From human to reptile: Tiamat's transformation into the Dragon Lady
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - WARNING: Graphic content
ONLY ON FOX -- A story you won't see anywhere else -- a story about a man turned Dragon Lady, born in Phoenix, now living outside of Houston, Texas.
But we want to warn you that what we are about to show may be upsetting for some members of your family. It's not makeup or special effects. This is a real person, who has spent 20 years modifying her body.
Why? To completely change a life with a tough beginning.
"My name is Eva Tiamat Baphhomet Medusa, also known as the Dragon Lady."
Or for short, you can call her Tiamat.
"Tiamat is the Acadian five headed dragon."
And a legitimate question is what is the Dragon Lady's preferred pronoun?
"I really prefer to be called an it, just like a snake."
Besides transforming "itself" into a dragon, Tiamat is also a transsexual.
"Getting rid of my male genitalia which i haven't done yet but its on the chopping block."
But how does one become a dragon? According to Tiamat, it's done slowly through body modification.
"My first modification towards my reptilian transformation were my horns. In the year 2000, I got my third set of horns which I have now. In 2007, I got my five eyebrow dome implants. I have five dome implants, subdermal implants along each eyebrow. I want to bring out my forehead and give my face a more reptilian look."
"My next major mods actually started my tattoo work.. my tattoo work is going to be a full body suit patterned after the Western Diamondback rattlesnake."
"My next major modification were the removal of my ears. Reptiles don't have ears and my ears needed to go. I have had two procedures done on my nose. The first stage was to basically reshape the nose, remove all the cartilage in my nose, remove the nostrils and remove the septum completely, pulling the skin down and reattaching the skin to my upper lip. Now I have what I call is my dragon nose with a bigger nostril, which are basically slits right up on both sides of my nose and I can breathe so much easier now. I also had my tongue split."
And finally, the green eyes of a dragon. That involves dying the whites of the eyes.
"You can see I have green eyes now.. basically the white part of my eyeballs were stained."
Tiamat was born in 1961 as Richard Hernandez.
"I was born in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona."
Born to a family of migrant workers who traveled with each harvest.
"My mom and dad met out in the fields and they eloped.. they were married."
But it wasn't a childhood anyone would wish for.
"I think I was in the first grade when my mother and my step dad ended up taking us close to where my grandparents live actually on the property of the ranch and abandoned myself and two of my siblings."
"They lived in Houston, so Houston was my first real home as a child."
After that, Tiamat, preferred to think of her parents as reptilians.
"I was born to my human mother in the Phoenix area, but I was born to my reptilian parents when my mother and stepfather abandoned me to the woods."
Young Richard was fascinated by the snakes he found in the nearby forest.
"My whole transformation today is basically an honor to my reptilian parents which are the rattlesnakes.. the Western Diamondback in particular."
Shunned by family and friends for being openly different, he left home after high school and eventually had a son.
"My grandfather didn't understand that, he didn't understand that I was not really a boy... The news went around that I was going to become a father.. one of my friends asked me, how did that happen? I said how do you think it happened?"
But after Tiamat was rejected by his now teenage son, "it" decided to make a Dragon its preferred modification.
"As a kid, he loved dragons and we loved Pokemon.. I am hoping that when he sees me now, he will look at a beautiful dragon instead of seeing his father who made mistakes and was not a perfect dad."
What kind of reaction does Tiamat get while in public? Mostly good.
"People love me.. I go out and I am greeted with smiles."
But there are those times..
"One lady fell out of her chair at a restaurant when she saw me and hit the floor."
And there was one memorable bus ride.
"As I boarded the bus, I heard a lady scream at the top of her lungs, 'Oh my God what is that? What is that?' She put up her hand.. I can't see that."
On this day at home in Edna, Texas, no one was scared of the Dragon Lady as Tiamat made cotton candy for the neighborhood kids. Their parents didn't look concerned either.
"I need practice on this, a little more practice, haha."
Tiamat has experienced health problems and is HIV positive.
"I want to raise awareness and erase the stigma. There is so much stigma out there about being HIV positive."
Tiamat has documented her journey online and reaction on social media is mixed at best.
"I have been treated very badly by some people."
But Tiamat says everyone is going to have to get used to who "it" is.
"I think humans need to be nicer to one another and really just accept each other for what they are."
Because for the first time it "its" life, this young man turned Dragon Lady is happy.
"I'm very happy. I'm happy for my life for the first time ever."
Tiamat did not use a doctor for body mods as they're called. Body modification artists did the work instead and Tiamat has spent about $60,000 so far.