A True Trans Pioneer

From the Inside Edition:

“Robina Asti has led an extraordinary life: she flew planes with the Navy during World War II, managed a major mutual fund in New York City and, at 99 years old, still serves as a flight instructor. But don’t expect her to get sentimental; Asti has embraced her more than nine decades on Earth with her signature wry sense of humor.

“Being 99 is just a number,” she told InsideEdition.com. “It’s a number that means 100 years ago, in 1921, some little jerk was born. And that’s me.”

“I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is see out the window that it’s daylight, and I think, ‘Hey, I survived the night. Isn’t that great? I got a day to look forward to. I don’t care what happened. I’m going to enjoy this day,'” she added. “In other words, I’ve already made me feel good.” 

Asti transitioned in 1976 and has become a vocal advocate for LGBTQ rights in her later years. She married the love of her life, artist Norwood Patton, in an old airplane hangar in 2004. The pair had been together for decades before they tied the knot. But when it came time to apply for widow benefits from the Social Security Administration after Patton’s death in 2012, Asti was denied because the agency said she was “legally male” at the time of their marriage.

Thanks to help from Lambda Legal, Robina was able to triumph over the system.

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