In 12 hours of surgery, Schroer said, doctors gave him "a scalp advance, a forehead revision, nose reconstruction, upper lip revision, jaw and chin reshaping, and a tracheal shave." In a tracheal shave, the surgeon reduces the cartilage in the throat to get rid of a masculine-looking Adam's apple.
The genital reassignment surgery would come later. But in the meantime, Schroer was already looking more feminine and beginning to envision a new relationship.
But Schroer wasn't envisioning a sexual relationship with any men. Schroer is interested in dating women. "I would say I am, in fact, a lesbian," she said.
Schroer's desire to be with women is not uncommon for transsexuals. Brown says gender identity and sexual preference are two entirely different things.
"If sex and gender were the same, then that would make no sense at all. Sexuality is who you're attracted to. Gender is who you are as a person, male or female. So, the surgery and the transition is all about matching the mind with the body. It has nothing to do with sexuality," Brown said.
While Schroer is grateful to have the acceptance of her family, she has encountered challenges in her public life. While still transitioning to become female, Schroer applied for, and was offered, a job as a terrorism analyst at the Library of Congress late last year.
Because she was still legally David Schroer, she did not reveal her plans to her prospective employer during the interview.
She decided to tell the woman who hired her that she would begin work as a woman, not a man. Schroer said it seemed as though the woman took the information in stride and that the hiring was going forward as planned.
But the following day, Schroer said she was told that she was no longer "a good fit" for the position. Schroer and her brothers were furious.
The Library of Congress first agreed to an interview with "20/20," but then declined, citing Diane's lawsuit. In an e-mail, they wrote that they "acted appropriately and complied with the law" and that "claims such as those raised by Ms. Schroer ... are not covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act" or the U.S. Constitution.
While waiting for her day in court and looking for a full-time job, Schroer's deepest fears concerned her family who had yet to see her as a woman. In July, Schroer allowed "20/20" cameras to film her first visit as a sister with her family in suburban Chicago.
The family was understandably surprised by the dramatic change in her appearance, but before long, the brothers were reminiscing about their childhood. For Gary and Bill Schroer, the memories are bittersweet as they feel, in a sense, they've lost a brother while gaining a new sister.
For Schroer, the childhood memories have a far different meaning. She's always known that inside that little boy lived a little girl who longed to grow up and become a woman. "What's great about my life now is that it's unified, it's focused and this huge distraction that was in my life is now gone."