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Bob Tur, legendary chopper pilot, has Gender Identity Disorder, is becoming Zoey, and is happy at last

by John Rabe | Off-Ramp®

Off-Ramp host John Rabe with Bob Tur, who's begun treatment for Gender Identity Disorder, and will soon be Zoey Todd Johnson

"I'm happy. I've not been this happy. I've had a great life; Bob Tur needs to die now. And he'll be dead within three to four months." —Bob Tur, soon to be Zoey Tur

Bob Tur is a man you know, even if you don't know his name. He's the TV helicopter pilot who hovered above the Reginald Denny beating. He found O.J. in his white Bronco and followed the slow-speed chase. He's flown daring rescue missions, saving dozens of hotel guests from a Pacific storm.

He's a hero in one of the most macho professions, but Thursday he announced he's transitioning from Robert to Zoey because he has GID, Gender Identity Disorder, also called gender dysphoria, which many people who have it describe as being "trapped in the wrong body."

We talked for half an hour. Our interview — the long version is posted here — includes very candid talk about GID and sexuality and graphic clinical descriptions of the surgery he'll be undergoing.

Here's how Bob writes about his new life on his Facebook page.

What's Gender Identity Disorder like? It's weird. I know I'm female, despite being born male. When watching a movie, for example, I identify with the female lead character. When looking at my reflection in the mirror I hate what I see. I think I'm ugly and despise my body hair. So much so, I have shaved it off throughout my adult life. I've even gone as far as using Photoshop to feminize my pictures, including a series of nude photos we shot as far back as 13 years ago. What about the stereotypical things women do, like shopping? Love it. I was the only male I knew that didn't mind shopping with their wife.

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