Is regret permissible? And if you regret something in your life, should you be allowed to talk about it with others? Publicly? The answer is so obviously “yes” that any reasonable person would be baffled to even hear such questions. That’s because regret is simply part of being human.
But what if you regret trying to change your sex? Or maybe you’re just tired of propping up a persona? Worse, what if you regret having all of the surgery to promote the illusion of a sex change? This is the case with Walt Heyer, who lived as a woman for nearly a decade then de-transitioned after coming to terms with the fact that he was born male.
He has written books about his experience and has a website called www.sexchangeregret.com. Today Heyer is inundated with calls and emails from transgender individuals who regret their decisions, but feel they must live in the shadows.
Interest in Walt’s website has exploded over the past couple of years, especially after murmurs of regret started getting a bit of coverage in the news. Walt’s website receives about 25,000 visits in any given month, and at least a thousand transgender people have personally sought him out to talk to him about their regrets.
Detransitioners face a lonely and difficult road in today’s era of political correctness. Hollywood, the media, and academia promote a culture hostile to them for even considering changing their minds. This leaves regretters with virtually no place to go to talk about their feelings. The near-total politicization of the field of psychiatry now calls for the total affirmation of transgenderism and implicit punishment for those who don’t comply. This means regretters have a hard time even finding a therapist willing to talk openly and honestly with them about the possibility of de-transitioning.
Trans Fatigue Is Setting In
Trans-mania probably peaked at some point in the past year or so. Early in the wake of the sexual revolution, “gender benders” got increasing press coverage. It built up over the decades, and I think we’ll look back and see Bruce Jenner’s 2015 Vanity Fair cover story as the high-water mark of the trans fad. The media and the trans lobby is certainly in denial about this. But a lot of folks are feeling a decline in trans-mania.
Society is now in the throes of trans fatigue. This is reflected in the profusion of newer websites openly exploring detransition and regret, including 4thWaveNow, ThirdWayTrans, and Retransition.org. Such developments undermine the propaganda of transgender activism. If such issues got mainstream press attention, the whole fragile trans bubble would probably burst in an instant.
I suppose that explains why the trans lobby has zero tolerance for de-transitioners. The decision to transition is a one-way street, and any voice of regret must be silenced—particularly that of a “surprising validator” like Heyer, who not only “came out” as a de-transitioner and lived to tell about it, but is an effective, compassionate, and compelling speaker.
Shooting the Messenger
Walt was there. He did that. That’s a matter of simple historical record. So it’s curious that California Superior Courts continuously obstructed Walt’s request to change his birth record back to male. Those courts finally relented in 2017, after Walt spent 34 years and ten official petitions trying to restore his original birth record.
So if California courts insisted for 34 years that Walt was female when he said he was male, we should wonder why transgender activists would tell us that Walt was never transgender to begin with. These activists claim that Walt is a transgender fraud, and thus not credible as a witness to sex-change regret.
This is a very strange claim. After all, we all have past lives and past identities. Being divorced from a person, for example, doesn’t mean you were never that person’s spouse. Changing your career identity doesn’t mean you were never a specialist in your former field of expertise.
In Heyer’s case, identifying as a woman was never a short-term dalliance. He secretly cross-dressed, beginning in childhood, then had all of the surgery—including bottom surgery—to try to change his sex to relieve a diagnosis of gender identity dysphoria. He lived openly as a woman for nearly a decade, feeling very good about his “alignment” of his physical body with his perceived gender identity as female.
But later, Walt underwent cognitive psychological therapy and was diagnosed with dissociative personality disorder (DPD). As he worked through the disruptions and traumas of his childhood, he eventually became fully aware of his birth sex as male. His sense of being female, of gender dysphoria, simply dissipated once the co-morbid psychological disorder was treated.
Some who claim Walt was never transgender point to this diagnosis of DPD as proof that he was never really transgender because he had another medical issue. The sloppy logic of that argument opens serious questions about what transgenderism really is. The coincidence—or co-morbidity—of another psychological condition with gender identity dysphoria is estimated to be around 60-65 percent. As Walt has pointed out, if comorbidity “cancels out” the reality of a person’s transgender identity, then almost two-thirds of people who identify as transgender today aren’t “real” transgender individuals.
So it seems clear Walt’s crime was to become cognizant of his condition, then to talk to others about it, and to offer them a safe space to talk as well.
De-Platforming and Ritual Defamation
Walt has been a very credible validator for detransitioning, especially to those who have gotten caught up in the transgender craze. People were so naturally curious after the media-hyped transition of Olympic gold-medalist Jenner in 2015 that even the mainstream media picked up some interviews with Walt.
But seeing star anchor Carol Costello of CNN give Walt a chance to express his opinions was too much for the transgender lobby, which continues to work overtime to de-platform Walt and anybody in his position. Media Matters made a big stink about that CNN interview. The transgender lobby seems to have since instituted a zero-tolerance policy on any mainstream media figure who might give a regretter the time of day.
Walt was on his way to the CNN studio to be interviewed by Don Lemon, Walt says, only to get a call from the producer canceling it. Journalist Katie Herzog was taken aback by the venom she received for writing an article in “The Stranger” about regretters, especially because she went to great lengths to be balanced. She reported: “I wrote this article because I believe the detransitioners who spoke with me deserve to be heard. They are human, and their stories are valid and real.” According to Walt, Herzog told him, “You’re not the monster they’ve made you out to be.”
Indeed, the practice of ritual defamation is alive and well in attacking people who regret their decisions to transition. They are called every name in the book by operatives of the trans agenda, who seem to view detransitioners as less than human with stories that are neither valid nor real.
How the Trans Lobby Defines You
But the trans lobby’s insistence that Walt was never transgender is not really about Walt Heyer. It’s about erasing the lives of others who have experienced what Walt has experienced, and thereby propping up a false ideology and false reality. It’s about forcing everybody to re-define their own humanity.
After all, transgender activists make the self-refuting argument that one’s gender identity is irreversible, while it can also be fluid, and one’s sex is irrelevant. Gender ideology defines your life by telling us that our sex distinctions aren’t real, but simply a “social construct” that ought to be erased in law.
The underlying premise of transgender law is that everybody’s sex is “assigned at birth.” This means those laws are not intended simply to protect a tiny demographic of transgender people who suffer discrimination. Instead, those laws impose an ideology that applies to everybody, telling us all that our physical sex is not real, but only a figment of our imaginations.
They seem to explain that sometimes your imagination will align with your “assigned sex” or genitalia, and other times it will not. At root, this requires everyone to live in a fog about what it means to be human. There is no common reality in it. And no common humanity either, since all of the laws that codify “gender identity non-discrimination” must reject the physical reality of everybody’s sex, and reject all sex distinctions, upon which all blood relations are based.
This is basically a world-shattering ideology. Those who promote it abhor inconvenient facts as well as counter-revolutionaries, like Heyer and increasing rates of detransitioning. So at this level—the level of social revolution—we perhaps shouldn’t be surprised that transgender activists define Heyer’s life by claiming his transgender experiences never really happened, or that they are so intent on preventing any psycho-therapy that might disrupt their politicized narrative, by labeling such talk therapy “conversion therapy,” then making it illegal.
The War Against Detransitioners
As a society, we generally support people who regret bad habits or bad choices. There are weight reduction programs for overeaters. There is therapy for anorexia and other eating disorders. There is addiction treatment for those who struggle with gambling, drugs, alcohol abuse, or even sex addiction. There is therapy for people who have body integrity identity disorder, who try to enlist doctors to amputate their healthy arms or legs. For people in abusive relationships, there are programs that treat the enabling victim as well as the mindless perpetrator.
Yet transgender activists dictate that transitioning must be a one-way street. They claim that de-transitioning is rare, something like 2 percent. That’s a meaningless number, especially because up to 90 percent of transsexuals are “lost to follow-up” when studies are attempted. It also negates the most comprehensive study done, which concluded that 20 percent regret the decision. Even Heyer notes: “My transition back to male hasn’t been tallied in the negative column of any study. Ditto for the trans people who reach out to me.”
Even if we conceded that 2 percent was a correct statistic, it would beg this question: Why does the transgender lobby even care if a few folks like Walt talk about their experiences of de-transitioning? It doesn’t make any sense that human beings must be deterred, even prohibited, from changing their minds about a decision so life-altering as sex change or gender identity, then gagged if they want to talk about it.
So, what gives? Is it because those invested in their own decision to transition view de-transitioning as a threat? That’s very likely the case for some, just as a family of obese overeaters might suddenly feel threatened by a member who starts losing weight by regular exercise and diet. Or is it because political correctness dictates that we follow Hollywood, the media, and academia in saying open discussions of trans regret equal hatred of transgender people? Well, as crazy as that sounds, I think that’s part of it too. People become comfortable in adopting PC opinions because it means fewer social punishments and more social rewards.
But publicly and openly denying de-transitioners a platform to talk about their sorrows and their suffering is just beyond the pale. Something is amiss. Something else is going on here, something much bigger. Once you really see it, I don’t think you can un-see it.
Transgenderism and the Mass State
Like it or not, transgenderism is serving as a vehicle for social engineering and the centralization of state power. There’s just no other way to explain why it’s such a sacred cow in the service of shutting down free speech. This is the only way to explain why power elites who promote transgenderism along with the consolidation of state power as a tool for “social justice” would feel so threatened by any conversation about de-transitioning.
Here are a few features of the ideology of transgenderism that explain how it directs us towards centralized state power and the loss of freedom.
It requires us to undermine the entire structure of our language. This involves all sorts of assaults on language, including unsustainable pronoun protocols (and punishments for “misgendering”). It forces changes in the language that assault reality. For example, transgender law codifies the premise that our biological sex doesn’t exist, but is somehow “assigned at birth.” Undermining language undermines thought.
It’s a non-stop propaganda machine that socially smears anyone who might disagree as an automatic “bigot.” It undermines the First Amendment by enacting more laws to regulate speech (and therefore, thought). And its propaganda undermines the autonomy of all the traditional mediating institutions—the church, family, civic organizations—that shield the individual from the state.
It promotes a surveillance society. Human resources departments in universities as well as in the corporate world have started encouraging employees to report overheard conversations that can be classified as transphobic or homophobic. This behavior was modelled by celebrity Lena Dunham, who proudly eavesdropped on a private conversation she claimed to overhear between two American Airlines employees. She reported the “transphobic” conversation to the airline, and urged others to follow her lead.
It requires an aggressive program of censorship, which is permeating every sector of society and every institution, including: academia, K-12 education, medicine, the military, the corporate world, psychiatry, religious institutions, and the family.
A Very Special Illusion
In short, transgenderism has become an incredibly effective tool for herding the masses and controlling speech, thought, and behavior. The power elites invested in it will try to silence anyone who threatens the illusion. It is a very special illusion. It’s so special, in fact, that transgenderism is virtually the only thing people are not allowed to regret, not allowed to talk about. Just ask Walt.
At this level of state power and state dominance over the individual, this is why the trans lobby and the elites are invested in discrediting anyone who has suffered as a result of their agenda. So we’ve got choices to make, and soon. We either value our freedoms or we don’t. We either accept physical realities, or we bury our heads in illusion. We can live in a common community with a shared language, or as programmed individuals naked to a state that tells us what to say and think.
If we don’t value our freedom, what happens if we choose wrong and try to leave? As the Eagles once noted in a song, the road to the Hotel California is laden with shiny objects, but it’s a one-way street:
“’Relax,’ said the night man,
‘We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like
But you can never leave.’”