This year has been a transition from being a mentally ill woman to being a sane, transgendered man.
This year has been a transition from being a mentally ill woman to being a sane, transgendered man.
In 2008 the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force joined with the National Center for Transgender Equality to conduct a survey of transgenders in the US to study how good their life really is. The conclusion of their study found the following:
No matter what the reasons, transgenders face suffering from poverty, HIV, alcohol and drug abuse, homelessness, unemployment and attempted suicides. This demonstrates a failure in providing effective psychological, psychiatric and substance abuse treatment for transgenders.
I just wonder how they can continue to call a sex change successful. The six items listed above sound like a complete failure in my view.
The good life? Think again.
Is that the life you want?
Reference: Gender Lies and Suicide, Chapter 7
In California, the law requiring public schools to let children use sex-segregated facilities and participate in the gender-specific activities of their choice is now in effect.
I feel what gets lost in this futuristic model of kids’ genders is that kids see how easy it is change clothes from one gender to another without realizing a real sex change from one gender to another is a much different matter. Hormone blockers fall short of producing a sex change and so does cosmetic surgery, but the doctors get very wealthy by making you think they changed your gender.
A sex change from male to female requires much more than a wardrobe change, plastic surgery and hormones. Indeed if you are a male and want to be a female you will need a surgical procedure that is capable of replacing the genital reproductive system from a sperm delivery system to a sperm receiving system with vaginal pocket, ovaries that produce eggs that can be fertilized and a uterus that can incubate a baby.
I wonder with all the focus on our young people changing genders with a wardrobe change do these young impressionable minds really have the idea they have actually had (or will experience) a sex change?
Changing clothing from one gender to another perhaps is zany and fun for some youngsters. It is important they fully understand they did not have a sex change and there’s no way to do that with a wardrobe change unless the child was born with both male and female reproductive systems.
So I hope with all the freedom kids have to change their clothes and gender presentations they are also taught their sex did not change.
As a former transgender kid from the age of 5, I can say from my experience that by encouraging wardrobe changes, hormone blockers, hormones and surgery, we are propelling our young people toward anxiety, depression and an unhappy life.
For 35 years serious questions have been raised about the overall long-term success of changing genders.
Regarding the outcome of reassignment surgery Dr. Charles Ihlenfeld said, "80% should not do it" and for the remaining 20%, he says it will not be a lifelong solution but rather a temporary "reprieve." In other words, do not expect long term success.
Dr Ihlenfeld has some strong support from The Guardian (UK) from July 2004 that included a review of more than 100 international medical studies of post-operative transgenders by the University of Birmingham aggressive research intelligence facility. They found "no robust scientific evidence that gender reassignment surgery is clinically effective." Seeing that they reviewed not just one study but 100 international studies makes this report alarming.
In my view, this shows that failure comes all too often for transgenders and it is so unnecessary. The Guardian reports:
Thirty-five years ago, in 1979, uncertainty about gender change success was surfacing. At Johns Hopkins Hospital concerns about the reported success rates of changing genders and whether Dr. Money had been falsifying the reports of sex change success prompted a review. Dr. Paul Mc Hugh commissioned Dr. Meyer to study post-operative transsexuals from the Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic program. Dr. Meyer's results were far different than Money’s reports of success a decade earlier and also validated the concerns regarding Dr. Money and his reports. Dr. Meyer said, “To say that this type of surgery cures psychiatric disturbance is incorrect.” As a result of studying the results of Hopkins patients, Hopkins closed its gender clinic and university-based gender clinics around the country began to close. http://www.baltimorestyle.com/index.php/style/features_article/fe_sexchange_jf07
Also in 1979, Dr. Ihlenfeld, a former associate of Dr. Harry Benjamin, told an audience extreme care should be given in using cross gender hormones because 80% of patents who want to change their sex shouldn't do it. "There is too much unhappiness among people who have had the surgery," he said. "Too many of them end as suicides." http://lvtgw.jadephoenix.org/Info_htm/Herbal_G/ginko_b2.htm
Madeline Wyndzen, a transgendered psychology professor, writes, "50% of transgenders could be struggling with suicide attempts, regret, anger and unhappiness living in a transgender sub-culture rather than being part of the larger world.” http://www.genderpsychology.org/transsexual/question.html
I say it is important to take every precaution prior to surgery to avoid regret.
Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey says a staggering 41% of transgenders surveyed report they have attempted suicide and that those who have medically transitioned and surgically transitioned have higher rates of attempted suicide than the general population. Ttransgenders have higher rate of HIV infections. They are more prone to heavy drinking and the use of drugs. They have high rates of homelessness, unemployment and extreme poverty, even more so in the more difficult economic times of the last 5 years. http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/reports/ntds_report_on_health.pdf
Good golly, Ms. Gender Molly, what more evidence do you need? The effectiveness of sex change parallels the risk of Russian roulette. Yep, you could be lucky but you also could end up dead.
Knowing the facts and seeing the evidence, why would anyone risks their life on a procedure with such shaky results?
Walt Heyer, the Maverick Transgender
A Santa Rosa, California, physician was found dead in her home September 30, 2013. She was 53.
Danielle Kaufman, M.D., a blogger for the Huffington Post, Huffpost Gay Voice, wrote about her feelings and difficulties as a transgender. Sadly, she took her own life.
Her former wife, Cathy Kaufman, wrote a moving tribute to Danielle that you can read at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cathy-kaufman/my-life-with-david-danielle-kaufman_b_4072395.html.
But I wanted to talk about transgender suicide. We see within the transgender population depression is just a simple footnote while hormones and surgery remain the headline.
Cathy writes about an occasion when they were married, "One day, he came home and told me that he had just been standing on the top of the hospital building, trying hard not to jump. Although I'd been with him for nine years, I'd had no idea that he had been taking antidepressants all that time. I'd also been unaware that he had attempted suicide twice before I met him, once in his teens and again in his 20s.”
It is just so heartbreaking to see depression is not treated as the most important unresolved issue within the transgender population. Your typical transgender will endure hours of laser hair/whisker removal and engage in painful facial reconstruction surgery and all the other trappings of a gender change. Yet they ignore what can kill them, depression.
Depression is a very serious disorder that should be taken far more seriously within the transgender community. By their own report, 40% of transgenders attempt suicide some time in their life. To me, that sounds deadly serious.
It is deeply regrettable to me this physician could not find help for her depression from the very transgender community she so ardently supported, advocated and even went public for. That is truly a sad footnote on a shortened life.
This occurs far too often.
I keep seeing articles about people who change genders having mental disorders and here’s another one in the long list.
Dr. Joseph Berger, a consulting psychiatrist in Toronto and whose list of credentials establishes him as an expert in the field of mental illness, in an article in Lifesitenews.com, says scientifically there is no such thing as transgender. He says that people who identify themselves as "transgendered" are mentally ill or simply unhappy, and pointed out that hormone therapy and surgery are not appropriate treatments for psychosis or unhappiness. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/psychiatry-expert-scientifically-there-is-no-such-thing-as-transgender
Dr. Burger is not alone in identifying that mental illness exists in individuals who request a gender change.
A study from the Department of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio in 2009 reported that 90% of the last 10 patients seen at the Gender Identity Clinic had at least one other significant form of psychopathology—“problems of mood and anxiety regulation and adaption in the world.” (1)
You can see for yourself by reading the abstract that the researchers have concerns about the differences between their results and the rhetoric of many who care for transgendered adults. Concerned because the gender specialists tout the transgenders who are apparently functioning well in transition and do not care for the majority of transgenders, the 90% who suffer serious mental issues that could be contributing to regret and premature deaths. The abstract says, “Emphasis on civil rights is not a substitute for the recognition and treatment of associated psychopathology.”
It makes me wonder if the cause of 30% of transgenders committing suicide is their untreated mental illness.
Suicide.org states that 90% of all suicides are the direct result of untreated mental illness. Is there any other surgical treatment that is promoted as being successful when 30% of the patients commit suicide? More studies from Sweden and Denmark provide irrefutable evidence that transgenders overwhelmingly suffer from untreated mental disorders.
A long-term follow-up of transsexual persons undergoing sex reassignment surgery in Sweden concluded: “Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behavior.” (2)
A survey among Dutch psychiatrists about psychiatric comorbidity of gender identity disorders states, “In 270 (75%) of these 359 patients, cross-gender identification was interpreted as an epiphenomenon of other psychiatric illnesses, notably personality, mood, dissociative, and psychotic disorders. Major mood disorders, dissociative disorders and psychotic disorders were reported in 79% of transgenders.” (3)
This should be alarming.
Another study, this one from 2013, titled “Anxiety and depression in transgender individuals: the roles of transition status, loss, social support, and coping” investigated 351 transgender individuals and found that the rates of depressive symptoms within the current study far surpass the rates of those for the general population. Their conclusion is that practitioners should focus on transgenders’ coping skills (adaption in the world) in order to improve their mental health. (4)
A research physician said to me, “Any physician worthy of his degree must treat ONLY with the Hippocratic Oath. First do no harm. In this regard, we have willfully failed.
-- There is no female brain in the wrong male body
-- Current studies do not support the transsexual condition
-- Nor do the current studies support the Harry Benjamin Syndrome.
Please don't mention my name. You would be surprised at the hostility of transsexual persons against physicians. I really do think that lots of physicians are very intimidated by them. The patients use the physicians and the physicians use the patients. It is deplorable. We have failed those with gender identity problems miserably."
But if the professionals remain unwilling to "come out" about the existence of mental disorders, nothing will change in diagnosis or treatment of transgenders. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. They've got the insanity going on.
I’m not a doctor or a psychologist, but if I can see the evidence that mental illness is behind gender stress, shouldn't the medical professionals see it? Gender surgery is not the preferred treatment for depression and anxiety or other transgender mental disorders.
Insanity is to focus on XY and XX patterns, hormone treatments and surgery or born in the wrong body, while ignoring the strong evidence that mental illness exists in a majority of patients, and failing to treat it first.
Walt Heyer, The Maverick Transgender
I have great compassion for transgenders who put their life, career and family on the line.
I have compassion for the 40% of transgenders who attempt suicide, the ones with unresolved psychiatric and psychological disorders, the ones who suffer serious surgical complications, the regretters whose lives are broken. I provide a place for them to turn to so they know they are not alone in their regret.
The gender change industry permits people to make a self diagnosis of gender dysphoria and provides an easy journey toward a surgical gender change. But what aboaut those who regret their decision?
The gender change professionals dismiss regretters and do not (will not?) provide support or guidance to those who decide to de-transition; no compassion there at all.
I see it all over the blogosphere—animosity, scorn and name-calling directed at regretters. Clearly those bloggers show a lack of compassion, acceptance or tolerance for these deeply hurting people. Ironically, the same ones who won’t extend tolerance to regretters are the ones who demand tolerance from others.
Why is there so much scorn shown for regretters? Is it better to have them dead through suicide, under a headstone in their grave, than alive and regretting? Tolerated or not, regretters are not going away.
I know how it takes courage to admit that the decision to transition may have been wrong after undergoing hormone therapy, multiple surgical procedures, emptying your bank account even living the life, only to discover the gender change was a horrible mistake. Then the hard part begins—the process of pulling yourself out of the pit of depression and looking for a way back to your birth gender. If you are one of those in need of compassion, come to www.sexchangeregret.com. You are not alone.
Author of Gender, Lies and Suicide; Paper Genders; Trading my Sorrows
Could the massive explosion in the number of transgender kids be a result of mom’s desire to change their kid’s gender? With no definitive test to determine if someone is or is not transgender, nothing stands in the way of a mom encouraging her son to become a “girl” transgender.
The Dateline NBC story Living a Transgender Childhood about Josie Romero, a nine year old, has haunted me ever since it aired in July 2012. I was dressed as a “girl” by my grandma at the very same age as Joseph was dressed by his mom. I ended up undergoing hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery, name change and birth record change, male to female and my life has been torn to shreds ever since.
The entire story is told in 4 parts with a total of 23 minutes. I’m going to take you through some highlights from the segment and share my reactions. The link to the video is below.
The mom in the Dateline story is committed to guiding her boy, shown at age 9, toward female hormone treatment. She started her son down the transgender road at the age of 6 and changed the boy’s name from Joseph to a female name, Josie.
Dr. Margaret Moon, pediatrician and bio-ethicist from Johns Hopkins medical school, makes clear her concerns about administering hormones to young people. Too bad the mom hadn’t sought her advice for Joseph/Josie.
Starting at Part 2, 2 min. 57 sec.
Dr. Moon says regarding administering cross-gender hormones that doctors should wait until the patient is much older. When female hormones are used on a boy, she says, “The changes are irreversible and hard to justify.” “Well-intentioned people are looking at the same data and coming away with very different ideas.” “There is the potential of over-diagnosis of transgender kids.”
Mom says, “I would rather have a living transgender than a dead son.” Apparently mom is unaware research shows transgenders commit suicide even after hormones, surgery and transitioning. In fact, if your son or daughter uses suicide as a threat to gain approval for a gender change, that should be grounds for NOT providing any cross gender treatment until their deeper issues are discovered and addressed.
Starting at Part 2, 4 min. 30 sec.
Mom took Josie to Dr. Jo Olson, a Los Angeles M.D. who regularly treats transgenders. Olson says they are not mentally ill, but “there is an alignment issue between their internal gender and their body.” I want you to remember Dr. Olson’s comment about the alignment issue. To her credit, Dr. Olson would not provide the hormone treatment mom wanted Josie to have.
Part 2, 7 min. 45 sec.
Dr. Moon again says, “Studies that do exist suggest kids with gender identity problems often grow out of them.” Dr. Moon has concerns about the early diagnosis and early treatment of childhood gender issues. She says, “A lot of those kids who say ‘I’m in the wrong body’ end up by the time they are adolescents actually finding out they are fairly comfortable with their own gender.”
Part 2, 8 min. 45 sec.
Remember Dr. Olson talked about an alignment problem. Josie says to her mother, “Maybe I’m a boy inside and a girl outside,” and mom’s casual response is, “Really?” Josie is demonstrating the alignment problem but could mom be causing it? Mom has decided to change Joseph into Josie. By putting Joseph in a dress, brushing his long hair, not acknowledging that Joseph is a boy and instead reinforcing Josie as a girl, Mom has engaged in causing an alignment problem for Joseph with his birth gender. She is manufacturing a transgender.
As the story progresses, Joseph (living as Josie) starts to show signs of rejecting the persona Josie through expressions of indecision, confusion and concern. Josie/ Joseph desperately seeks mom’s approval to just be a boy.
Part 3, 42 sec.
This confused child asks mom, “Is it true that I’m a boy inside and a girl outside?” I find it disturbing to watch Joseph fighting for his male gender identity. I clearly can see the internal struggle as Joseph is troubled by looking like a girl outside when there is 10 year old boy inside. Keep in mind mom has refused to acknowledge Joseph is really a boy for more than 5 years. The withholding of the truth about a child’s gender is psychologically abusive and should be punished as child abuse.
Starting at Part 3, 54 sec.
For me, the most striking scene in this Dateline story happens here. As mom is combing and braiding this young boy’s long hair, she asks the child, “If you wanted to grow up to be a man, would you tell me”? The kid in a quiet voice haltingly says, yea. Then mom kneels beside the child and says, “If you want to be a man you could.”
The comments from mom are causing the kid’s face to contort. Then the kid drops the bombshell, “Sometimes I think I’m a boy sort of” and now begins a tug-of-war with mom to acknowledge he is really a boy.
The kid appears fearful of mom’s response; the fear is evident to me.
The child’s words to his mom that brought me to tears were: “Would you love me as a boy?”
Mom says, “Of course I would love you no matter what. I always have and always will.”
Joseph moves quickly across the room away from his mom. Mom can see the fear in Joseph/Josie--that same fear that was evident to me. You have to see this part for yourself. The discussion between child and mom is heart-wrenching. A child is asking his mother for guidance and she throws the responsibility back on him to decide which gender he is. There is a moment when she could have affirmed his birth gender but does not.
She says; “I think you’re afraid to tell me what you want.” Then in what sounds like very manipulative sarcasm, mom elevates her voice saying, “What if I were to tell you ‘O, please don’t be a girl’?” Joseph then says; “Then I guess I would be a boy; I don’t know” in a frightened voice. Mom says, “No, honey, I have to listen to you.” She does not tell Joseph he is a boy. She looks scared.
Then Joseph says, “I need to listen to you; you’re my mom. Yeah. What if you said I need to be a boy and you made me. I’d have to.” Mom says, “No, No.”
The stress so thick you can cut it. The child says to mom, “You look like you’re about to cry.” Joseph has asserted his male gender into the exchange and mom is not happy with Joseph evolving as a boy. Mom can see Joseph the boy now and she is scared.
Part 3, 2 min. 40 sec.
Once again we are given commentary from the doctors. Dr. Moon, pediatrician and bio-ethicist from Johns Hopkins medical school, says, “At Joseph’s age they are not sure who they are.” Dr. Olson, who provides treatment for childhood gender disorders, says, “There is no exact science that can determine who is truly transgender. Missing from the data is who is for sure going to become a transgender.”
I know the responses will be all over the place on this but it is important to raise concerns when the studies show most adolescents will grow out of their gender issues. It is criminal to be manufacturing transgender kids just because it is fashionable. As to the case of Josie/ Joseph--only time will tell us the results.
Dateline NBC, July 2012
While exercising in a class today I heard floating out of the sound system the 1956 song by the Platters, The Great Pretenders. It started me thinking about how I had been a great pretender, pretending for 8 years to be the female, Laura Jensen. At the time, I was having fun. I had a new birth certificate, driver’s license and social security card but it was all make-believe.
I wonder how in the world did I fall for all this gender change chicanery some 30 years ago, electing to undergo the "sex change" surgery?
The thoughts about pretenders kept playing in my head long after I left the gym. It is not just a song; it is a message.
Who are the great pretenders?
- I was. The song reminded me how after 8 years as a transgender female, I was just a "great pretender." I fell for the foolishness and pretended to be a female for 8 years.
- The practitioners who give out cross gender hormones like candy to a baby are great pretenders. They play a very reckless game with people’s lives pretending they are above God; that is a great pretending game, for sure.
- Let’s not ignore the surgeons who play this reckless game of the great pretenders, claiming they are changing men into women.
- Surgery – the great pretenders’ moment, the place where the pretending surgeon stands with knife in hand over the anesthetized pretender lying on the operating table, motionless under the very bright operating room lights. The lights, I think, are the only bright things shining in this operating room.
- Moms pretend they are helping their 5-year-old boys by dressing them as girls. The long-term psychological or psychiatric disorders will emerge from this cross-dressing in the years to come. The adult child will pay the price for the rest of their life, not the mom.
We are seeing more and more pretenders come out of the fog.
- Some doctors are having a wake-up about the craziness of treating the gender confused with surgery on genitals and are going into a different field.
- The gender pretenders are waking up and returning to their birth genders. The desire to detransition can come at any time, from 3 weeks to 32 years after surgery. The regretters like me are looking back horrified unable to understand how we could have been so damn gullible to join in with this reckless group of great pretenders.
Now, out of the fog of gender pretending, we regretters sing a new song, this one by the country music artist Bucky Covinton called I Want My Life Back. The lyrics tell the story of a man who now longs for the old pleasures of life that were taken away. The lyrics are a regretter theme song--we now see how foolish we were, dammit.
But we are the lucky ones. We get a real life, even a good life. The pretending is over and has no place in our life today.