Top ABC News producer Don Ennis walked into his Manhattan office on Friday in a "little black dress" and a brunette bobbed wig and announced to colleagues that from now on, he would like to be known as Dawn.
The 49-year-old father of three said he's splitting from his wife of 17 years to become a woman, or Dawn Stacey Ennis, as she is now known on her governmental records.
"Today I begin anew," she wrote on her Facebook timeline, where she debuted a flirty new profile picture.
"Please understand: This is not a game of dress-up, or make- believe. It is my affirmation of who I now am and what I must do to be happy, in response to a soul-crushing secret that my wife and I have been dealing with for more than seven years, mostly in secret."
Ennis said she suffers from an "unusual hormonal imbalance," and blames her mother, who fed her female hormones as a child to prolong a commercial acting career. The hormones made the little boy look and sound young, but Ennis said she eventually developed breasts.
Doctors can't explain or remedy her condition, and she's been undergoing hormone-replacement therapy to maintain "mysteriously a more female than male body."
"I have a rare medical condition - nothing deadly or infectious - but it has resulted in an unusual hormonal imbalance, " she said.
"One so profound that I don't resemble the man you first met 10 years ago."
She hasn't undergone a surgical sex change, but says her marriage is "wrecked" and her personality and way of thinking have changed.
The day after she announced her decision to colleagues, she left her wife, Wendy, and moved out of the home they shared with their three young children.
"Despite the heartbreak, [Wendy] has encouraged me to start this new life that we both believe better fits who I now am," Ennis wrote on Facebook.
"Trust me, this is NOT the midlife crisis I was counting on - I'd much prefer to have bought a sports car.
"Even an affair, I think, would have been something we might have recovered from.
"I'm sure if you had to pick someone we know in common who might be transitioning from male to female, I'm guessing I would not even crack the top ten," she added.
But to toast the big switch, she brought a cake and glitter in to work on Friday. Co-workers left flowers on her desk, and ABC News President Ben Sherwood wrote her a note of support. Ennis is currently shopping a book deal.
"I'm overwhelmed by the strong support I've received from my coworkers, and I'm looking forward to telling my story when I'm ready," Ennis said in a statement.
Originally published by Tara Palmeri.
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