Other trans people have been motivated to transition by near-death experiences: They realized that they would have been memorialized and buried in the gender to which they were assigned at birth rather than that of their true selves.
But Thomas Page McBee's near-death experience caused him to "come out" as transgender. As the author of Man Alive tells the story, he was mugged by someone who pereceived that he was presenting himself as a man. But, in the course of the attack, the attacker came to believe that a then-pre-transition McBee was not presenting as a male and let him go.
"I had a gut feeling that this had to do with me not being perceived as a male," he says. That sense was later confirmed for McBee when the attacker went on to kill another man in a very similar kind of incident.
That experience, terrible as it was, helped him to unravel his gender identity and masculinity. He soon realized that the way other people were perceiving him wasn't the same as the way he was perceiving himself. Soon afterward, he came out as transgender.
Here, he talks about the experience with Ricky Camilleri: