To love is not to possess the other person or to consume all their attention and love. To love is to offer the other person joy and a balm for their suffering. This capacity is what we have to learn to cultivate.
A WW2 veteran has come out as transgender at the age of 90 and is happy to finally be receiving female hormone treatment.
Patricia Davies says she knew since the age of three that she was a woman but lived in fear of how people would react for decades until doctors changed her medical records to “female” last year.
Even though she had opened up to her late wife about her feelings in 1987, who bought her jewelry and dresses to wear in secret, she remained living as Peter after receiving abuse from people in the street and fearing “electric shock treatment”.
The retired industrial photographer, who served in the army between April 1945-1948, has a distant aunt who once lived to 104 years old so hopes she has “similar genes” to keep her going so she can now enjoy life as a woman.
Patricia, from a village in Leicestershire, said: “It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I was living a lie.”
“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.”
“I’ve known I was transgender since I was three-years-old.”
“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. I would have liked to be like the pin-ups.”
“I was never totally unhappy. I always made the most of things and looked on the bright side of things. I’ve always had a wicked sense of humor.”
“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.”
Patricia served in the army from April 1945 until April 1948, leaving when she was 21 and getting married only a few months later.
During her time in the armed forces, she served in the Far East, India, East Africa and Palestine.
Patricia said: “You took your life in your hands in the army. I lost a couple of mates and had a close shave myself.”
“I had to keep my mouth shut about being transgender, you couldn’t flaunt that as that would have been a disaster.”
“Transgender wasn’t really known in those days. I would have been classed as homosexual, which would have caused problems in the army. I would have ended up in prison. But I got through it.”
“But it was alright overall and I feel quite proud having served during the war and having done military service, in particular during the trouble in Palestine.”
“Perhaps Hitler got news I had joined in April 1945 and gave up. That’s what I like to think.”
“I feel quite relieved, quite happy. [The best thing about coming out] is being accepted as a woman. That has been something I’ve wanted all of my life.”
“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 though. Nobody seems to bat an eyelid, they accept me as I am.”
“I’ve been made most welcome in the societies. I think people will benefit from being educated on this a bit more.”
Attachment brings misery, unattachment brings blissfulness. So use things, but don’t be used by them. Live life but don’t be lived by it. Possess things, but don’t be possessed by them. Have things - that’s not a problem. I am not for renunciation. Enjoy everything that life gives, but always remain free.