COLORADO - He went to a hospital to treat kidney stones, but he returned home as a woman.
Mr Steve Crecelius, who has been married for 25 years and has six kids, is now known as Stevie.
Recounting that day in the hospital, Crecelius told Fox31: "I had a kidney stone and we're in the emergency room. The nurse is reading the ultrasound and says, 'Huh, this says you're a female'. It validated everything I had always felt inside."
Crecelius, a photographer from Denver, Colorado, whose clients include Hollywood star Harrison Ford, was born with both male and female traits and had long repressed his feminine side, Daily Mail reported.
Now, 40 years later, the nurse gave the explanation for his feelings, revealing that he was intersex.
Intersex is a term used to describe people who bear both external genitals and internal organs, such as testes and ovaries. A person with the condition may have male genitals and fallopian tubes and ovaries.
"The condition used to be called hermaphroditism, meaning that person can't be identified as male or female," Crecelius told ABC News.
According to the Intersex Society of North America, more than 1,500 children a year are born intersex.
When they arrived home, his wife Debbie forced him to talk about it - a conversation that he had avoided for fear that he would lose his family.
But rather than walking away, she was supportive, choosing to deal with the news by taking Stevie shopping for her first bra, The Denver Post reported.
Ms Debbie admitted it has not been easy and feared that she would never get her husband back. But she stood by Stevie, saying: "You will be who you are."
She said she faced the situation by being open about their concerns as they tried to adjust through the changes.
"We asked each other questions," Ms Debbie told the Post. "He asked me, 'What if you meet someone along the way?' I said, 'What if you meet someone?' The road goes both ways."
The couple still share a room and a bed together.
Crecelius 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."
Still the same person
Still the same person
Ms Debbie told Fox31: "I didn't sign on for this, but who signs on for anything? She's the same person she was as a he on the inside."
Crecelius said: "I remember wearing my mum's clothes and make-up very secretly, not telling anybody."
Although Crecelius was concerned about telling the couple's six children, they were supportive. She chose to tell them individually, and was most worried about telling one of her sons, a Marine.
But within a few minutes, all of them said: "I don't care, dad; I love you for who you are'."
Crecelius called herself the "luckiest woman in the world".
"It's so liberating to be able to express how I feel inside."
Crecelius has decided not to undergo gender reassignment surgery, but continues to take hormones.
She hopes she can be an advocate for those born intersex and same-sex couples.
"I think of bullying, because I haven't heard anyone talk about this. It's important to talk about it.
"People need to be accepting and understand. I was born this way, and loving each other and supporting each other will always be the main factor in our household."
This article was first published in The New Paper.