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By Sarah Holliday
The Washington Stand

In February 2023, producers at The Daily Caller said, “enough is enough” when they released their documentary, “Damaged.” In just under an hour, the documentary exposes the truth about what LGBT activists call “gender-affirming care.” The Daily Caller wrote, “Transition surgeries on children are appalling, but the media is hellbent on convincing us that these procedures are good for our kids.” Over time, though, the reality becomes clearer and clearer: these procedures are not good, but permanently harmful.

The documentary, which was released over a year ago, was not the first attempt to shed light on an evil agenda, and it certainly wasn’t the last. Since then, countless researchers have made it their mission to discover (and unbury) the overwhelming evidence that hormone therapy and gender reconstruction surgeries are nothing but body mutilation, and that children especially are increasingly becoming lifelong victims of irreversible medical experiments. The most recent course-altering information released was the 2024 Cass Review, which led the U.K. to publicly announce their intention to change the way they handle these procedures.

In addition to the growing scientific research, personal testimonies are gaining traction, adding an entirely new angle to the dilemma at hand. Young adults and teenagers who underwent “gender affirming care” but chose to detransition are sharing their experiences with the world. Walt Heyer, who now serves as a senior fellow with Family Research Council, was one of the first. Growing up, Heyer believed he was a woman. He was fed the lie that the only solution to his problems was to start the gender transitioning process. But on Monday’s episode of “Washington Watch” with FRC’s Senior Fellow for Strategic Engagement and Biblical Worldview Joseph Backholm, the 83-year-old detransitioner shared more of his story.

“Seventy-nine years ago,” Heyer said, “I was a cross-dressing young boy. And the fact that my grandmother made me a purple chiffon dress and affirmed me in the dress told me how cute I was and so forth — I can tell you that’s child abuse. It’s emotional and psychological child abuse.” But the problem, as Heyer would emphasize, is that this is not only still happening decades later, but it’s happening to thousands more children. It’s “a practice all of us need to stop,” he urged.

Really, Heyer added, “I wouldn’t be talking … at 83 years old about something that happened to me when I was four, unless it had a great deal of harm. And it did cause my life 50 years of struggle with my identity. I ended up going through the hormone procedures … surgical procedures … [and] identifying as a female for eight years as a result of my grandmother putting me in a purple chiffon dress, and some other incidents that happened when I was young, including being sexually and physically abused.”

Backholm highlighted that research such as the Cass Review “seems to support the experience” people like Heyer suffered. Namely, he explained, that “transitioning people chemically and surgically, especially children, does not actually relieve the mental distress that these so-called treatments are intended … to solve.” Heyer agreed, saying, “I know the research is correct because … people have been writing me asking for help after they’ve taken hormones and had surgery. And all of them, 100% of them, report being harmed by the hormones and surgery.”

Based off of his lived experience, as well as what we’re seeing happening with the gender politics, he said the reality is that “hormones devalue a person, and the surgery destroys people.” Heyer continued, “[P]eople … don’t change their gender. … [H]ormones and surgery has never changed anybody’s gender. We’re dealing with an identity issue, and that something happened to these individuals early in life that caused them to not like who they are. And it’s not even about gender.”

And while the truth about this harm is being revealed, Backholm noted, there are still “LGBT activists who insist that chemical and surgical modifications” is “lifesaving.” And the question is, how do we confront such claims, especially when the evidence increasingly emerging proves gender procedures are quite the opposite? Heyer emphasized that several reports dating back to 2004 have revealed the risk of suicide predominantly increased for those who were involved in hormone and gender procedures. “So,” he stressed, “the research … continues to destroy the idea that you can change your gender [or] that it’s helpful.” On the contrary, he implored, “It’s always been harmful.”

But he didn’t leave it there, as his own life experience proves the research’s point. “I attempted suicide within a few weeks after undergoing the procedure,” Heyer recalled. “[T]hanks to the good Lord redeeming my life, I’m here. But the fact of the matter is, these stories … continue to come out and they gain a little bit of traction, and then they kind of get covered up again.” Which is exactly the problem.

What’s crucial is “to keep the pedal to the metal and keep pushing and telling the truth.” Heyer insisted that we must bring awareness to the stories of how these procedures destroy lives. “That’s what it does,” Heyer reiterated. The “medical” fallacies that push against biological realities destroy lives. And voices against this madness need to be especially bold because, as Backholm emphasized, “open honest discussion about this topic is not tolerated in many quarters.”

Backholm also pointed out that this issue is “uniquely emotional.” Especially considering “you are either providing permanent long-term help or you are creating permanent long-term harm.” But what it boils down to is the “nature of these so-called treatments” means “you are doing something … irreversible.” But Heyer noted that the people responsible for spreading the lies of gender-affirming care won’t admit to how harmful it is. “They’re not going to admit it on their own,” he said. As such, we need more states to pass legislation that bans the practice and more people filing lawsuits against the physicians conducting the procedures.

Heyer shared that when he told his doctor about his childhood abuse, the doctor responded by saying that he needed hormones and surgery. “I look back at that and that is so insane,” he said. “The fact of the matter is in every single individual that I’ve personally worked with … they admit that they never had gender dysphoria, that it was something else. They had adverse childhood experiences, or they suffered some deep depression.” But instead of doctors offering their patients the psychological help they need, Heyer argued, “they’re trying to treat trauma and early childhood abuse with hormones and surgery, which is … barbaric.”

There are too many people “unwilling to step up” and acknowledge the harmful nature of these procedures, Heyer expressed. But Heyer calls on anyone who is willing to step up — doctor or not — and work with someone struggling with gender dysphoria by dissecting their past. Be willing to talk about “their early childhood,” Heyer said. “If they’re drinking, if they have alcohol issues, if they’re stuck on pornography, if they had a real difficult childhood. Let’s talk about your childhood. Let’s talk about your addiction. Let’s talk about pornography. All of these things affect you in a negative way.”

He concluded, “I know that this is the pathway to taking hormones and surgery as a way to try to kill the pain, because I did it.” But hormones and surgery are not the answer. They never will be.

Originally published at The Washington Stand!


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