Knoxville transgender men describe going through the transition in the South

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Beckham Loupe and Jack Knoxville told us it wasn't an easy decision to come out as transgender. They even thought about suicide. They said the only way to survive was to transition from a woman to a man.

Loupe was born Rebecca, but always felt like a man. When he was in his teenage years, he contemplated suicide. He went to a therapist, who helped him realize he was transgender. He went to several clinics where he said he was laughed at.

Finally, Loupe found a clinic that gave him the testosterone shot he needed to start looking more like a man. His voice changed, he started growing facial hair, and he developed muscles. But it wasn't easy.

"The growing pains, they hurt. Eight shots in the leg, they hurt. This is not something anyone would want to do for attention, other than this is what I have to do to stay alive," said Loupe.

Knoxville has been taking testosterone for more than a year. He told Local 8 News, from his earliest memory, he's identified as male. He said he was abused when he didn't want to wear dresses.

"This is a genetic disorder. It's not possessed. We are just who we are. There's nothing else to it," said Knoxville.

He says now that he has facial hair and a deeper voice, he's more comfortable.

There are many resources available for anyone going through a gender identity crisis. We've attached links to this story.