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A Review of Trans Life Survivors. By Walt Heyer

A Review of Trans Life Survivors. By Walt Heyer
"At first I was giddy for the fresh start..."

Feb 10, 2019

There have always been growth areas -- areas in which some service or industry booms and a lot of money is made. Think of the self-storage business for example, or more recently, tattoo-removalists. Another such new boom industry is emerging: detransitioning.

This refers to the trans movement of course, where someone has transitioned to the sex they were not born with. That can include radical things like sex reassignment surgery, etc. But many find this was not the panacea they were hoping for, so they detransition -- they seek to go back to their natal sex.

One person who knows all about this is Walt Heyer. He was born male, transitioned to female at age 42, and lived that way for eight years. He then detransitioned, and has since been helping others in this area. He has already penned a number of important books on this issue, including his 2013 volume, Gender, Lies and Suicide.

His brand-new book is a must read. It tells the stories of around 30 people who have been there and done that -- they have transitioned, and now deeply regret that decision, and have or are in the process of detransitioning. No one can remain unmoved as they read these horror stories of people who may have had mental, psychological and emotional problems, only to have things made much worse by the activists and the medical community.

The simple truth is, pretending you can alter your actual sex is as much of a lie as it is a fool's paradise. It changes none of the underlying issues and problems that really need to be dealt with. No amount of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormone therapy, or gender reassignment surgery, can overcome the real problems.

And these untreated issues include depression, childhood abuse and neglect, phobias and adjustment disorders. These are what must be looked at and dealt with. But an entire industry has sprung up which rushes through physical and cosmetic 'solutions' to these much deeper problems.

Any one of these stories should wake us up to the tragic human toll the "gender experts" are inflicting on so many people, including so many vulnerable young people. Indeed, I wish I could share them all, but let me highlight just a few.

One admittedly extreme story is well worth sharing. It concerns Blair, a poor guy who had 167 surgeries in 18 years from 1987 to 2005, costing him over $220,000! He actually even won the Guinness World Record for the most gender reassignment surgeries. Says Heyer, this was "a blatant disregard for Blair's physical and emotional wellbeing." He continues:

Candidates for sex change surgeries are vulnerable and ill-equipped to grasp the consequences of surgeries on their bodies and the effects on their future. They are easily approved for unnecessary procedures by surgeons willing to accommodate them....

Some who contact me regret their one surgery. Blair regrets every one of his 167 surgeries. Having painfully proven that surgeons cannot construct his "true self," Blair found his true male self in following Jesus Christ. The doctors and surgeons failed him in their responsibility to "first, do no harm" -- as the Hippocratic Oath says -- while profiting from the 167 disfiguring surgeries. Yet, they will not be held accountable or responsible for gross medical misconduct or malpractice against the good man.

Consider another quite sad but typical story: that of Michael. Like so many, he had an emotionally traumatic childhood that led to a desire for gender change, but as is almost always the case, the emotional issues remained -- unresolved -- after the surgery. Says Michael:

I am so glad I came across your website. After 10 months of post-op psychotherapy, I know sadly now my problems were great depression, unresolved issues as you said (I was sexually abused by my grandfather at 3 years old).... I have already removed the breast implants and will be restarting testosterone soon. I have destroyed my career, my finances, my marriage and alienated my family.... You and all the people that gave me words of encouragement are the only thing keeping me going....

Finally, Tim tells about his escape from the "clutches of the sex change industry". He says:

Looking around me I knew of one post-op suicide and several other very unhappy and remorseful post-ops. There were several post-ops who suffered severe physical complications, such as a fistula forming between the constructed vagina and rectum, bladder damage, and partial paralysis of the legs...

Eventually I detransitioned to my male identity. That was in 1991. I continue to be happy with the choice I've made. Looking back, I see the gender clinic as more interested in their agenda and medical empire-building than in the well-being of myself or their other patients. I can only imagine it has become worse now that children are being encouraged to go down the path that they are not emotionally or intellectually mature enough to fully understand.

As all these stories make crystal clear, the sad truth is, all the physical changes in the world, even including vaginoplasty and phalloplasty surgery will not deal with the real, internal issues that are crying out to be addressed. It is fake medicine that pushes a confused young person into expensive and dangerous physical surgeries while refusing to address the real issues.

This is a blight on the entire medical community in general, and the sex change industry in particular. Indeed, consider the story of Kyle Scanlon, a well-respected and supported leader and activist in the Canadian trans community. Like so many others, he committed suicide. As Heyer writes,

The suicides continue because doctors fail to effectively diagnose and treat the comorbid mental disorders. Scanlon's suicide is the factual evidence, an unfortunate consequence of focusing on the outward appearance when psychological issues run deep inside.... No amount of change -- including all the surgeries to "look good" -- can ever be enough to heal the ache inside.

In fact, over 40 per cent of transgender adults attempt suicide at some time, "even after changing their sex. As the research shows, a high percentage of this population has clinical depression, the undisputed leading cause of suicide."

But this book is not just an important collection of individual stories, demonstrating the harm being done to these people by the activists, politicians, the medical profession, and others. It also includes chapters on how young children are being harmed by all this. Says Heyer:

Doctors have no scientific basis for their recommendations to prescribe hormone blockers, cross-sex hormones or transition surgeries for children with gender dysphoria. The truth is that no one can predict whether a gender dysphoric child will feel the same way years later.

And the book concludes with a helpful information section, telling us much of what we need to know about the trans movement. In sum, writes Heyer:

Most regretters come to understand it is categorically impossible to achieve a sex change, biologically, scientifically, or surgically. A change of sex is only a hypothesis and the recommended treatment isn't based on controlled, randomized long-term scientific research.... Real people with real stories filled with pain and consequences are a chilling reminder of the madness of the trans life.


Hormones, surgery, regret: I was a transgender woman for 8 years -- time I can't get back

By Walt Heyer
Feb. 11, 2019

At first I was giddy for the fresh start. But hormones and sex change genital surgery couldn't solve the underlying issues driving my gender dysphoria.

I started my transgender journey as a 4-year-old boy when my grandmother repeatedly, over several years, cross-dressed me in a full-length purple dress she made especially for me and told me how pretty I was as a girl. This planted the seed of gender confusion and led to my transitioning at age 42 to transgender female.

I lived as "Laura" for eight years, but, as I now know, transitioning doesn't fix the underlying ailments.

Studies show that most people who want to live as the opposite sex have other psychological issues, such as depression or anxiety. In my case, I was diagnosed at age 40 with gender dysphoria and at age 50 with psychological issues due to childhood trauma.

Eventually, my parents found out, and my unsupervised visits to Grandma's house ended. I thought my secret was safe, but my teenage uncle heard about it and felt I was fair game for taunting and sexual abuse. I wasn't even 10 years old. If not for the purple dress, I believe I would not have been abused by my uncle.

That abuse caused me to not want to be male any longer. Cross-dressing gave me an escape. I lay awake at night, secretly begging God to change me into a girl. In my childlike thinking, if I could only be a girl, then I would be accepted and affirmed by the adults in my life. I would be safe.

Making the decision to transition

Gender dysphoria is about identity, not sexual orientation. I was never homosexual; I was interested in dating girls. In my early 20s and engaged to be married, I confided to my fiancee about my cross-dressing. She figured we could work it out. We got married and had two children.

In my work life I was successful, but the girl persona still occupied my thoughts. With weekly travel away from home, I easily indulged in cross-dressing, fueling the desire to be a woman.

By the time I was 40, I couldn't take the pressure of living two separate lives. I felt torn apart, wanting to be a good husband and father, but in severe torment about needing to be a woman.

I sought out the top gender specialist at the time, Dr. Paul Walker, who had co-authored the 1979 standards of care for transgender health. He diagnosed me with gender identity disorder (now gender dysphoria) and recommended cross-sex hormones and sex change genital surgery. He told me that the childhood events were not related to my current gender distress, and that sex change was the only solution. I started taking female hormones and scheduled the surgery for April 1983 in Trinidad, Colorado. I was 42.

My marriage ended shortly before surgery. In addition to genital reconfiguration, I had breast implants and other feminizing procedures and changed my birth certificate to Laura Jensen, female. My childhood dream was realized, and my life as a woman began.

A fresh start, then a harder fall

At first, I was giddy with excitement. It seemed like a fresh start. I could sever ties with my former life as Walt and my painful past. But reality soon hit. My children and former wife were devastated. When I told my employer, my career was over.

As Laura, I decided to pursue being a counselor and started courses at the University of California-Santa Cruz in the late 1980s. There, a crack in my carefully crafted female persona opened, and I began to question my transition.

The reprieve I experienced through surgery was only temporary. Hidden underneath the makeup and female clothing was the little boy hurt by childhood trauma. I was once again experiencing gender dysphoria, but this time I felt like a male inside a body refashioned to look like a woman. I was living my dream, but still I was deeply suicidal.

A gender specialist told me to give it more time. Eight years seemed like an awfully long time to me. Nothing made sense. Why hadn't the recommended hormones and surgery worked? Why was I still distressed about my gender identity? Why wasn't I happy being Laura? Why did I have strong desires to be Walt again?

Emotionally, I was a mess. But with grit and determination, and the love and support of several families and counselors, I pursued healing on a psychological level. With expert guidance, I dared to revisit the emotional trauma of my youth. It wasn't easy, but it was the only way to address the underlying conditions driving my gender dysphoria.

I was 50 when I had the breast implants removed, but the next few years were spent in confusion and counseling. In 1996, at the age of 55, I was finally free from the desire to live as a woman and changed my legal documents back to Walt, my biologically correct male sex. I still have scars on my chest, reminders of the gender detour that cost me 13 years of my life. I am on a hormone regimen to try to regulate a system that is permanently altered.

Regret is real

Eventually, I met a wonderful woman who didn't care about the changes to my body, and we've been married for 21 years. Now we help others whose lives have been derailed by sex change. Measured by the human benefit to a hurting population, it's a priceless way to spend our time.

Had I not been misled by media stories of sex change "success" and by medical practitioners who said transitioning was the answer to my problems, I wouldn't have suffered as I have. Genetics can't be changed. Feelings, however, can and do change. Underlying issues often drive the desire to escape one's life into another, and they need to be addressed before taking the radical step of transition.

You will hear the media say, "Regret is rare." But they are not reading my inbox, which is full of messages from transgender individuals who want the life and body back that was taken from them by cross-sex hormones, surgery and living under a new identity.

After de-transitioning, I know the truth: Hormones and surgery may alter appearances, but nothing changes the immutable fact of your sex.


Walt Heyer is a former transgender woman who provides support to others who regret gender change at SexChangeRegret.com. He is the author of "Trans Life Survivors."

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