A 30 year old transgender from Los Angeles named Tony McGinn now identifies himself as a "canine," MTO News has learned.
Tony, who goes by the name 'Tony Bark' to his friends, says he has been into animal role-play his entire life, and refers to himself as a 'human pup'.
Tony was born female, but later identified as a transgender male. He is supported by his husband and 'handler' Andrew who accompanies him to regular play dates with other role-players in their hometown of Los Angeles.
And he explained how he became a canine, in a recent interview:
'A lot of little kids like to play like they're a dog and most of them grow out of it. I just never grew out of that. And now in my adult life, in my relationships, it's a way for me to feel vulnerable and exposed and close to my partner. It's a very intimate thing.
'Imagine if the easiest way to delight your partner is you just throw a ball across the room. Relationships wouldn't fail anymore if that's all you had to do.
'Tony's partner Andrew also explained his take on Tony's transition to canine:
'I hang out and I provide him with lots of attention and tell him he is a good boy. That's basically 90 percent of it.
And Tony is very serious about being a canine, it's not just fun and games. Tony actually won numerous competitions and awards for his "pet play." Twice he won the designation of 'best in show' awards.
He told one magazine, 'People come to my house and they see my ribbons and they say, 'Oh, you have won all those ribbons at dog shows. But they rarely ask if I am the dog.'
And Tony's not alone with his "canine" lifestyle. 6 years ago, Andrew and Tony joined the LA Pony and Critter Club – an animal role-play group founded by Ann Noble.