On Sex Change Regret: Part I

Walt Heyer, blogger at www.sexchangeregret.com. He lived as woman for many years and de-transitioned back to living as a man.

When people change their bodies they tend to do so in the hopes of changing their relationships with others. Think about it.  In a real sense, elective surgery is not so much about self-perception as it is about our expectations of others who do the perceiving.   Body modification is usually based in a wish to be perceived a certain way, in a certain light.  And, guess what?  It generally doesn’t work out as we might expect. Social affirmation is not going to be unanimous. Simply looking in the mirror can be a major wake up for some as well.

Consider just plain old elective cosmetic surgeries. There’s loads of regret for that.   A recent poll revealed that a full two-thirds of Britons who had cosmetic surgery regretted it.  People in that situation — as well as untold numbers who want their tattoos removed — have plenty of places to go on the internet to look for remedies and support.

But what about people who regret sex change surgery?   In those tragic cases, there are precious few places to go for help.  It’s a politically incorrect topic, one that transgender activists do not want discussed publicly.  They police and suppress much of the conversation on sex change regret, and you can read a comprehensive discussion of that in Sheila Jeffreys’ 2014 book Gender Hurts.

Reddit censorship of people who wish to discuss de-transitioning is discussed on this blog called Third Way Trans.  So you might view my post today as a modest compendium of links from around the internet for those interested in this topic. (I’ll have more to follow.)

Walt Heyer, pictured above, has a particularly compassionate outreach to regretters online, which is possibly why he is a target of scorn by transgender activists.   Heyer had sex reassignment surgery decades ago, and lived as a woman for many years.  He came to regret it so much that he now offers a blog called sexchangeregret.com and transdetransition.com as outreach to others who are struggling and in need of support.  He has authored three relevant books:  Paper Genders, Gender, Lies and Suicide, and Trading my Sorrows.

On youtube you can find some videos — examples here, here, and maybe the last five minutes here —  of young and old who go public to talk about their decision to de-transition.  An interesting thread through these examples is all are extremely apologetic and tentative in “coming out” as de-transitioners — as though they have to justify and explain their decision or their feelings in ways that don’t set off the fury of transgender activists.   Interspersed with those videos are “education” videos, put up by transgender activists who offer their line, which is the claim that regret is rare.

You can read about some prominent cases of regret at this link (which ironically was put up by a transgender advocate.)  Those cases include the tennis star Rene Richards and the sportswriter Mike Penner.  Rene Richards is quoted as saying “If there was a drug that I could have taken that would have reduced the pressure, I would have been better off staying the way I was – a totally intact person.”  Mike Penner, a sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times spent a year living as a woman and then completely de-transitioned back.  A year later he ended his own life.  Another famous case was Charles Kane (born Sam Hashimi), the millionaire property developer in Britain who changed his mind after living as designer “Samantha Kane.”

Perhaps one of the most heart-wrenching stories of a female-to male transgender is that of Nancy Verhelst in Belgium, who felt the surgery turned her more into a “monster” than a man.  She was so distraught that she opted to have Belgian doctors put her to death.  And because of lax euthanasia laws there, they did just that.

Regret won’t be going away.  Those who change their minds tend to do so quietly.  But despite the recent media fawning over the transgender agenda, there have been rogue headlines of regret, especially in Britain.  A British man who regrets his surgery very recently claimed that there has not been enough psychiatric counseling of patients and he is now pressing the National Health Service to reverse his surgery.  Britain’s youngest patient – much touted in the press for his courage in changing to a female – has also spoken out.   Bradley Cooper begged his family for years, then finally got the go ahead to switch at age 17.  But after a year of living as a woman he found the whole thing “overwhelming” and cancelled the surgery.  Another story appeared on Huffington Post here.

Scattered throughout the web are blogs such as Retransition.org or GenderTrender.com with posts such as “I’m a Post-O p MtF who is Back in Therapy to Reverse this Mess and Obtain a Phalloplasty.”  Some of the most critical of sex change surgery are those run by radical feminists who see transgenderism basically as a patriarchal scheme, dominated by men who claim to be female but are hyper-aggressive and hyper-masculine in spirit.  Those sites include the hard-hitting but light-hearted twanzphobic.wordpress.com and The Dirt from Dirt.  Then there’s the resource page on trans-regretters on the British Coalition for Women’s Equality.  Radical feminist Julie Bindel writes about it here.  Also check: I’m Not Transgender Anymore and M2F2M.  The latter includes a long list of blogs on the topic.

Even a few voices who are firmly within the transgender community have expressed concern about the hostile reaction of the community to the growing number of regretters in recent years.  These include an Australian transgender activist who wrote in March 2014 a report: “Coming Trend within the Trans Community, including Doubts and Regrets:”  which describes it as a growing problem for the community and admits that most who de-transition do so “in stealth.

But I suspect we are going to see more regretters coming out of the closet in the future.  This is not an iceberg that can be drowned.

Bookcase: Gender Hurts, by Sheila Jeffreys

 

Sheila Jeffreys, author of Gender Hurts

I recently delved into Sheila Jeffrey’s’s book Gender Hurts:  A Feminist Perspective on Transgenderism.  Jeffreys is a professor at the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne in Australia. She identifies as a radical feminist.  I certainly don’t.

However, as I mentioned in my last post and in my August 27 Federalist piece here, her perspective overlaps with mine when it comes to the phenomenon of “gender identity.”  She sees the current obsession with gender identity as harmful.  So do I.  She views the transitioning of children as a human rights violation.  So do I.  She recognizes that sex change surgery is a form of genital mutilation.  So do I.  

She also recognizes that transgender law threatens to dismantle women-only spaces that are critical to helping women feel and be safe.  It hurts people within families who must completely discard their close relationships with their spouse, children, siblings or parents in order to accommodate a fantasy that often requires they walk on eggshells.  And Jeffreys is dead right that any discussion of the above is being silenced through bullying techniques of an hyper-activist transgender lobby that insists the entire world get with their program, no questions asked. And indeed this lobby is actually dominated by “trans-women” who are primarily heterosexual males “identifying” as lesbians. 

I am grateful to Jeffreys for publishing Gender Hurts at such a critical time, as we work to untangle this strange web of deception in the culture. She presents many crucial facts about transgenderism, including the regret felt by survivors, those who go back to identifying with their birth sex.  In discussing the psychological basis of “gender dysphoria” she refers to the work of Paul McHugh, the psychiatrist who shut down the gender identity clinic at Johns Hopkins University and the British psychiatrist Az Hakeem who has worked hard to make sure that patients are fully informed before they consent to any kind of treatment.

I part ways with Jeffreys on her radical feminist/lesbian perspective that basically identifies male misogyny as the root of all oppression of women.  (She objects to gender identity because she believes it reinforces harmful stereotypes rather than diminishing them.  I see her point there, but it’s not the whole point.)

I’ll  go out on a limb and say just one thing about “male oppression.”  I don’t believe it comes from maleness as much as it comes from being human and looking for acceptance and status.  That’s what drives a lot of aggression, male or otherwise.  And if there’s a sorting system for dominance, it’s much more pronounced among males themselves than between males and females. Violent alpha males dictate their ill will and their terms onto all other males.  In so doing, they can then inflict their violence onto everybody else.  That’s why central planning is so lousy.  A few aggressive folks at the top, usually men and their female enablers — with few opportunities for anybody else.  If you want to see “patriarchy” in action, communism’s your man.  The Gloria Steinem wing of feminism basically acquiesces to men who behave badly and it serves the scheme of centralized power. Their basic litmus test is abortion.

In essence, I think a big part of the battle is about making sure the right men win, as well as the right women. Which means that all women of goodwill band with all men of goodwill and create a better world for all of humanity.

But I’m glad to see Sheila Jeffreys challenging the hackneyed Steinem brand of feminism and the nasty gender politics that come with it, even if I don’t accept the whole framework of Jeffreys’ logic.  Gender Hurts, published just this year, is creating a very welcome earthquake in the conversation about transgenderism.

Terror as a Byproduct of Lovelessness

Black September terrorist, 1972 Munich Olympics

In yesterday’s Federalist, I have a piece called “Love in the time of Terrorism.”   I focus on the case of “Black September” the most feared terrorist group of the 1970’s.  They were the scourge of the 1972 Munich Olympics, where they kidnapped and killed 11 Israeli athletes and a German police officer.  Maybe you’re familiar with this iconic photo.

In the essay I explore how and why some men become so violent and single-minded about pushing their will on others. I can’t say anything that you don’t already know in your gut:  Without strong family ties and without a sense of purpose, many young men have a tendency to channel their natural aggressive instincts in destructive ways.  They easily sow chaos.  So great is their need to be viewed with awe by others, especially other men.  But you must read the story of the taming of Black September to see how utterly true this is.  I believe it closes the case entirely on any other “theory” about the causes of such violence.  It all stems from being cut off from relationships.

People need strong and healthy relationships, particularly a sense of family to feel grounded and at peace.  This proved very true in the case of Black September.  Please read the story of how the members of that terrorist organization were tamed by PLO intelligence operatives after the PLO, led by Yasser Arafat, saw their behavior as a political  liability.  Arafat told them to basically “switch it off.”   What did the PLO do?  They found a way to marry the men off to the most beautiful Palestinian women they could find, and then they provided the men with non-violent jobs, nice apartments, and a huge cash incentives to start families.  The men became so content with their new lives that they refused all offers to go abroad on official PLO business for fear of being arrested and hence separated from their families.

It’s an amazing story with huge lessons for understanding hierarchies, human motives, and the utter need we all have for strong relationships.  The story also flies in the face of modern feminism and gender theory.  I hope you’ll read it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate Millett’s “Feminism:” A Vehicle for Totalitarianism

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fe/Kate_millet_1.jpg/220px-Kate_millet_1.jpg

Kate Millett, author Sexual Politics

Mallory Millett published a fascinating essay this past week in Front Page Magazine.  Entitled “Marxist Feminism’s Ruined Lives,” it’s about how her sister Kate Millett, author of Sexual Politics (1970) went about organizing a totalitarian movement which she labelled as a form of “feminism.”  Mallory describes how Kate invited her to a meeting with about a dozen other women in the late 1960’s.  Here’s  an excerpt:

They called the assemblage a “consciousness-raising-group,” a typical communist exercise, something practiced in Maoist China.  We gathered at a large table as the chairperson opened the meeting with a back-and-forth recitation, like a Litany, a type of prayer done in Catholic Church. But now it was Marxism, the Church of the Left, mimicking religious practice:

“Why are we here today?” she asked.
“To make revolution,” they answered.
“What kind of revolution?” she replied.
“The Cultural Revolution,” they chanted.
“And how do we make Cultural Revolution?” she demanded.
“By destroying the American family!” they answered.
“How do we destroy the family?” she came back.
“By destroying the American Patriarch,” they cried exuberantly.
“And how do we destroy the American Patriarch?” she replied.
“By taking away his power!”
“How do we do that?”
“By destroying monogamy!” they shouted.
“How can we destroy monogamy?”

Their answer left me dumbstruck, breathless, disbelieving my ears.  Was I on planet earth?  Who were these people?

“By promoting promiscuity, eroticism, prostitution and homosexuality!” they resounded.

They proceeded with a long discussion on how to advance these goals by establishing The National Organization of Women.

You ought to read the whole thing.  At this stage of her life, Mallory, having seen the hurt and cruelty pushed by the agenda of her sister, says she’s come to identify with the daughter of Joseph Stalin in speaking out against the harmful work of a family member.

It’s strange indeed how a small coterie of privileged women like Kate Millett (educated at Columbia and Oxford) would go about ruining and trying to control the lives of everybody else.  In fact, I find it hard to believe such women — so enamored of totalitarianism — really look down at all on the idea of patriarchal domination. More likely, they’ve adopted the mindset they pretended to abhor, and have now become that patriarchy.

 

Admiring the Resistance of Radfems Against Transgender Cultists

Last week in The Federalist I wrote at length about the conflict between radical feminists – or “radfems” — and transgender activists.   I was especially pleased to see Catholic Culture author Phil Lawler take this up in his recent article “The Rising, Dangerous Influence of ‘Transgender’ Ideology.”   I hope you’ll read both. 

I think the dissension among leftist factions here is fascinating.  The radical feminists are true purists in their beliefs, so much so that they are not at all willing to conform with the political correctness of the Transgender Project.

They stand firm even as so many in America – including the vast majority of their liberal feminist sisters – comply.  And even though this puts radical feminists in the same camp as conservatives on that particular issue, they do not waver.  They believe that the female experience cannot be impersonated or counterfeited by a male who decides to transition to female, and they are fearless in saying so.  They cede no ground,  So whether or not you agree with them on other issues, it’s gratifying to see such courage of conviction by a minority so shunned and smeared by erstwhile allies.

The trend to normalize transgenderism in our society has all the hallmarks of a cult. We’re beyond the phase of Hollywood and the media softening the ground for the transgender movement.  We are now in the phase of enforced compliance, complete with smear tactics and social punishment – labels of “bigot” or “transphobia” — for those who dare to resist. Everyone is getting with the program:  the medical community, schools, and even churches.  It’s reached the point that children are being prepared – by their parents — to have sex reassignment surgery when they turn 18.

So I’m encouraged by radical feminists who resist all of this.  And not simply because they take a stand on transgenderism that I happen to agree with.  It’s far, far more than that.  The radfems’ display exceptional resistance the pressures of the cult mindset,  impressive to behold.  And they are front lines in this war right now.  If the trans activists succeed in shutting them down, everyone else is next.  More power to the radfems in their resistance.

When Mom says she’s Dad and Dad says he’s Mom

“We have the parts so we will use them.”  That’s what Bianca Bowser told Yahoo News about his spouse Nick getting pregnant. Their two biological children, identified as sons named Kai, 3, and Pax, 1, share both Bianca and Nick’s DNA.  That’s because Bianca’s sperm fertilized Nick’s egg.  That would make Bianca the actual father and Nick the actual mother.

But wait!  That information is classified!  Or hate speech, or something.  Right?  No, this is the biological truth that Bianca and Nick as representatives of the transgender movement — and self-confessed publicity hounds for the cause — insist that we must reject. The agenda requires that the entire world reject this, which means that if it doesn’t apply to them, then it must not apply to you.

Neither Nick nor Bianca have undergone sex reassignment surgery, so  their reproductive systems are still intact, though they each must take a lot of hormones to sustain their transgender appearances.   They do plan to have surgery done, later on.  You can read the whole thing here:  “Transgender Parents Speak Out about What Makes a Family.”

I’m convinced that the transgender movement is at root a War on Language.  I doubt that the ultimate goal of the movement — so driven by raw power — has much if anything to do with equality for transgender individuals.  By forcing you to change your understanding of pronoun usage, the transgender project succeeds in undermining any common understanding of human identity, including your own identity as male or female.  I refuse to get sucked into this rabbit hole.  And I hope you agree.

However, I’m fine with name changes.  If a man named Richard decides he wishes to be called Emily, I’ll defer and call him Emily. But if Emily then decides I must change the definition of pronouns to suit his self concept, that’s where I draw the line.  Because in essence he’s asking everybody else to change their own perception of reality to suit his.    This is how cults operate.  The first thing a cult leader does is work to destabilize the recruits’ sense of self or self-concept in relation to the world.  Indeed, the transgender movement has all the earmarks of  a Cult.

What is a Human? — Part IV

Newborn

Contemplate this:  a Slate article entitled “Don’t Let the Doctor Do this to Your Newborn.”  According to the author, obstetricians all perform a “procedure” that is very harmful: Announcing whether the baby is a boy or a girl.  Yes, that’s the “procedure.”  Pointing out the obvious.  It seems truth-telling is getting to be more of a crime with every passing day.

And you thought that your son or daughter was your son or daughter.  The Slate piece tells you “Not so fast!”  You have no right to call your newborn a son or daughter. Doing so is committing the offense of  “infant gender assignment.” It’s deemed “harmful” to the transsgender population who say all children should decide on their own, usually as pre-schoolers.  Anyway, here’s a short excerpt:

Obstetricians, doctors, and midwives commit this procedure on infants every single day, in every single country. In reality, this treatment is performed almost universally without even asking for the parents’ consent, making this practice all the more insidious. It’s called infant gender assignment: When the doctor holds your child up to the harsh light of the delivery room, looks between its legs, and declares his opinion: It’s a boy or a girl, based on nothing more than a cursory assessment of your offspring’s genitals.

The article ends by stating “infant gender assignment” is like playing “Russian Roulette” with your child’s life.

You may have seen a related piece on this propaganda campaign in the story of Ryland Wittington, a girl being raised as a boy by her parents.  Ryland’s parents are pretty much acting as an arm of the LGBT lobby. Click here for the manipulative Youtube video they produced about Ryland.  Also, click here for a compelling rebuttal to it:  “I am Ryland: The Story of a Male-Identifying Little Girl Who Didn’t Transition.”

It’s unsettling to me how many folks still underestimate the reach of the transgender lobby. Its tentacles are long, and it has huge implications for growing state power.  The insanity grows with articles like that one in Slate, essentially intended to engineer how each and every one of us sees ourselves.

When a group demands that everybody — particularly the 99+ percent who do not identify as transgender — stop identifying any infant at all as either male or female, it’s time to wake up.  Transgenderism is an assault on truth.  It requires us to deny the obvious, to deny biological reality.  For everybody. And it won’t end there.

 

What is a Human? — Part II

The New Yorker piece I discussed yesterday — “What is a Woman?” — has gotten quite a bit of attention.  I noticed in my news feed that even Rush Limbaugh picked up on it during his show yesterday.  You can read the transcript here, in which Limbaugh talks about what he calls “The Feminazis vs. the Transgenders.”  Limbaugh confessed little understanding.  (And, boy, he sure doesn’t get it.)  The transcript reveals that the caller was likely a transgender activist.  He seemed to use quite a bit of humor and ingratiating wile to promote the trans agenda and steer Limbaugh’s listeners into dismissing the radical feminists. (Rush should give rad fems equal time.)

So, what is the agenda of the transgender activists?  On the surface, it’s supposed to be about non-discrimination.  About allowing people to present to society whichever gender they say they are, and not suffer any negative consequences in employment, housing, business, or anything.   But the underlying premise of transgender rights is that our sex is “assigned” to us at birth.  This is key to understanding how it affects each and every one of us in law.   The insidious term “assigned” has been sneaked into legislation as a given, and is not even up for debate.  And so the trans agenda’s first order of business to shove their laws through and silence anyone who questions them.  Which brings us to a thorn in their side — the rad fems.

What is the agenda of the Radical Feminists?   Transgender activists have dubbed them: “Transgender Exclusionary Radical Feminists” and use the acronym “TERF” as a slur.  (This is partly because rad fems believe women have a right to ban male-to-female transgenders from women-only facilities and venues, and refuse to use trans “preferred pronouns.”)  Rad fems argue that being born male is a privilege and any man carries that privilege with him even if he “transitions” to female.  The act of transitioning only accentuates gender, and perpetuates and promotes a patriarchal society, according to rad fems.

I will add one more important thing about the radical feminists. In my view, they’re doing a great service by lending their voice against the transgender push to transition and sterilize children based on a child’s perceived “gender identity dysphoria.” We all should be glad and grateful that they are speaking out against this barbaric practice.

The transgender route to power is strewn with evasion, deception, and dysfunction. It uses a lot of strong arm tactics (which we might even call patriarchal) of silencing all opponents, especially a vocal minority who stands for a much purer version of their purported agenda of equality.  The trans agenda also has a lot of influence and huge sums of money behind its agenda, including the full support of the Obama Administration. Trans activists have pushed very hard through their window of opportunity which remains open only so long as enough people stay ignorant of their real aim:  which is to redefine the humanity of us all.

To be continued . . .

 

 

 

 

What is a Human?

“What is a Woman?” is the title of a very recent feature about transgenderism in New Yorker Magazine.    It focuses on a bitter debate going on between transgender activists and radical feminists.  The trans activists would have you believe that being a woman is something you can define for yourself.  They’d say a man is a woman if he believes himself to be so.  “Not so!” retort the radical feminists who reject that idea pretty much as just another example — quirky but more insidious than ever — of male chauvinism.   The latter call themselves “rad fems” and seem to be a remnant of the feminism of the 60’s.  Rank and file feminists of today have marginalized and abandoned them, choosing to fall in line with the trans agenda.

If you have the chance to read the New Yorker piece at the link above, you’ll want to ask yourselves these questions:  What do the trans activists want?  What do the rad fems want?  What exactly is going on here?  And what has it got to do with me?  On the last point I would say it has everything to do with you.  This is not a debate we can chuckle about on the sidelines.  For those not tuned into the gender wars, this may seem amusing.

But I personally see nothing amusing about it.  There’s something seismic going on beneath the surface and we ought to be very aware of it.  What is really at stake here is not merely a matter of defining what a woman is.  There is a hidden and much bigger question at stake:  “What is a Human?” And that’s the question the trans agenda really intends to settle for each and every one of us.  It’s intended to define all of us and all of our personal relationships.

Let’s pay attention . . . to be continued tomorrow.