Transgender woman followed long road to feel at home with herself – By L.A. Johnson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Second of a two-part series.

Dannylee Mitchell received the call on March 8, 2006. It came from Dr. Marci Bowers, telling her she was scheduled for sex reassignment surgery on April 25 in Trinidad, Colo.

“I was so excited, like going to Kennywood or Disneyland,” says Dannylee, 40, who was born in Washington, Pa., as Daniel. “Until the surgery, you feel like you’re living a lie.”

She flew out to Colorado on April 23 with the man she was seeing at the time. He’d lent her the $20,000 she needed for the surgery. Most insurance providers won’t cover sex reassignment surgery. She’d already spent another $25,000 on hair removal, hormones, a nose job and a tracheal shave, which reduces the size of the Adam’s apple.

Trinidad, a town of about 8,900 that’s 11/2 hours south of Colorado Springs, has been the epicenter of sex reassignment surgery in the United States for decades.