Denver-based photographer Stevie Crecelius says she always felt more like a woman inside, but a trip to the emergency room five years ago uncovered the reason why: She actually was.
"I had a kidney stone and we're in the emergency room," she told FOX 31. "The nurse is reading the ultrasound and says, ‘Huh, this says you're a female'."
Actually, Crecelius was born intersex, meaning she has an unclassifiable combination of male and female sex traits.
The news brought with it some understandable trepidation, but that soon gave way to the buoyancy of emancipation. "It validated everything I had always felt inside," she said.
Her thoughts then turned to dealing with the decision to become a full-time female. Not an easy one in any scenario, but particularly thorny when you have a wife and six children. "How do you tell your kids that well, it's no longer dad, it's dadette?" Crecelius recalled thinking.
But her anxiety proved unwarranted: "Within a few minutes, all of them said, ‘I don't care dad; I love you for who you are'."
Debbie too stuck by Stevie, and the couple remain as committed as ever. "I didn't sign on for this, but who signs on for anything?" Debbie said. "She's the same person she was as a he on the inside."
Asked by the Denver Post about her life since the revelation, Crecelius says she's gained confidence, slowly but surely, and hopes to set an example for other transgender individuals.
"All the people that matter are supportive," she says. "And anyone who comes along that is not supportive, I think they will be drowned out by all the support."
[screengrab via FOX 31]