Being transgendered can be difficult to understand to the estimated 98 percent of the rest of the world who identifies with the genders they were assigned at birth.
Mike still maintains-- It's not a choice.
"Your choice is to either go with it or fight against it. If you fight against it, you're going to be miserable you're going to be depressed and that's not a way to live."
Although Mike is not a patient of licensed pyschologist David Stang in Utica, Stang reinforces Mike's opinion of his gender identity disorder not being a choice.
"I don't believe it's a conscience choice-- I dont think that most people in their right mind would choose to do."
Mike says that there was only one time he's ever considered living life as a girl.
He said it was just three minutes. "I was about probably 10, and I was fed up with all the little nonverbal cues I was getting and I was like alright I'm going to be a girl. I tried like the girliest clothes I had, and I made it downstairs, ate breakfast, and changed. That's as far as I got."
Acceptance as one would imagine is very important to Mike but he says he understands when people are confused.
He says, "You gotta realize you get programmed one certain way oh that's a he that's a she. And then all of a sudden it's like oh I have to switch. It does take time for reprogramming and I do understand that, but when family don't make an attempt to change that's what irritates me."
Mike says he's lucky because the game-playing ended and the people who mattered most to him understood.
"It was relieving. Because you always feel like you're lying. I hate lying. I suck at lying. Ask my girlfriend. I can't lie. But you always feel like you're lying to someone. When you're a girl you're lying because you're actually a guy and you're not telling anyone. When you're a guy you know you were a girl and you feel bad because you're lying to new people.
But after he started transitioning, Mike said it was a relief. "Now I can express who I've always been. And I don't really have to lie. It's good to just..be myself."
To see Mike's story from the beginning in case you missed it, click here.