In an essay published April 1, Walt Heyer offers a chilling autobiographical account of abuse and gender confusion, sexual reassignment surgery, a short reprieve from anxiety and eventually deep regret at his decision. Heyer, now 74 years old and married to his wife for 18 years, spends his energy raising public awareness of the tragic consequences of gender reassignment.
“Changing genders is short-term gain with long-term pain,” writes Heyer. “Its consequences include early mortality, regret, mental illness, and suicide.”
Having been incorrectly diagnosed and pressured into a sex-change operation, Heyer is exceptionally sensitive to the plight of the many young people today who are confused about their own sexuality and receive mixed messages from a society very eager for them to take steps that can never be undone.
“Instead of encouraging them to undergo unnecessary and destructive surgery, let’s affirm and love our young people just the way they are,” he writes.
As a small boy, Heyer was subjected to the misguided attention of his grandmother, who longed for a granddaughter and would dress young Walt in a purple chiffon dress, showering him with compliments as a beautiful girl, while withholding her affection whenever he was dressed as a boy.
“That dress,” writes Heyer, “set in motion a life filled with gender dysphoria, sexual abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, and finally, an unnecessary gender reassignment surgery. My life was ripped apart by a trusted adult who enjoyed dressing me as a girl.”
Heyer has little patience for “enlightened” parents who think they are doing their children a favor by playing up their confusion and catering to their “dreams of being the opposite gender.” Though motivated by a desire to be open-minded and supportive, this parental behavior is ultimately destructive, says Heyer.
In his early forties, Heyer eventually sought out a prominent gender psychologist for evaluation, and “he quickly assured me that I obviously suffered from gender dysphoria. A gender change, he told me, was the cure.”
Thrilled that he could finally attain his lifelong dream, Heyer underwent the surgical change, adopting his new identity as Laura Jensen, female.
What followed is, according to Heyer, a common occurrence that few hear about. “The reprieve provided by surgery and life as a woman was only temporary,” he writes. “Hidden deep underneath the make-up and female clothing was the little boy carrying the hurts from traumatic childhood events, and he was making himself known.”
“Being a female turned out to be only a cover-up, not healing,” he writes.
Later, a medical doctor rediagnosed Heyer as having developed a dissociative disorder in childhood to escape the trauma of the repeated cross-dressing by his grandmother and sexual abuse by his uncle. “That should have been diagnosed and treated with psychotherapy. Instead, the gender specialist never considered my difficult childhood or even my alcoholism and saw only transgender identity,” Heyer writes.
Heyer blames gender specialists and trends in contemporary psychology for being far too quick to recur to the knife rather than helping patients deal with the deeper issues of their disorders. “It was a quick jump to prescribe hormones and irreversible surgery. Years later, when I confronted that psychologist, he admitted that he should not have approved me for surgery,” Heyer writes.
Reading Heyer’s account, one cannot help but wonder if the transgender movement is not just another chapter in the modern saga of social engineering, which in the name of progress has left a trail of disturbed, deeply unhappy, and sometimes dead people in its wake.
Walt Heyer now runs a website, SexChangeRegret.com, as well as a blog, hoping in this way to educate the broader public on the tragic consequences of transsexualism. His books include an autobiography, A Transgender’s Faith and Gender, Lies and Suicide.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter: @tdwilliamsrome