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tv   Born Wrong Body  MSNBC  November 5, 2011 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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when it comes to gender, girls are girls. boys are boys. end of story. or is it? a growing number of people say they were born in the wrong body. and they're doing something about it. >> it's definitely a penis. but you can't pee through it. >> three biological women make the transition into manhood. >> he's going to be the man i love. no matter what's between his legs. >> all going to the same hospital, and the same doctor, on the same day. >> i've been planning this surgery for actually, years. >> converging on a dusty frontier town, considered the sex change capital. they've come to make their bodies match their minds.
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>> all right. thank you. >> my name's eric. i'm 38 years old. i live in a small town in wyoming. i like it here. i think it's a great place to live. >> eric looks like your average guy next door. he has two daughters. he does odd jobs. >> coming in through here? >> that shed over there. >> that one right there? >> and he works part-time at a local gift shop in town, which helps him pay for the bachelor's degree he's pursuing at the university of montana. >> it's half off that marked price. >> upon closer inspection,
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though, eric is anything but your average guy next door. in fact, up until seven years ago, eric wasn't a guy at all. >> this is me when i'm 5 years old. i'm definitely cute. most of what i remember, is on my bike. running and playing and just being busy and running around. i liked playing the boy games, in school. i liked playing -- throwing the football. and we'd run, chase each other. >> reporter: growing up, diane is affectionately referred to as a tomboy. but she knows her lack of femininity goes far deeper than that. >> i wasn't into the things that all the other girls were into, in school. a lot of the sleepovers and the running around, chasing boys. a lot of that stuff. i knew something was different. and i isolated myself a lot. it's hard to be friends with
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people when you feel like there's something wrong with you. >> reporter: as diane hits puberty, just how different she feels from the other girls becomes abundantly clear. a visit back to high school unleashes a flood of memories. >> i was probably one of those kids that didn't have any friends or -- i don't know. that's what it felt like to me. >> reporter: by her teens, diane realizes she's bisexual. it leaves her feeling confused. she deals with her inner conflict by using drugs and alcohol. >> i remember, i was 16. and i remember meeting a girl that i definitely was, like, whoa. what's going on? you know? i feel really weird and just realizing that i had a crush on her. i didn't pursue it. and i started running around and going to more parties. and drinking more. and stuffing my feelings. that's not too bad, is it?
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>> well, put it on long enough so i can see it. >> it's a youth cap. with my bald spot, with the summer, i have to think about my head with the sun. >> reporter: back in high school, lisa is one of the few people that diane lets into her solitary life. they're still friends today. >> diane kept to herself. me and my friends were the only friends that she hung out with at that time. she had a whole other secret life. it was kind of a known fact that we didn't ask her about it. you could always tell that she was holding something back. >> reporter: but that something is a mystery. even to diane. she doesn't understand what's happening within herself. she just knows something is off. her life finally starts coming into focus, when she sees a tv talk show. the subject? transgenderism. >> it was overwhelming. it left a lot of questions to me. and i think after that, i always felt more messed up, weird,
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wrong. because i knew now i was even more different than the people i was around. >> reporter: diane has stumbled across her elusive answer. but it would be several more years before she's ready to admit it. then, there are other young girls who know from an early age exactly what's happening to them. girls like patricia. >> i was very pretty. blonde-haired. blue-eyed. and the cashiers at the grocery store would say, you're such a pretty little girl. and i would just say, i'm not a girl. i'm a boy. of course, my mother would just be embarrassed to -- every time we come out of the grocery store. don't ever say that again. you are a little girl. you're never going to be a little boy. and i said yes, i am. >> reporter: but as sure as patricia is about her desire to be a boy, and as sure as she is that she's a lesbian, she still makes an effort to conceal any and all unconventional feelings.
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>> i think people could tell i was attracted to females. so, i dated boys. i went to the prom. i've been engaged to the married twice before. i think acting normal that way, if i did it long enough, i would become the female that i was -- the body i was born into. >> reporter: to keep up the exhausting masquerade, patricia marries young, at 20. she quickly gets pregnant. having four children over the next six years. certainly a tough time for any woman. but for patricia, it's sheer torture. she's miserable. and it shows. >> when i was patricia, i was size 22 in women's. i was 5'5", probably close to 240 pounds. i don't remember a lot because i didn't want to be in that body. i look at the pictures and think, i don't even really know that person. i just know they hurt. >> reporter: life with four children under the age of 6 can't be further from her life a
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few years earlier. as an army e-force specialist, at least she was free to travel the world. now, she's tethered to her babies at home. and not under the best circumstances. >> i nursed the younger two because we didn't have money. i don't remember their births a lot. it really is just a matter of you're watching your life and just hoping it will, please end soon. >> reporter: but then, patricia's life takes a radical turn. just like eric, she too sees a tv program about people changing their gender. >> that was the big lightbulb that said, i'm entitled to live, one life who i am. >> reporter: elated, the first person that patricia confides in is her mother. but the reaction isn't what she's been hoping for. >> she says because of the children, please wait. and it was a situation, where if i waited, there wasn't going to be a parent available to my children. so, it was either transition or confirm my gender so that everyone could see who i was all the time.
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or i wasn't going to live. >> reporter: now resolved to call himself patric, he enters therapy. waiting three months to tell the kids about his life-changing development. their mother is about to become their father. two women. both determined to begin living their lives as men. both begin to make the physical transformation. they start taking testosterone and become more male in their appearance. as far as most people can tell, they are men. but there is something they're missing that they say will make them feel more complete. when we come back, do the genitals make the man? eric, patric, and this dog handler from north carolina go on a journey to acquire what nature never gave them. >> it's something that i feel if i look down at something, i should have. even if it's small. >> and inside the operating room. >> it's not big. but it works. and it's real. okay. thank you. >> when "born in the wrong body"
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in louisburg, north carolina, deep in the heart of confederate country, a man and a woman live happily as husband and wife. they have been together 20 years. they work together. they spend their free time together. and like most couples, they wrestle with the usual household chores. >> did you get your bills taken care of? >> no. >> i didn't either. i want to get those in the mail. >> reporter: on the surface, there's nothing out of the ordinary about them. but as you may have guessed by now, this southern gentleman has a remarkable story to tell. >> my name is macklin davis mccord. i'm 59 years old. i'm an artist, a writer, a musician, a dog handler.
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hey. princess. that's rude. i have recently moved to north carolina and operate a dog kennel here. and show dogs for people. and i am finishing my journey towards fully transitioning into a male body. come on, girl. in you go. yeah. good boy. >> reporter: what makes mac's story different from many transgender men is when he was living as a female, he never tried to fit the heterosexual standard of getting married and having children. he never saw the point of going through the motions. from an early age mac, then carol, was more masculine than feminine. which is no big deal. >> i grew up until i was 6 in tennessee. and i think being a tomboy even
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back then was fairly acceptable up to a certain age. the older i got, the more unacceptable that behavior became. i know as i started to hit puberty, and i was pretty much appalled at hitting puberty as a female, my parents actually said at one time, you could have a sex change operation. but you would have to be put in a mental institution. so, i think at that point, i -- whatever feelings i had, that way were completely quashed. >> reporter: instead, in her late 20s, carol comes out as a lesbian, which her mother suspects. but does not accept. carol joins the army at 31. and is still on active duty seven years later, in 1986, when she meets a young mother named judy hoff. judy has a history of dalliances with women. her husband isn't threatened. >> my husband thought it was great. turned him on. but then i met this person.
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and fell head over heels. got a divorce. we moved in together. and the rest is history. >> we're going to louisburg. and to millie's bookstore. the coffee hound. >> reporter: carol and judy rolled along happily in a committed lesbian relationship. but in 1996, a health care scare tilts their world on its axis. carol has breast cancer and needs a mastectomy. she survived the cancer. but losing the breast stirs up long-suppressed feelings. >> it was a relief to get rid of it. that was the first little clue i got that maybe i was transgendered after all. after all those years of just putting that aside. and i immediately wanted the other one off. >> do you see we hung your pictures? >> yes, they look great. >> reporter: carol restarts her life as macklin, mac, for short. and starts using male pronouns.
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but he needs more. he needs to be physically transformed. he begins taking testosterone in 1999 and saves money to have his other breast removed. >> all right. thanks. >> we'll let you know how it goes. >> all righty. >> reporter: as for judy, she goes from a heterosexual relationship to a lesbian relationship. and now, with her partner's transition, to something else entirely. >> a lot of people have asked me if i'm still a lesbian. and the answer is, i don't really know. i have had to give up -- turn in my lesbian card. it's a question i can't answer. i know that i love this person who's with me. and i want to stick with him forever. and it's just not about body parts anymore. we have been together through a lot. and he's stuck with me. and i have stuck with him. and golly have we stuck together. we have had quite a life over the 20 years we have been together. >> okay kiddos.
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>> reporter: but as mac advances further into manhood, body parts do begin to matter. one body part in particular. he wants a penis. after graduating from high school in 1987, eric, at that time, diane, marries her boyfriend of two years. throughout their courtship, they bond. not surprisingly, over guy stuff. >> we had a lot in common. we liked to drive around in hot rod cars and work on it. when i graduated, we had had a place. and we moved in together. i think back now, i think i was hoping everything would fall into place. oh, finally, this is what i am and this is who i am. this is completing me. i'm going to feel normal. i'm going to feel like myself. >> reporter: but two weeks into the marriage, diane is shocked to learn she's pregnant.
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she has her first child at 19. her second, at 22. along with her second pregnancy comes a deep depression. >> it's like, okay. something's still not fitting. i knew after that, i was never going to have anymore kids. there was no way i could do it. i still didn't know what was really going on. but i knew it was not okay for me. >> reporter: plagued by her old demons, diane retreats into drugs. the marriage begins to crumble. >> it got to the point where we were fighting. and it got extreme. and i left the household one day with my children and didn't come back. >> reporter: after the breakup, diane gets involved with a woman. but she finds being a lesbian isn't the answer, either. she goes into therapy. and in 1999, is diagnosed with gender identity disorder. >> it was overwhelming. but it was almost like, oh. an answer. >> reporter: by 2001, eric is living full-time as a man.
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he has top surgery. a double mastectomy to voluntarily remove both breasts. he starts male hormones. and he legally changes his name. but his transition still doesn't feel complete. from the waist down, eric is still, undeniably, female. when he learns about a surgery to create a penis, he decides he can't live without it. for patric, who, at 40, is now close with his four children, he's even helping raise his young grandson. the decision to have bottom surgery is purely practical. he and amy, his partner of three years, want his legal documents to say he's male. and his legal documents can't say he's male unless he has bottom surgery. >> i'm from a state that says on the birth certificate, it's a recording of your birth gender. not what you are today. so, i can absolutely never have my birth certificate changed. so, i have no choice but to get a u.s. passport. and u.s. passport says you must have a surgery.
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>> reporter: it's a widely-held belief that genitals don't make the man or the woman. they all respect that philosophy. now that they're living full-time as men, they still want what they feel nature denied them. >> i'm still under the impression it's really going to blow my mind. it's wonderful to live in this day and age when we can help people be complete. >> reporter: these three men have chosen the same doctor to perform the same surgery, on the same day. they're about to journey from three different parts in the country, and converge in trinidad, colorado, with one dream. coming up next, the doctor who will help make them the men they are longing to be. >> you'll get a fair amount of length in it. it will definitely look like a penis. >> and then, the surgery itself. how does a female become a male from the waist down? >> we're releasing the phallus so it can stand independently, so to speak. >> when "born in the wrong body"
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when biological females transition to males, much of the changeover is mental. in fact, most female-to-males never even end up having bottom surgery. but eric does want the physical change. and is having sexual reassignment surgery in three days. >> it's good to see you, though. come in. come in. >> reporter: he's driven from his hometown in wyoming, to pick up his friend. she'll be making the 600-mile journey with him to trinidad, colorado. >> i met her through some common friends. we hit it off right away. it was like we were meant to be friends. >> ready? >> is it heavy? >> ow. >> do you have a jacket? no. all right.
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we are on our way. >> we're headed for trinidad, colorado. this is it. this is it. we're really on our way. >> reporter: mac and judy are getting ready to say good-bye to their north carolina kennel and their 50 or so canine charges. >> i am definitely more nervous than mac. i think he's pretty laid back about this. i think he's been thinking about it a lot longer than i have. >> momentarily. not bad now. we do have a breeze. >> i know. it does feel good. ♪ >> reporter: by midafternoon, mac and judy make it into
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colorado springs, just an hour and a half from trinidad. >> let's roll. >> rolling. yee-haw. >> isn't that gorgeous? >> that's gorgeous. >> oh, my goodness. >> it looks like it's maybe 30 minutes from here. trinidad. woo hoo. >> save the best for last. a lot of theaters. oh. >> reporter: after a few wrong turns, mac and judy get to their motel. >> oh, my. >> this is definitely funky. going to get into our room, which is number 19. and it's a no-smoking room. and i hear dogs barking. so, i already feel at home. >> not bad.
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>> tv works. >> reporter: before he's even unpacked, mac heads straight for the tv. >> i want to see if all my channels worked. if they didn't, they'd have to give us another room. >> reporter: by late evening, eric and deva make it across the state line. and deep into colorado. >> it is 8:20 p.m. we have been driving for, what? nine, ten hours? we've been through cheyenne, denver, pueblo. we're about 60 miles from trinidad right now. >> reporter: finally, 12 hours after they set out, they arrive in trinidad. exhausted but excited. >> we're here, we're here. this trip has an ending of sorts. you know, i'm not coming down for the consultation. i'm coming down here. and it's like something's happening. something's being a process that
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i started a long time ago, is finally starting to see an end. >> reporter: but just as they're ready for a much-needed rest, a hitch in their plans. >> we pulled up to the motel. and excited to get my room. and nobody's here. oh, well. we'll go find another motel. we're here. when we come back, everyone meets the doctor. >> so, you made it to trinidad. >> and prepares for the most dramatic change of their lives. >> nobody's going to look twice and go -- it's definitely a penis. >> and how will having this new body part affect their lives? in ways they can't imagine? >> this is great. >> when "born in the wrong body" returns. you got a weather balloon with points? yes, i did. [ man ] points i could use for just about anything. ♪ keep on going in this direction. take this bridge over here.
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msnbc now, i'm alex witt. three protesters at occupy wall street in washington, d.c. were hospitalized after being hit by
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a car. the driver was not charged. witnesses say the pedestrians either ran toward or jumped in front of the vehicle. protesters clashed with police in france. two people were injured. and andy rooney has died. he was 92 years old. more news later. i'll see you in one hour. trinidad, colorado, population, 10,000. this dusty frontier town, set between two mountain peaks on the santa fe trail, is an unlikely candidate to become the country's sex-change capital. but it has. and it is. >> this is trinidad, colorado.
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where men are men and women are, too. >> reporter: how did this one-time mining town become a sex-change mecca? it all starts back in 1969, when a beloved family practitioner in trinidad performs the procedure on a colleague. soon, others come for sexual reassignment surgery. and before long, it's a cottage industry. 5,000 patients later, at age 80, the doctor hand picks a successor, an obgyn from seattle, marci bowers. he died in 2006. >> marci, godsend. we're standing in front of a church. and god is taking care of us. he sent us marci after dr. biber died. >> hello? hi there. >> reporter: dr. bowers is an appropriate choice to take over, considering her own story.
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until the mid 1990s, she was dr. mark bowers, of seattle, washington. >> i told my spouse that i wanted to live the rest of my life as a woman, christmas night, 1996. it was inherently deceitful in a way. and it was a bad thing to do in a marriage. but yet, it was like -- it was just the only path i could take. >> reporter: since transitioning, dr. bowers has remained married to the mother of her three children. they're raising her kids in seattle, where she maintains an office, and returns every month or so. >> this is the first year i've had a real garden, so. >> reporter: in addition to having a spouse in seattle, dr. bowers has a romantic partner in trinidad. >> this is caroline, my partner of three years. long years. >> long. so long. >> they're long. >> marci, i can't reach that. can you get that? >> which one? >> blender. >> reporter: the two women met when they were challenged to a golf match at the course where carol used to work as a pro. she had no idea that marci was,
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as he affectionately puts it, a changer. >> my friend said after the round, marci's a changer. i said no. she said, yeah. and she goes, and, she's a doctor. i go, oh, my god. you're kidding me. she's taking over dr. biber's place. i couldn't believe it. she's really not really a -- i always thought marci was a woman. >> i am a woman. >> you are -- yeah. >> reporter: in the few years she's been in trinidad, dr. bowers has already performed nearly 500 sexual reassignment surgeries, which she prefers to call genital reassignment surgery, since she says it's about genitalia, not about sex. her office gets hundreds of inquiries a week, from prospective patients. dr. bowers and her staff respond to each and every one.
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monday morning, the day all three patients have their preoperative appointments. dr. bowers heads out to the office. in style. >> i have a porsche in the garage. what else do i need in life? i mean, what am i going to get? a ferrari? that's not a woman's car anyway. >> reporter: by noon, all three patients arrive at dr. bower's office. patric and amy, from north dakota. >> let's check in. >> my name is patric. >> how are you? >> very well. and yourself? >> reporter: mac and judy from north carolina. >> i'm checking in for my appointment. mac mccord. >> reporter: and eric, and his friend, deva, from wyoming. >> hello? >> reporter: as soon as they all
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fill out their paperwork, get weighed in -- >> i have stuff in my pockets. so, i get a deduction. >> okay. >> reporter: and have their blood pressure checked. >> let's go back to the blood pressure reading. >> reporter: it's time for all three to meet the doctor, who will change their lives. >> hello. >> hi. >> how are you? >> just like i pictured. >> how are you? >> a long road? >> it hasn't been very long. >> how are you? >> hi, patric. great to see you. welcome. >> reporter: dr. bowers meets with each patient for about half an hour. bonding with them. going over details. and answering questions about tomorrow's surgery. >> what we do is we -- we release the phallus from the labia minora, all the way back to the pubic bone. >> okay. >> this way, you're going to see it's definitely a penis. but you can't pee through it. >> reporter: a scheduling snafu on this particular afternoon, has landed all three patients
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with dr. bowers at the same time. as a result, she races back and forth between exam rooms, seemingly nonstop. >> patric? we talked about scheduling previously. it was not scheduled very well today. and you come in tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. >> 9:00? >> hey. >> wait a minute. wait a minute. >> uh-oh. >> that's too late. >> we might have celebrated too soon. >> 8:30. >> 8:30. we'll give you that half-hour. >> that might even be too late. 8:00. >> she's going to keep thinking and get us there at 6:00. >> i keep going down to 6:00, you know we're in trouble. 8:00, that's my final offer. >> okay. when we come back, the big day. the surgery they've been anxiously awaiting.
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>> we're headed to the o.r. woo hoo. >> hallelujah. >> and the results. will these men get the outcomes they've been dreaming of? >> about thumb-sized. not too bad. >> when "born in the wrong body" returns. is this a chevy volt? [ stu ] yeah. it's electric. i don't think so. it's got a gas tank right here. electric tank, right over here. an electric tank? really, stu? is that what you pour the electricity in? it's actually both, guys. i can plug in and go 35 miles gas free, or i can fill up and go a whole lot farther. is that my burger? oh. i just got bun. i didn't even bite any burger. sun life financialrating should be famous.d bad, we're working on it. so you're seriously proposing we change our name to sun life valley.
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how much do i spend on gas? if i charge regularly, i fill up like once a month. he only has to fill up about once a month. [ woman ] wow. that's amazing. since 1969, more than 5,000 people have walked into this hospital with one set of genitals and walked out with another. >> we're headed to the o.r. >> reporter: mac, the dog handler from north carolina, is scheduled to be dr. bowers'
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first surgery of the day. >> i think this is the last step for me, as far as my journey into where i want to be. it seems like it's the last piece. the last little cog to fall into place. >> i'm curious how we're going to end up. you know, what sort of results we'll have. but i'm clear he's always going to be the man i love. you know? no matter what's between his legs. >> reporter: patric is surgery number two on the books this morning. at the moment, his partner, amy, seems more emotionally fragile than he does. >> can you give me a kiss? can i give her a kiss? >> sure. >> good. >> okay. we'll see you in a little bit. >> i always cry. i can't help it.
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>> i love tears. tears are good. tears will wash away all the pain. so, it's good. >> okay. >> i'll take good care of him. okay? >> okay. >> reporter: eric will be dr. bowers' third surgery. he arrives around 8:00, as negotiated the day before. >> it's 8:10 right now. i woke up at 7:30. i don't remember the alarm going off. and next thing i know, she's like, eric, are you awake? i'm ready. >> i'll see you in a little bit. >> the doors open. >> reporter: before the big moment, a series of the mundane. getting ivs inserted. >> i hate ivs. >> yeah. they're horrible. >> reporter: getting blood pressure checked again. >> see your blood pressure. >> reporter: and filling out
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yet more paperwork. >> sign right here. >> reporter: finally -- it's showtime. mac is up first. >> see you, honey. >> bye. >> hello, marci. how are you today? >> we'll get a fair amount of length with this. we'll get more than i thought when i saw him yesterday. >> reporter: mac has waited his whole life to have this surgery. and like the other procedures today, it will all be over in less than one hour. >> we have this on 50/42. >> 50/42, please. >> yeah. >> thank you. >> reporter: when a female-to-male patient takes testosterone, the clitoris grows. this surgery, which costs about $3,000, frees the enlarged clitoris all the way back to the pubic bone. and reconfigures it so it becomes, in effect, a small penis. they still have to sit down when they urinate. but the new penis can reach an erection and orgasm. yet it can't ejaculate. >> we're releasing the phallus
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so it can stand independently, so to speak. it is rounded up and made to look like a penis, which it will here in a few minutes. >> reporter: a different type of surgery called phalloplasty, takes skin from another part of the body, and uses it to create a large penis. with the help of a urologist, it can have a urinary hookup. a growing number of female to males and advocates like dr. bowers are not fans of that procedure. >> i don't perform phalloplastys. i don't think they look good. they don't function very well. you have to put a rod in to have intercourse. the urinary tract doesn't work very well. they scar. and there's a lot of doctors that still charge them a bundle of money, to have a big, floppy, elephant trunk hanging down there. i like this procedure that i do because it's natural. the tissues move. patients can feel things.
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they can penetrate, even. and it looks good. that's thumb-sized. not too bad. all right. thank you. >> reporter: mac's surgery is done. two more to go. >> so good to see you. i feel very relieved to see mac right now. he looks great. i see that smile and i know. i know he's going to be fine. just what i wanted. >> smile and a popsicle. there you go. >> reporter: next up, patric. dr. bowers makes the first cut around 10:00 a.m. other procedures transgender men can have include hysterectomies, to remove their female reproductive organs. and testicular implants, which today's patients chose not to have. >> some of the guys don't want
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to have testicles. they're uncomfortable. and it feels like you're sitting on something. sitting on a couple of eggs or something. and they're harder. they're silicone. it's a little harder than a male testicle. >> reporter: that can always be done later. for now, patric will stick with just a penis. what's important to remember is with female-to-males, size doesn't necessarily matter. just having the equipment is enough. >> not big. but it works. and it's real. okay. thank you. all right. we're getting there. >> reporter: finally, it's eric's turn. >> are you relaxed? good. you're about to get more relaxed. >> the area's moving really well. so -- that's his penis.
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he's got a penis. okay. i'll take it out. all right. thank you. that worked out well. that was, i think, our best effort of the morning. >> reporter: all three patients have now completed their physical transformations. they're exhausted. but thrilled the procedure is now behind them. >> yes, i'm a happy man right now. got my popsicle. got some tea. got judy right here. >> and you got a penis. >> yes. i assume it's there. we haven't gotten acquainted yet. that will come later. >> i feel like i'm all, like, happy now. it's done. >> i feel very happy that patric is now patric.
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>> i love you. >> i love you, too. >> the reassignment surgery is a small part of the process, really. in fact, it's probably the most insignificant part in terms of your social presentation. these are people that have socially transitioned. and emotionally transitioned long ago. you would call them men six months ago, a year ago. you know, they're clearly, they're men. and the surgery is just kind of icing on the cake for them. when we come back, life after surgery. how much will things really change? >> now that you have this appendage on your body, it's like, oh, hi. >> i'm engaged. we have plans to actually get married. >> when "born in the wrong body" continues. ha mour covend
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>> reporter: it's been six weeks since mac has had sexual reassignment surgery. you might think having a penis now, after living without one for nearly 60 years would be somewhat life-altering. but for the most part, mac has picked up where he left off. he is driving to dog shows every weekend, in the same old motor home. and he's still running his dogs around the ring, competing for best in show. the difference is more subtle. he says simply it feels good. it feels right. and it feels uncomplicated. >> my key is still back there. he's the last to come in. >> okay. >> reporter: looking back, mac has only one regret about the surgery. not having done it sooner. >> i don't think there's any point on dwelling on, gee, what could it have been if we had done this, that or the other thing.
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the fact is, i did get to do it. and i never thought i'd get to do it. i'm ready for my close-up. >> reporter: and now that he has done it, what about sex? turns out mac's been so busy on the dog show circuit, and frankly, he's not fully healed from the surgery, he and judy haven't had a chance to have intercourse as husband and wife. and they are, now legally, husband and wife. >> what you need in north carolina is your driver's license and your social security number. i think i had that done on a monday. and by wednesday, we went to the justice of the peace and got married. >> and then, we stopped and we got a food lion cake. and went to the local bookstore and had coffee and cake. and went home. and started bathing dogs to get ready for the dog show the next day. we wanted to go ahead and get it done. even though, after 20 years, it seems like an afterthought, but it really wasn't. it was kind of a milestone.
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>> reporter: seven weeks post surgery, patric, the 40-year-old grandfather in north dakota, is a lot more comfortable in his own skin. >> used to be, i could not look down below. so, it really was -- there's like this dividing line. before, i pulled myself out of my body and kind of didn't participate in life. that was just something, you know, the lower part didn't feel comfortable with. so, since the surgery, it's -- to me, it's quite -- am i allowed to say fascinating? or amazing. and it just feels so much more complete. >> reporter: like mac, patric, too, is now officially recognized by the u.s. government as being male. >> did you want to see my passport? >> absolutely. >> when it came back, there was no questions. last time, i fought with them for six months. got nowhere. got a rejection letter saying we
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need to decide to do it, everything i was asked to do and then reapply. >> reporter: now, the former mother of four has another goal in manhood, to become a new father. he and amy want to have a baby using a sperm donor. they will raise him, or her, along with their young grandson. >> i'm so happy with amy. there's such a calm peacefulness. things work for us. and part of happily ever after is starting a family. and moving forward with our life. >> reporter: since the surgery, eric has moved to montana, to attend the university of montana, where he's pursuing a degree in psychology. life here is modest. >> this is a trailer that i'm renting. oh, that's the dump. that's why the trailer court's cheap. >> reporter: he lives here with one of his teenage daughters. besides his children, eric's
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other pride and joy is his garden. >> got lots of tomatoes going. these are cucumbers. zucchinis. ones you're stepping on are watermelons. that one's almost ready. >> reporter: despite a minor complication with his surgery, which has since healed, eric is pleased with his results. >> it's kind of weird. at times, i feel like i have to talk to it or something because it's there. like, hey. >> reporter: eric's life is calmer now than ever before. a feeling that comes with knowing who he is. and having a body that is finally aligned with his mind. what he wants now is to find someone to share his life with. that's his version of happily ever after. >> i don't know. having a job i love and a person i love, i guess. be in love.
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>> oh, my gosh. look at the -- look at the flowers. somebody sent flowers. >> as for dr. bowers, her practice has a waiting list up to a year for sexual reassignment surgery. >> thank you from the bottom of my heart. oh, that's really nice. >> reporter: dr. bowers insists she's not correcting a cruel mistake on the part of nature. or some bizarre medical condition. she calls being transgender a gift. and says she feels blessed that helping people achieve their desired gender, has become her life's work. >> i think this is a very personal issue for me. it adds a lot of potential to improve the planet. you know? nothing short of that. i mean, i really -- that may sound grandiose. but i think it's really true that there are -- this is like the last frontier of the human mind.


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