A new start after 60: ‘I decided to transition at 68’

Petra Wenham re-evaluated her life in hospital, confronting an unease she had always felt, before coming out as transgender

Sometimes one kind of pain can bring to light another. Stuck in hospital for a month, Petra Wenham resolved to confront an unease she had carried throughout her whole life. She was 68 and had lost 30kg as a result of severe colitis. “My family were very worried. I was evaluating my life.”

Between morphine injections, Wenham, a retired cybersecurity consultant, had time to wander online, where she found a blog whose author had decided to transition after treading on a shard of glass. Something about the way the pain, vulnerability and sense of mortality galvanised the blogger spoke to Wenham.

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