Texas Man Claims He Lived 34 Years As Transgender Woman, Topless Dancer

Screen Shot 2013-08-10 at 6.05.44 PMMany were puzzled when the story of an ABC News anchor’s three-month stint as a transgender woman broke earlier this week. The decision to transition is not one that should be made in haste, so what would prompt someone to essentially transition twice in one summer?

Well, “transient global amnesia,” if you ask Don Ennis. For others, the explanation is not as simple.

Not to be outdone by ABC News, the folks at HuffPo discovered Philip Porter, a man who says he lived 34 years as a transgender woman. He worked both as an NFL cheerleader and topless dancer before going through a “mid-life crisis” and “changing back” to his birth sex.

Porter says he felt more female than male for as long as he can remember, but didn’t have many options or resources while growing up in the ’70s. “Back then…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 eventually did find that doctor in Dallas, and began transitioning just two days after:

“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 later, Porter says his hormones became unbearable:

“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.’”

But once he stopped taking his hormones, Porter says things did change:

“And after that, it just started happening. 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.”

Check out the full interview here.

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  • Thedrdonna

    Ugh just what we need, another hyped-up story to help delegitimize transitioning for the 98-99% of trans people who never do detransition.

  • longpastdue

    @Thedrdonna: Why does it have to be a “hyped-up story to help delegitimize transitioning.” Why can’t it just be an interesting story about someone whose gender identity is a little bit more fluid than most who has made a decision to see if there was more to his life than he might have thought. The fact is that as hard as we fight to make other people see that you can live outside their boxes we are just as quick to put people in our own. I for one think he is pretty lucky to be able to step in and out of gender roles and experience things from a very varied perspective. He’s obviously capable of being happy and successful no matter how he is living his life.

  • Thedrdonna

    @longpastdue: My issue is more of that this is, as I said, rather far from representative. People who “happily” detransition are sort of like the trans equivalent of ex gays, and statistically are rare enough that to have multiple sympathetic stories dominating what little airtime trans-centric narratives get is concerning. We’re at a turning point regarding public knowledge on trans issues, and it seems like Thus sort of story helps people to think that being trans is something people choose to do. I’m not saying this guy is lying, or that people don’t have narratives like his, but rather that they don’t represent the vast majority of trans folks’ experience.

  • hyhybt

    @Thedrdonna: That would make more sense if it were being presented as representative; this reads, to me, more like “hey, there are TWO of them.”

    Not everybody is the same. Even within a category of people who are all different in the same way, so to speak, there will be a few who don’t quite fit the way they’re supposed to, and that’s all this is.

  • Thedrdonna

    @hyhybt: That’s true, at least here at Queerty. I’m more concerned about places like HuffPo, where there’s a wider and less knowledgeable audience.

  • hyhybt

    @Thedrdonna: I can’t seem to get that site to load, but it’s definitely the sort of story that has to be presented with great care to avoid giving the wrong idea.

    (My internet connection’s been weird lately. Sometimes very fast, sometimes so slow that just downloading text emails is a challenge, and lately it’s been not reading some sites for no apparent reason. The other day, I couldn’t get Queerty for around 14 hours, but everything else worked perfectly. Right now, apparently, it’s the Huffington Post.)

  • DarkZephyr

    I have read the story at HuffPo and I have also read his personal blog. This isn’t the trans equivalent of “ex-gay” because he is not talking about the evils of being transgendered at all. He is still very much in support of it and belongs to a support group of trans people that all support each other. He is the only one de-transitioning.

    And he is not lying, his blog is loaded with pictures of when he was a woman. Very feminine looking, especially in her cheerleader years.

  • Thedrdonna

    @DarkZephyr: I’m not saying that, at all. I would never question any one person’s ability to change or seek their own maximum comfort level in their own skin. He’s doing what is best for him, and I don’t doubt his sincerity. I’m drawing a rough equivalency to “ex-gays” because, by giving these people an overabundance of airtime, the media is making it look like trans folks are wishy washy, or that it is really a choice. The general public isn’t gonna read a whole article and think about how each of these people is pro-trans, or whatever. They’re gonna read these headlines, and then when the topic comes up next they’ll say, “Oh, well I’ve been reading about how they all just switch back anyway. Wy should we let them use the bathroom or get a surgery they’ll just regret?”

  • NoelG

    I am very skeptical of this story. You don’t see a psychiatrist or psychologist one day then an endocrinologist the next. You don’t “just begin living your life as a female.” Transitioning is a process and going full time is a huge step. And being a topless dancer AND NFL cheerleader? He must have been totally passable on very close inspection which is close to impossible without bottom surgery. Then there is the question of hot flashes. Hot flashes are due to the loss of hormones in older women which, as far as I know, would not occur to someone on HRT. In fact, HRT is a treatment for hot flashes.

    He makes everything sound a little too pat. Maybe that’s just his way of speaking but it leaves me skeptical of his honesty.

  • james_in_cambridge

    @Thedrdonna: No, you’re right. The right wing sites are all over the ABC employee story in an attempt to discredit all transgender folk. This is what they do…they’re masters at propaganda.

  • Dixie Rect

    Not again!

    That must of been one ugly cheerleader and stripper. I call shenanigans, don’t believe any of it.

  • hf2hvit

    So what? For hundreds of years, thousands of males in Texas have lived under the delusion that they were “MEN”

  • tazz602

    The biggest thing wrong with this story – his mention of Hot Flashes and getting older – almost like he was trying to say he was going thru Menopause. Biology lesson, Menopause is caused by hormones naturally decreasing and changing in women, so if he was taking his hormones as he was supposed too, he would NOT have had any “hot flashes” or other symptoms. I call “Liar Liar – Pants on Fire!!” Or as Sheldon Cooper would say – “Bazinga!”

  • Snapper59

    Where are photos of him as an “NFL cheerleader”? Let me guess, they don’t exist. Well, for this person. For any other NFL cheerleader in the past 50 years digging up a photo would be no problem.

    Huffington Post and Queerty are about as reliable sources as is The (UK’s) Sun.

  • niles

    This explains a lot. Are they really “transgendered” or just hopped up on massive doses of hormones?

  • Thedrdonna

    Just for informational purposes: hot flashes can happen any time your hormones are in flux. Since starting estradiol, I’ve gotten them pretty regularly over the last year or two. They’ll taper off when I’m on the same amount for a while, then the endocrinologist tweaks something and they start up again.

    And if you want to see cheerleader pictures, they’re there on his blog, which DarkZephyr linked above.

  • tookietookie

    Maybe he is bigendered. Maybe he is queer gendered identified. Maybe he is agendered. Maybe he is furries gendered.

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  • DarkZephyr

    @Snapper59: Once again: http://philipsdetransition.wordpress.com/

    @Thedrdonna: Thanks, its amazing how people will miss things like that. I posted a link to the pics and people were all “where are any pics? They don’t exist!” without having even noticed the link.

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