Someone 2 Know: Reno Woman Shares Transition Story - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Someone 2 Know: Reno Woman Shares Transition Story

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Michelle Dumont grabs her camera and heads to the intersection of Virginia and Mill Streets. She does this several times a week. 

 "At least five days a week," Michelle tells me. 

Michelle takes pictures and documents the construction of the new Virginia Street Bridge. But there is much more to Michelle's story than a woman and her camera. 

"Well, growing up, I knew I was different."

On April 1, 1952, Michael Dumont Millhollin was born at St. Lukes hospital in Iowa. He looked and acted like any other young boy.

"When you are born to a mother, proud of her son, you do the 'sonly' things."

But deep down, he knew something was off. 

"I didn't know what I was."

Michael grew up, and did the man thing. He joined the military, and served six years in Vietnam. He got married. 

He got divorced.
 
"I decided to pursue this before it was too late."

A few years ago, when Michael turned 60, he needed to find a solution to that thing that made him feel off.  

"I was concerned that if I didn't do it then, I would probably die before I experienced the transition." 

32 months ago, she started hormone replacement therapy. Michelle, though, is still 6-4, and 190 lbs.  

"When I utter words, because of my voice, I get this startled look."

Michelle knows that people's reaction will not always be positive. In fact, simple bus rides are a vivid reminder that she's different.   
 
"9 times out out 10, people will not sit next to me."

But Michelle has found ways to cope with the reaction. 

"I sort of laugh it off."

And she has a message for people who are in a situation similar her.

"They have to be true to themselves, and not let the naysayers get you down."

She didn't let the negativity get in her way. When Michelle looks into the mirror, and brushes her hair, she knows that this is her true self.    

"I'm still the same person," Michelle said. "And whether I want society to accept me? I don't really care if they do or not. I am who I am."
 

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