found in the heat of battle. For others, it’s found in the courage to defy society and stay true to oneself.
As a young man, World War 2 veteran Peter Davies showed immense bravery under enemy fire. Over 70 years later he needed a different kind of bravery. At the age of 90, Peter chose to follow his life-long dream and live as a transgender woman named Patricia.
To make the decision to become a woman when you were born a man takes a certain fearlessness and strength. It’s a controversial decision that Patricia did not choose lightly.
Patricia first realized she was a female trapped inside a male’s body at the age of three. Fear of other people’s reactions prevented Patricia from revealing her ‘secret’. Patricia feared her natural identity would be misunderstood. She worried that she would have to endure electric shock therapy to ‘cure her condition’.
Society pressured Patricia into a lifetime of feeling like a stranger in her own skin. She has now found the courage to overcome the ignorance and prejudice and be herself.
Patricia said, “Back then people did not understand what transgender was. Even the medical profession didn’t understand it. 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.”
Patricia was married for 63 years. Her wife passed away six years ago. Patricia believes her late wife would have been happy about her choice to take female hormones and identify as a woman.
“I was 60 when it all came pouring out to my wife. She was very sympathetic and helped me. We agreed to keep it quiet. She used to buy me jewelry and she would call me Patricia.”
The battle for acceptance has been a long and fierce one. Abusive teenagers would throw eggs at Patricia’s windows because she wore female shoes.
Times change along with attitudes. In the Leicestershire village where she lives, Patricia’s decision to become a woman is welcomed with acceptance. She wears a skirt and blouse and admits a weight has been lifted off her shoulders.
We are all different and come in all shapes and sizes. Accepting a person as they are is part of being human. It is wrong to abuse them because they fail to tick the box of what is considered ‘normal’. Patricia once fought in a war to end such terrible prejudice. This heroic soldier has now won the freedom to be herself.