Taylor Murphy says he started dating transgender women when he was 22 years old.

“They want to be treated as women, they feel like a woman, I respect them as a woman,” Taylor tells Dr. Phil in an exclusive interview airing Tuesday.

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The former New York City firefighter, who gained fame from modeling and posing in a fireman calendar, says he was “outed” as dating transgender women after an alleged altercation that made headlines. Murphy was arrested after his transgender ex-girlfriend claimed he dragged her by the hair for blocks and choked her until her contact popped out.

“The fact is is that society doesn’t really accept trans, and that’s wrong, and all those puns and media and all that stuff, it’s a disrespect to their community. It’s a disrespect to me,” Murphy says of the coverage he received after the media learned he dated transgender women. “There’s people losing their lives for things like this.”

WATCH: NY Fireman Fired After Scandal With Transgender Girlfriend: ‘I Want To Talk About Equality For All People’

In the video above, Murphy reveals that he believes a childhood incident contributed to his desire to date transgender women.

Murphy, who was cleared of the most serious assault charges, was convicted of misdemeanor assault and violating a restraining order and lost his job with the FDNY. On Friday’s episode, he speaks out for the first time about his life now and his fight to stand up for LGBTQ rights. Check here to see where you can watch.

Former FDNY Firefighter And Model Accused Of Beating Transgender Girlfriend Says He Calls Himself ‘Shexual’