Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Walt Heyer explains de-transitioning at Witherspoon's blog

Walt Heyer
Walt Heyer is back to Witherspoon's blog with “Transgender Identities Are Not Always Permanent.” I am not a clinician but I agree with him. No one ever said that the science is perfect. However the vast majority of people who have sex-reassignment surgery are happy with the result. According to a respected German study provided by NIH, 90.2% of male to female surgical patients, five years out, said their expectations for life as a woman were fulfilled.

Walt Heyer is a professional victim of a bad transgender transition which he reversed (I guess partially). Heyer had sex reassignment surgery about 34 years ago at about 42 years of age. He had the surgery reversed about eight years later. Heyer is representative of nothing that is pertinent today. Heyer brings up the death of Alexis Arquette:
All too abruptly, another bright life has ended. Alexis Arquette (formerly Robert Arquette), a transgender performer and activist, returned to living as a man before his death on September 11, 2016, at the age of 47. Arquette appeared in the movies Pulp Fiction and The Wedding Singer and was a force for transgender rights.

Although there were many media tributes after his death, few mention his decision to stop living as a woman. However, one piece in The Hollywood Reporter does speak of Arquette’s struggles after transitioning.
There is the subtle implication that Arquette died because she was trans. In point of fact, she died because she had AIDS and because she refused to take the modern drugs that keep the condition at bay. Arquette was gender-fluid and because of that she never had sex reassignment surgery. She did live as a man at the end but I note that the Reporter piece uses female pronouns throughout.

Heyer's point is that nobody should have sex reassignment surgery. Heyer's view is shaped by conservative Christianity and he is offering his view at an ultra-orthodox Catholic outlet.
People are not born transgender. The indisputable evidence that transgenderism is not innate is the existence of people who wholeheartedly believe that they need a sex change and then later—often many years later—change their mind and go back. People who have detransitioned, as I have, write to me and tell me their stories and their struggles.
I do not know what that “indisputable evidence” is. Nor do I know if it matters. I have no idea at what age Caitlyn Jenner felt like a woman in a man's body. Jazz Jennings seems to have had gender dysphoria in early childhood. Does it really matter? What I do know is that nobody raises their hand and volunteers to be gender non-conforming. I also know that experienced clinicians are extremely conservative and cautious with puberty blockers, hormones and adult surgery. Patients are normally required to be living in conformity with their gender identity for at least a year.

If Walt Heyer presented today as he did 34 years ago, would he be a candidate for sex reassignment surgery. We cannot know the answer to that very important question.  Clinicians are far better informed about transgender people than in the early 1980s.

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (“WPATH”) publishes the authoritative standards of care for people with gender dysphoria. It is the gold standard recognized by the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the Endocrine Society, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The organization did not exist until 1979. Over the last 37 years, the standards have been revised at least seven times. It is safe to assume that version 7 is superior to version 1.

How do they get to the point of detransitioning?

Based on strongly held feelings, a transgender individual will take hormones and undergo surgery to align the appearance of the body with what is thought to be one’s true gender. I did it myself. People, especially young people, think strong feelings will never change, but over time they can and do.
The statistics suggest that very few people de-transition. Transitioning is a process over time. The objective is to find comfort at each stage. Social and medical sciences improve over time. This should be obvious.

Heyer tells the story of someone he calls Dave:
I transitioned to female beginning in my late teens and changed my name in my early 20s, over ten years ago. But it wasn’t right for me; I feel only discontent now in the female role. I was told that my transgender feelings were permanent, immutable, physically deep-seated in my brain and could NEVER change, and that the only way I would ever find peace was to become female. The problem is, I don't have those feelings anymore. When I began seeing a psychologist a few years ago to help overcome some childhood trauma issues, my depression and anxiety began to wane but so did my transgender feelings. So two years ago I began contemplating going back to my birth gender, and it feels right to do so. I have no doubts—I want to be male!
Again, we don't know if this individual had surgery, hormones or nothing. I am reasonably certain that clinicians talk many people out of sex reassignment surgery. I doubt that they are talking anyone into it. For that matter, I have no way of knowing if this individual even exists. It would not surprise me if this was fiction.
Like many of the nearly 20 percent who report regret after surgical gender change, I first needed to come to terms with the truth that no amount of surgery or hormones can ever change innate, biological sex. Armed with the factual knowledge that my sex—male—had never changed, I started to take steps to detransition.
That link is to a piece in the Guardian which is more than 12 years old. It appears to be a literature review and it is not peer reviewed. Heyer's experience is Heyer's experience. We have no idea what his treatment protocol looked like 34 years ago. 
Transitioning is an attempt to escape into a surgically fabricated and hormonally induced transgender world. My transition was the result of years of cross-dressing starting at the hands of my grandmother at age four, after which I was molested by my uncle. Deep psychological pain caused me to want to be female. My transgenderism was a hiding place until I received proper psychotherapy, then set my sights on God. Slowly but steadily, God’s love redeemed my life. I no longer needed a hiding place. I have been restored to a new life that is better and brighter than ever. Now, over twenty years after detransitioning, I’m living the dream—married and restored, unshackled by all the transgender madness.
This is the presentation of Christian BS. This guy had surgery in his 40s. You would think that by that age he would know what he was doing and you would think that the people who were treating him had a handle on what was going on. It seems highly possible that Heyer combines gender dysphoria with a serious personality disorder. The science (indeed all medical and social science) is imperfect. The same drug that cures one person of something causes another person to get sicker. However, I think that the science is less imperfect than it was 34 years ago.

Heyer is on a mission:
It is painful to watch advocacy groups try to refashion men and women with cosmetic sex-change surgery. The consequence, tragically, will be a trail of more broken lives. What we see in Dave’s story and mine is that this grand experiment has not proven to be effective in treating everyone with gender identity issues. When someone says “I’m transgender” it is likely a day will come, perhaps years later, when he or she will also say, “The transgender life is not for me.”
Heyer is simply not a responsible and credible spokesman for anything other than Walt Heyer. Transgender treatment is provided by highly trained professionals. Religion doesn't provide us with anything relative to those treatments. It's fair to say that there are probably transgender individuals who are devout Christians. Religion and gender identity should be unrelated to each other. Heyer is, perhaps, confused. He is certainly the vendor of confusion.

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