Belgium permitted the lawful extermination of a 44 year old transgender by lethal injection this past week.
Nancy was born female and became a male transgender named Nathan because her mother rejected her ever since her birth, saying "If only you had been a boy." After Nancy/Nathan was killed by lethal injection, unbelievably this cold hearted mother was quoted as saying; “I don’t care about his euthanasia death.” No matter how hard Nancy tried to be loved, her mother, by her own admission, never bonded with her. It is not a big leap to conclude that this girl mutilated her body to become a transgender man in an attempt to be accepted and when that failed to earn her mother’s love, Nancy/Nathan begged to be put to death.
I disagree with the news headlines that say Nancy/Nathan died due to a botched gender change. The one common thread most often reported to me by people who changed genders and regret it is a troubled childhood which did not adequately develop their birth gender identity. Nancy died because of the trauma caused by extreme parental neglect and emotional abuse, not a botched gender change.
Transgenders are not born transgender. Transgenders evolve from childhood developmental disorders caused by deep emotional scars. The inability of radical gender surgery to fix the emotional trauma of a troubled childhood is demonstrated by the surveys that show that over 40% of transgenders will attempt suicide sometime in their life. Like Nancy/Nathan they are depressed people.
My life follows this same pattern. As a transgender born a male, I wanted to escape a painful childhood. I underwent transition and lived as a woman, Laura Jensen, for 8 years. As a transgender I studied extensively about the onset and evolution of transgender feelings and found the childhood is the Petri dish where the desire to change genders begins. I have worked with troubled and regretful transgenders for many years and every one of them has reported to me the trauma in their childhood at the root of the desire to change genders.
A first year psychology student would easily identify Nancy’s depression and recognize that her mother’s severe dislike of her as a girl caused deep psychological and emotional wounds. The obvious motivation for Nancy to change genders to Nathan was an expectation that mom would finally love her/him, but that did not work.
This story is not about euthanasia or even a botched gender surgery, no, it is about the failure to recognize childhood developmental disorders in people with gender identity issues and failure to understand that surgery will never be effective treatment for psychological disorders.
Nathan in the early state of happiness reported, "I was ready to celebrate my new birth." Then the reality set in. Nathan said, "None of these operations worked as desired…But when I looked in the mirror, I was disgusted with myself. My new breasts did not match my expectations and my new penis had symptoms of rejection. I do not want to be a monster." People who write to me of their regret about having the surgery frequently tell me the operations do not work as desired and they feel like a monster.
Sadly, Wim Distelmans, the cancer specialist who put Nathan to death, was not a psychologist who was working to save Nathan’s life but instead was working toward justifying Nathan’s death. Dr Distelmans said, "The choice of Nathan Verhelst has nothing to do with fatigue of life. This was a case that clearly met the conditions demanded by the law. Nathan underwent counseling for six months."
In the end, Nancy/Nathan’s mother got what she wanted all along: to rid herself of the girl she never wanted.
Author of Gender, Lies and Suicide; Paper Genders; Trading my Sorrows