DENVER — Steve Crecelius is a prominent local photographer. He’s lived his entire life as a man but recently discovered -- he is in fact a female.
“I remember wearing my mom’s clothes and makeup, very secretly, not telling anybody,” Crecelius said.
From a young age, Crecelius identified more with being a female, but hid behind a male persona.
“When I was 17, I was working my first part-time job at a TV station as a floor cameraman and the person in charge said to me, ‘You know, you walk like a queer.’ And I thought I was hiding who I was, and I wasn’t,” he said.
About 40 years later, a revelation:
“I had a kidney stone and we’re in the emergency room,” Crecelius said. “The nurse is reading the ultrasound and says, ‘Huh, this says you’re a female’.”
It turns out Steve was born intersex, meaning he has both male and female parts. The diagnosis was a shock, but also a relief.
“It validated everything I had always felt inside,” he said.
So he decided to slowly start living as the woman he is now – Stevie. But she had more than just herself to think about.
“How do you tell your kids that well, it’s no longer dad, it’s dadette?” she said.
Stevie and wife Debbie have six children.
“Within a few minutes, all of them said, ‘I don’t care dad; I love you for who you are’.”
Nearly five years after that ultrasound, Stevie and Debbie are still together. It wasn’t always easy.
“I didn’t sign on for this, but who signs on for anything?” she said. “She’s the same person she was as a he on the inside.”
The two still share an intimate relationship based on more than sex or gender.
“We do share a bedroom. We even share the same bed,” Debbie said.
“She still relates to my heart and soul, and I still relate to hers, and I think that that’s the essence of true love,” said Stevie.
With the support of her family and friends, Stevie is now living the life she’s always dreamed of.
“It’s so liberating to be able to be and express how I feel inside,” she said.
By sharing her story, she hopes others will be inspired to embrace their true selves the way she has.
“I am the luckiest woman in the world,” Stevie said. “I don’t think that there’s any way that I could be more blessed.”
This article was written by Hema Mullur and originally published by KDVR.