As the transgender craze continues to grow, more and more people are discovering that they’ve been sold a bill of goods. After “transitioning” from one gender to another, people begin to reverse the process and “detransition.” PJ Media spoke with Walt Heyer, a man who identified as a woman for eight years, who has helped “literally thousands” rediscover their birth sex after living as transgender. One famous former transgender described transgenderism as “bullish*t.”
“In the ten years or so that I’ve worked with people, 100 percent — every single last one of them — has had some kind of event — traumatic, painful, horrible, some sexual, some physical, some emotional — happen to them, sometime between the ages of 4 and 15, that caused them to not want to be who they are,” Heyer told PJ Media.
Due to this trauma, “they elected to identify as a transgender as a way to escape the horrible pain and discomfort that they had early in life.”
Affirmation is a central component in transgender identity. “Once you begin to affirm somebody at a young age, you can confuse them about who they are,” he explained. “If we don’t affirm them, in all likelihood they will grow out of their desire to change genders by adulthood.”
“If we look at the evidence, we’re actually manufacturing transgender kids by affirming them and giving them makeup,” he said. Worse, this often papers over deep psychological trauma, and the LGBT movement insists these people don’t need therapy.
Heyer said he has worked with all classes of people — Iranians, Muslims, Catholics, Jews, even atheists. “People detransition because they’re sick and tired of being sick and tired of being transgender,” he said.
Heyer has not kept an exact count of the number of people he has helped detransition, but he estimated that “there are literally thousands.” He launched a website called SexChangeRegret, which gets “upwards of 350,000 views in a year.” Even so, he estimated that he has probably only helped a tiny percentage of those attempting to detransition.
“There’s a lot of people out there who are desperate to get help,” Heyer said. “The LGBT activists are not going to help them.”
He also noted that it is “more difficult to detransition than to transition,” for a whole host of reasons.
Heyer told PJ Media the stories of six formerly transgender people, to illustrate the difficulties of detransitioning, and to make it clear that therapy in general — not to be confused with so-called “conversion therapy” — is a good and helpful thing, not something to be discouraged.
1. Walt Heyer.
When Walt was 4 years old, his grandmother started cross-dressing him. Later, his dad’s adopted brother started molesting him. Internally, he started identifying as a girl, and he fought this identity for the rest of his life. At 42 years old, after he had married and had children, he divorced his wife and “came out” as a woman. He took hormones and had surgery, living as a woman for 8 years.
After a while, however, he began to think about detransitioning. “When I was thinking about detransitioning, there was nothing around,” Heyer told PJ Media. Eventually, he stumbled on the writings of Paul McHugh, distinguished professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University.
After years of encouraging transgender identity and sex-reassignment surgery, McHugh closed the gender identity clinic at Johns Hopkins in 1979, coming to the conclusion that transgender identity and surgery do not meet the psychological needs of struggling people. McHugh has compared transgender surgery to “performing liposuction on an anorexic child.” Others have quit pushing transgenderism after experiencing too many suicides.
“When I read what McHugh wrote, I realized my feelings about detransitioning were real, they were valid, and I was right to think that way,” Heyer told PJ Media. “He inspired me and empowered me to write and do what I’m doing today, so that hundreds of people will also feel that encouragement.”
Therapy helped Walter Heyer reject his transgender identity and heal from his childhood psychological trauma. “I went through therapy, and it was just talk therapy,” he explained. He emphasized how normal the therapy was, pointing out that it was nothing like the caricature of “conversion therapy.” “Nobody beat me up with a rubber hose, nobody lit me on fire, we just talked.”
Heyer does not provide therapy for people, only encouragement. He tries to “meet people where their pain is and to tell them it is possible to detransition if they want to. This is their choice.” In his experience, “the people I’ve met don’t need much encouragement to detransition. They just need to know that someone else did it.”
Society often holds people back. Most of the people who come to Heyer say they want to detransition, but “they’re very fearful of the blowback they’re going to get from their family, their friends, or their job.”
The LGBT movement has even attacked Heyer personally, attempting to silence the idea that detransitioning is possible. “They say that I was never transgender,” he explained. “If that’s the case, then there’s never been a transgender person. If I wasn’t one, there never was one anyway.”
“I’ve been detransitioned for 25 years,” but he keeps the story a secret from his neighbors. “I try not to even befriend my neighbors for fear that they would Google my name.”
2. Man molested by swimming coach.
Walt Heyer also told the story of a man he met in the last few months. “I don’t know why I did this, but I want to transition,” the man told him. “I said, ‘Let’s talk a little bit about what your life was like when you were young.'”
Sure enough, when the man was 11 years old, his diving coach at a summer camp scarred him for life. “The swimming coach sexually molested him at every opportunity that he had,” Heyer explained.
“When did you first have this tremendous desire to identify as a transgender person?” Heyer asked the man. “Curiously, it happened right after I was sexually abused,” the man told him.
Tragically, the man explained that he had “come to the wrong conclusion that if in fact he were to have surgery and remove his genitalia, then he would never be sexually abused again. So in his mind, becoming transgender was a way to avoid ever being sexually abused again.”
“The transgender identity was just a way of escaping pain,” Heyer explained. “Once he identified this trauma, then detransitioning became quite comfortable. He didn’t need to be a transgender any longer once he realized why he had done what he had done.”
3. Teen discovers SexChangeRegret.com.
Walt Heyer does not know how many people he has helped to detransition, because many discover the process through his website.
“I can only tell you that I’ve come in contact with hundreds,” he said. “Some of the people have written me. One just wrote me in the last two or three weeks.”
Heyer paraphrased the message he received. “When I was 15 years old, I saw your website. Wasn’t sure about the information you had … I’m now twenty and after reading all the stuff that you’ve written, I realized that being transgender is not for me.”
“I want to thank you for having your website,” the person wrote.
“There’s a lot more of them who don’t go through with [transgender surgery] because my website’s there,” Heyer told PJ Media.
4. A father held back by his 5-year-old son.
Walt Heyer also told the story of a father who was “desperate to detransition,” but his 5-year-old son held him back.
Casey “worked as a school teacher for 12 years, and had transitioned from male to female as a teacher.”
Heyer described receiving 90-100 emails from Casey. He finally met the man who was “desperately wanting to transition.”
“He was ready to resume his male name again, but he has a young 5-year-old boy who says, ‘I don’t want you to change back because I don’t think I can handle it.’ The person has interrupted his detransition because his young son says he couldn’t handle it,” the former transgender told PJ Media.
Everything about this story is tragic. The father, struggling with identity issues, decides to identify as a woman for 12 years, but then realizes that isn’t right. His son, already confused by his father’s transition, is terrified he can’t handle it if his
father mother again becomes his father.
Many people hesitate to detransition because their families or their employers helped them change from male to female or from female to male, and they’re terrified to ask those same people to go through the process again.
5. “The biggest mistake ever.”
Walt Heyer told PJ Media about a new book he will be publishing in October. His book will tell the stories of detransitioning people. “I think it will be just a huge help to parents and therapists and people who are struggling,” he said.
He met one such person at a conference in Boston. “The man sat down across from me, dressed as a woman,” he recalled. He then paraphrased the man’s words.
“I just want to tell you this was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life. Can you help me?” the man identifying as a woman asked.
6. Robert Arquette.
Walt Heyer told the story of Robert Arquette, better known as Alexis Arquette.
Heyer did not mention abuse in Arquette’s history, but the celebrity actor’s sisters Patricia and Rosanna Arquette opened up to Oprah Winfrey about their mother’s “terrible physical abuse.” They said abuse was “a family disease, it affects everybody.”
“Robert Arquette, at the age of 18, transitioned to Alexis Arquette and became a headliner activist for the LGBT community,” he explained. But “at the age of 39, he detransitioned.”
Heyer recalled an article in The Hollywood Reporter that quoted Arquette as saying the entire transgender narrative is “bullish*t.”
“Gender is bullish*t,” Arquette said. “Putting on a dress doesn’t biologically change anything. Nor does a sex change.” He went on to insist that “sex-reassignment is physically impossible. All you can do is adopt these superficial characteristics but the biology will never change.”
Ironically, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Seth Abramovitch continued to call Robert Arquette “Alexis,” and refer to him using female pronouns. He did this even though the article clearly stated that “Alexis” Arquette “began presenting herself as a man again” in 2013.
If transgender identity leads people to refer to you by the pronoun you identify as, shouldn’t detransitioning lead people to refer to you by the pronoun corresponding to your biological sex? Robert Arquette identified as “Alexis” for years, but then he identified as Robert again. Why refer to him as a female? How is that not “misgendering” him?
“It’s stories like that that should have the lawmakers cease and desist from promoting the LGBT agenda,” Walt Heyer told PJ Media. “The LGBT activists should have absolutely zero, nothing, nada power. But George Soros and try wealthy homosexual and transgender activists pull the strings.”
“The LGBT movement has way too much power, and it unfortunately was given a supercharger when Obama took office and appointed 250 LGBT people in his administration,” Heyer explained.
No matter who is in power, he insisted, “It’s scientifically and categorically impossible to change a man into a woman. You have to suspend all reality to buy into the LGBT agenda.”
It seems particularly noxious that LGBT activists refuse to acknowledge the fact of detransition. Walt Heyer had surgery and lived as a woman for eight years, but activists insist he was never transgender. Robert Arquette rejected the identity of Alexis Arquette but people still insist on calling him a woman.
This feeds into the idea that transgender people need affirmation, not therapy, and that any therapy that might cause them to question their transgender identity should be banned. Last month, California considered a bill that would have banned advertising any goods or services promoting “sexual orientation change efforts.” The bill would have inserted the government between therapists and clients. It was ultimately withdrawn.
“This thing in California is absolute madness,” Heyer told PJ Media. “It never should have gotten any traction.”
Heyer hopes to tell more stories of detransition, to make the public well aware that it is okay to leave a transgender identity, and that people should never be afraid to seek conventional therapy if they need it.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.