Transitioning from male to female is a long and difficult process, but what about transitioning back? Philip Porter lived as a female for 34 years before transitioning back to his birth gender three years ago. He shared his story on HuffPost Live.
"I was born male, and always felt more female than male as a child growing up, to the point of before I could talk, [I thought] 'I should be over there with the girls in dresses. I'm over here wearing pants -- I don't understand it,'" he explained to host Alex Berg.
Growing up in the 1970s, Porter faced skepticism and disdain from doctors and psychologists. "Back then -- this was the '70s, we did not have Google, we did not have Internet -- it was very difficult to find, you know, a professional doctor or psychologist who could hear my story."
He added that when they met with him, they would say things like "'Men don't wear dresses. You're going to go to jail if you do that, you're crazy. Don't tell anyone -- you're going to get put in a rubber room.'"
Finally, he met a doctor in Dallas, Tex. who helped him. "I was in his office the next day, an endocrinologist office the day after that, and just began my life living as a female. And did that very successfully and very happily for 32 years -- I was an NFL cheerleader and I was a topless dancer for many years."
But 32 years into his life as a woman, Porter began to consider living as a male. "I think part of it might be the mid-life crisis, where like you're starting to have the hot flashes and be very uncomfortable and it's like the hormones were having different effects on me. I just said 'Ok, I'll stop taking these for awhile but it's not going to change back after 34 years of taking them.'"
"And after that, it just started happening," he continued. "After about 6 months to 9 months being off of them, 'you know, you never gave yourself a chance to sort of live as a male. What would that be like?' And it kind of was something in my mind that started as just a little thought that kind of like snowballed. And you know, I mean that's just kind of how it happened."