Caitlyn Jenner Needs Therapy, Not Awards

Caitlyn Jenner Needs Therapy, Not Awards

Transgender hero Caitlyn Jenner receives an award tonight for courage. But a doctor who regrets his gender change is a better candidate for such an award.
Walt Heyer
By

Caitlyn nee Bruce Jenner is slated to accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award from ESPN at a Los Angeles gala tonight. The Arthur Ashe award is given to individuals who show strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril, and willingness to stand up for their beliefs, no matter the costs. Jenner does not smack of courage at this point in his life. Insanity perhaps is a better fit: glorifying a transgender life by spending $4 million on a gender change.

Let’s see if the award fits the male-to-female transgender Olympian’s latest activities. 1) The award recipient must possess strength in the face of adversity. Jenner is being paid $5 million for a TV show on “E.” Is $5 million for a TV show really adversity? 2) The recipient must show courage in the face of peril. This suggests Diane Sawyer is the face of peril, given her “coming out” interview with Jenner earlier this year. Sorry, Diane. 3) The recipient must demonstrate willingness to stand up for his or her beliefs. Well, Jenner did stand up for his beliefs no matter the cost. He spent $4 million on plastic surgery and couture to change from Bruce to Caitlyn. There is the 2015 Arthur Ashe award winner.

Others have preceded Jenner down the path of gender transition and, like Jenner, spared no expense on feminizing procedures and wardrobes. Only time will tell if Jenner will later join the ranks of the regretters who discover too late that changing genders was a terrible mistake.

A Physician Opens Up About His Gender-Change Regret

Although Jenner hasn’t displayed courage through his gender transition, I know another man who has. Through my website, people contact me with their stories of regret and hopelessness at living transgender, looking for a way to restore their previous life. One such story, from Dr. Stu, a physician ten years post-op, provides real-life evidence that changing genders can come with a great deal of regret, even when all standards of care and protocols are followed. Dr. Stu and many others share a common bond: regret after changing genders.

Dr. Stu is sharing his personal story publicly for the first time, from the unique perspective of a medical professional. Going public with the reality of regrettable gender-change consequences in today’s environment takes a heaping dose of strength and courage, and demonstrates a willingness to stand up for one’s beliefs no matter the cost.

Stu originally contacted me four years ago to share the regrettable consequences of his own gender reassignment surgery. He definitely got my attention in one of his first emails to me in 2011:

Hurting big time from my sex reassignment surgery six years ago from male to female. I have de-transitioned successfully [gone back to the male gender], but now truly feel at odds with my mutilated body. As a physician, I would like to join forces with you to get the message out that sex reassignment surgery is a terrible mistake for most people.

His is a sobering story that should be taken seriously. In his own words, Dr. Stu tells his story:

It was a trip to Colorado in March 2005 that ruined my life and erased the very body part that externally separates boys from girls at birth. The sex change surgery that I underwent permanently robbed my wife and me of true sexual intimacy. I still suffer from periods of extreme anxiety and there are bouts of depression that invade my thinking. My urinary tract has suffered from infections and personal hygiene will always take special attention as altered anatomy can easily become problematic. I often feel fatigued, and I worry about the need for ongoing hormone treatment. Testosterone has replaced the estrogen that I used to take, but having to self-administer what my body used to produce is a bimonthly reminder of what I lost by making that trip to Colorado in 2005.

Ten years later I still need help. Seeking a remedy I reached out to the surgeon who performed the gender reassignment surgery. She had ruined me and I needed to resolve ongoing surgical issues that caused me to spray urine everywhere when voiding. All I got from the surgeon was a message that hinted at more fees and a surgeon who was more concerned about her liability than resolving any problems I was having caused by the surgery she had performed.

Gender-Change Surgeon Admits Transition Difficulties

I interrupt Stu’s story here for note that collaborates Stu’s experience. After Stu first contacted me, I emailed his surgeon to find out if she was willing to repair the damage she had done. Marci Bowers, known around the world as a gender surgeon and who himself is transgendered from male to female, emailed me back with this response:

It is tougher to transition later in life. Question is, is life better after or before? I think unequivocally, it is after…but that is what the real life test is all about. I wish it were longer, honestly but I cannot turn someone away on that number alone. Life is full of turns. Individuals need to make wise decisions and this is a big one. I cannot be held responsible when someone makes a bad decision.

Here, a prominent gender surgeon makes the shocking admission that gender transitions are “tougher” late in life and he wishes the real-life test were “longer” that is, that transgenders live as their opposite sex prior to surgery more than the two years specified in the standards of care. Then he makes the blockbuster comments that he “cannot turn someone away” nor can he “be held responsible when someone makes a bad decision.” The confessions of a gender reassignment surgeon should be headline news: transitioning is a decision; meaning transgenders are not born that way.

Bowers, the gender surgeon, who was once Mark and is now Marci, earns in excess of a million dollars a year. He cannot “turn someone away” because he benefits financially, not because the surgery is 100 percent or even 98 percent successful.

Dr. Stu Explains How His Transgender Feelings Began

All of this started with my own distorted thoughts that took root when I was only five. As I look back on my life, I realize that the majority of my energies, thoughts, and dreams were centered on trying to do something that was both ludicrous and a societal anathema. I am sad as I realize that my life could have been so much more. The pursuit of changing myself from a man to woman has essentially ruined me, I regard the majority of my life as pretty pathetic, and I am angry about how my obsession with everything female has robbed me since the age of five.

The pursuit of changing myself from a man to woman has essentially ruined me.

In my case, the feelings that I have had about wanting to be female started at this early age. I must have been a fairly sensitive lad who needed more attention or strokes of affirmation from my parents than I received. As a child, I took note of a pretty girl named Sally, and it seemed that she had so much adoration and praise from those around her. I must have yearned to be like her, and somehow the notion that being a girl would make everything right clung to me. Lifelong feelings and desires do take hold at an early age, and such seeds of thought serve to influence over a lifetime.

Anxiety, for whatever reason—be it a lack of confidence or low self-esteem—has plagued me for the entirely of my life, and I firmly believe that it has driven me to seek the pleasures of cross-dressing as a salve for my inner distress. I believe that the positive emotions that I felt as I wore soft and flowing garments coupled with acts of self-gratification influenced my brain chemistry in such a way that led to the release of neurotransmitters, which in turn acted on the pleasure center of my brain. In doing so, my maladaptive behavior and feelings were reinforced. I became addicted to the idea of transforming into a woman and to the accouterments of femininity. This would make everything right, or so I thought.

I should have placed my endeavors on understanding what it was that made me uncomfortable as a male, not on why I wanted to be female.

Dr. Stu’s Advice for People Considering Transgenderism

When contemplating a transition from one gender to another, it is important to seek and obtain wise and unbiased counsel—listen to those who know you best. Variant opinions about the wisdom of changing genders are needed. Balance the media-hyped stories of the high-profile transgendered with the reality of struggling, regretful, and dead transgendered people. Anxiety and depression should be treated or excluded. Addiction, personality disorders, dissociative traits, and mental derangements need to be identified and dealt with.

In all the times that I cried out for help, I never once received honesty or sound mental or medical help.

In all the times that I cried out for help, I never once received honesty or sound mental or medical help. There are frankly too many “yes practitioners” too willing to take the buck. If this medical machine cared about the gender-confused person, it would not participate in the destruction of normal tissues, and it would not send ill-suited people into the lion’s den.

Further, to expect the public at large to accept men in dresses as normal, or allow them into areas of privacy reserved for genetic women and girls, borders on criminal. As a physician, I know of the horror of disease, and let me tell you, this whole notion of gender dysphoria and its treatment have spun out of control into a monster of a problem. Lives are ruined and devastated—it has become a cancer.

As For Studies on Transgenders

I appreciate Dr. Stu’s willingness to share his story of regret. The media minions continue to advance the false impression that regret is rare. CNN’s Carol Costello did that in her interview with me June 2nd, 2015 citing a “Swedish study” conclusion that regret occurs only 2 percent of the time.

Transgenders who had committed suicide or died by other causes were counted as non-regretters.

The Swedish study does indeed say regret occurred 2 percent of the time. But we have to look at the glaring omission made in how the study authors calculated the percentage of regretters. They calculated the percentage by counting the legal and surgical reversal applications submitted during the time period. The problem is that it left out the number of deaths. Transgenders who had committed suicide or died by other causes were counted as non-regretters because, of course, they were not able to submit a reversal application.

Suicide and regret are not mutually exclusive but are, in fact, one and the same. A 2004 review of 100 international studies found “no robust scientific evidence that gender reassignment surgery is clinically effective” and “many gender reassignment studies are unsound because researchers lost track of more than half of the participants.” After having gender reassignment surgery, a large number of people who had the surgery remained traumatized often to the point of committing suicide. This was the conclusion after reviewing not one study, but 100 international studies.

The results of the 2004 review reflect the real life of Dr. Stu, who himself underwent gender reassignment surgery, found no evidence it was effective, and remains traumatized. Dr. Stu and I never got an award for strength or courage, but that’s okay. We got our lives back, and there’s nothing better than that.

Walt Heyer is an accomplished author and public speaker with a passion for mentoring individuals whose lives have been torn apart by unnecessary gender-change surgery.

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