David Bell started each morning by asking his penis what it wanted to do that day. Having had more than one thousand sexual partners and enough ex-wives that he gets them confused when he tries to tell you about them, he truly was a slave to his genitalia.

He spent many years looking at porn, but in time, the regular stuff got boring. So David went to his favorite adult bookstore and picked up a different magazine—one showing transgender sex. It changed everything for him.

Six months later, David Bell had his penis surgically removed.

The David Bell Story

David was adopted at birth and raised in a Christian home. Always the rebel, he says he was the one most likely to be caught with pot at church.

When he was 13, a man on his paper route molested David when he went to pick up payment. However, David says he didn’t even remember he had been molested until someone else told him long after it happened.

Despite the molestation, David Bell never questioned his sexual orientation or felt disconnected from his gender. “I knew I was never gay. I just liked the sex, and that’s what got me started on a downhill spiral for the rest of my life.”

It was a downhill spiral led David to a life of sex, drugs and alcohol, cheating, stealing and lying.

When he was 17 years old, David got married to avoid going to Vietnam. He knew he wouldn’t be able to fire a gun and figured he would probably die over there. By 19, he had two kids he didn’t want with a wife he didn’t love. Theirs was the first of his five marriages all marred by drugs and infidelity. Four years later, David was divorced from wife number one.

His second marriage lasted five years. His third was predicated on drinking and drugs, but his fourth wife lasted a decade. They went to church together, and it was there he fully believed in Jesus and for the first time understood his sins had been forgiven. During that time, David also served as president of the Christian Motorcycle Association in his area.

But, as it often does, sin crept back in.

“I had a good two years where I was doing pretty good. I had a carpet cleaning business for 15 years, and I was cleaning this lady’s carpet, and she comes out half naked, and there are [pornographic] magazines on the table and… pot, and I fell right back into it,” David explains.

He found wife number five drunk in a casino. She confused him for one of the guys in the band, Judas Priest. David went along with it and ended up with a fifth failed marriage.

“I was horrible. Liar, thief. I should have been locked up somewhere, and by the grace of God I wasn’t. He always pulled me through.”

The Diamond Dee Story

After his fifth wife, David really immersed himself in the transgender/transvestite subculture and spent a lot of time hanging out in his favorite adult bookstore perusing magazines. “There was an article in the back of [one of the magazines] for a makeover,” he remembers. “I called the number up thinking I was going to go get a makeover and then have sex with the people—because that’s how my mind worked. So I went down there and paid $75, and they made me into a woman. I thought that looked cool, and one thing led to another. Within a year I was in Arizona getting a [sex-change] operation.”

In Nevada, at the time of his transition, David was required to change his name, go to a hormone doctor, visit a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist. So David Bell became Diamond Dee, and Dee says his lies grew more outrageous.

He fooled the psychotherapist and psychiatrist by telling them whatever they expected him to say. “I bold-face lied to them and said, ‘Oh, of course I’ve felt like this all my life.’ I told them exactly what they wanted to hear. I didn’t have a problem lying to anyone,” he says.

In truth, the decision to become a woman didn’t happen because David was born in the wrong body, looking to reinvent himself or because of any of the other cultural catch phrases being bandied about. David says he was all man until he picked up that magazine.

Dee spent more than $60,000 on surgeries and body modification. He started with 20 tattoos and ended up with more than 150. He spent $20,000 on feminine tattoos including putting bows and eye shadow on some lizard tattoos he’d had from his life as a man. He also had his beard removed for $12,000 and added breast implants.

But it turns out, God wasn’t finished with David Bell, and He was just getting started with Diamond Dee.

In 2009, Diamond Dee ran out of money and hit rock bottom. “God broke me down to nothing because He wanted me to serve Him,” he says.

When God Called Him Back

Dee was living with a friend in Portland, Oregon, when he says he heard God clearly.

“I would go on walks every day. I was walking around a community church, and I kept hearing the Spirit saying, ‘Go in there.’ This went on four or five times a day for four or five months before I finally went in there. I was carrying a pink case with a Playboy bunny on it, and I told the pastor what was going on. He had never dealt with a transgender person, but he had Scriptures and went through and told me to throw things away. And I did. That was when I said, ‘Okay I’m done.’ ”

Dee shaved his head and went back to living as a male for a while before he started hearing voices that didn’t come from God. This time, he thought he was being pulled to live as a female because he could help more transgender people that way.

For several years Dee went back and forth between male and female.

“I have a female body, and that’s what messes up my mind. I have no testosterone. The penis is gone. I have a vagina. I have breasts. I have the whole thing of a woman, but my brain is pure male. It’s a constant fight. Then the third person is David Bell, and he tries to come back in; and he was a sonofabitch. He was a macho person, and I can’t allow that.”

Once Dee moved back to Las Vegas, he met a pastor in a parking lot. Dee was partying next door to the church and went outside with a friend who smoked. He believes meeting his now pastor was a divine appointment.

But half the congregation left when Dee started attending that church.

Back to Being a Dude

Dee wasn’t born with a female mentality, and he is certainly stuck in the wrong body now. Since returning to life as a male, he has struggled with doctors and therapists who want to put him on medicine.

“It’s terrible. [People] can tell you all of these things, but when you live it, your mind goes 100 miles an hour, and you don’t know if you’re coming or going. That’s why so many people kill themselves. They just want to end it. They put the gun to their heads or take the pills or whatever it is.”

While he still struggles with his gender identity, Dee now turns to God for answers instead of man. He says he’s “happy as a lark” and focuses on loving everyone instead of judging. “You gotta love everybody according to the Bible. God says to love your neighbor. You might not like what they’re doing, but you gotta love them as a person. I have to stand behind that. You have to love everybody, and let God take care of the rest.”

Dee describes himself as a pure male now. After years as a woman, changing back to male, several slips and near misses, Dee gave up his transgender life for a life lived for Jesus. He is still a woman physically, but Dee says the removal of his penis was all for the greater good.

“I think this was all God’s plan—for all of this to happen—because after the surgery, I didn’t want anything. I had no sexual drive. It’s been almost 9 years, and there has been nothing,” Dee explains.

In his 60s now, Dee admits it’s not always easy; it tears him up to know he did all this, but he’s back to being who he knows God made him to be.

Calling himself a testimonial evangelist today, Dee tells his story in any way he can—videos, interviews and speaking in church. And his unique experiences allow him access to people few others could reach—the transgender community.

“I have a life that most people would never dream of…,” Dee said. “But I’m still walking around. I’m still breathing. I know God is using me for something.”