By infiltrating the curriculum in our nation's public schools, LGBT activists can groom the next generation of participants. Young people are questioning their gender identity at an alarming rate that seems to be increasing, and are encouraged by educators and medical professionals to experiment with gender transition. Unfortunately, experimentation can cause even more confusion.
Feelings Change, Bodies Don't
The problem with taking the steps to transition physically—cross-gender hormones and surgeries—is that physical changes are likely permanent, but the feelings driving the desire may change, especially for young people. I recently received an email from a man now in his thirties that demonstrates this reality:
Feelings can change. For this man, feelings that were overwhelming in his teens changed after he went to counseling to deal with childhood trauma.I transitioned to female beginning in my late teens and changed my name in my early 20s, over ten years ago. But it wasn't right for me; I feel only discontent now in the female role. I was told that my transgender feelings were permanent, immutable, physically deep-seated in my brain and could NEVER change, and that the only way I would ever find peace was to become female. The problem is, I don't have those feelings anymore.
When I began seeing a psychologist a few years ago to help overcome some childhood trauma issues, my depression and anxiety began to wane but so did my transgender feelings. So two years ago I began contemplating going back to my birth gender, and it feels right to do so. I have no doubts—I want to be male!
My story is similar. Changing my gender was an empty promise, a temporary reprieve that didn't fix anything. After much psychological counseling, I came to see that my dream of becoming a girl had simply been an escape to cope with deep pain from childhood events. Unfortunately, the so-called earlier treatment of cross-gender hormones and surgery was destructive for my family, marriage, and career, and nearly caused me to take my own life.
Ignoring Science to Push a Political Agenda
Now children in Washington state will be taught starting in kindergarten about the normalcy of wanting to be the other sex. Public schools should not be the breeding ground for any sexual activism by any group at any time. The public school system is holding kids hostage as activists groom the next generation of transgender activists, despite serious harm this poses to children.
For example, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina has eliminated the use of the terms "boys" and "girls," requiring that teachers call their pupils sex-neutered terms such as "students" or "scholars." They also require educators to keep parents in the dark about their child's request for a different name or pronoun.
The activists who push this agenda in public school studies ignore the science regarding innate sex. An August 2016 review of the scientific literature finds no definitive evidence in research to suggest that transgender people are born that way. This 143-page report from two distinguished doctors from Johns Hopkins University finds there is not enough definitive scientific evidence to suggest gay, lesbian, and transgender people are born as such. More importantly, they affirmed that innate biological sex is fixed and unchangeable. Only gender persona—appearance and behavior—can be changed.
I was a kid who started cross-dressing with my grandmother at the age of four. I can tell you from first-hand knowledge that cross-dressing is a psychological indoctrination. It is sadistic to use the public school system, which holds a captive audience, to engage in a social gender identity experiment with the nation's young people.
Medical Experimentation Can Devastate People
We have known changing genders leads to suicides from reports in the late 1970s that provide a telltale glimpse into the consequences of ignoring the science. Endocrinologist Dr. Charles Ihlenfeld warned about the suicides and unhappiness of transgender clients based on his experience treating more than 500 transgender patients with hormones over a six-year period at colleague Dr. Harry Benjamin's gender clinic.
Ihlenfeld observed that the gender change led to poor outcomes, and concluded that 80 percent of the patients who want to change their physical appearance this way shouldn't do it. Ihlenfeld blew the whistle a little louder when he said, "There is too much unhappiness among people who have had the surgery. Too many of them end as suicides." You wonder why a doctor like this, who was an insider on early gender change experiments, was ignored.
Medicine has a long history of failing to properly and effectively help people who struggle with unusual emotional and psychological issues. Experimenting with surgery as treatment for psychological disorders is not new. My book, "Paper Genders," gives a 100-year history of these kinds of failures.
This includes psychologist Dr. Henry Cotton. In the early part of the 1900s, Cotton was the head of the main New Jersey state mental hospital in Trenton. He theorized that infections caused mental illness, and was zealous in his effort to cure mental illness by removing the suspected source of infection. He started with removing infected teeth. When that failed, he pulled the remaining teeth and tonsils, then moved on to removing sections of the colon, the stomach, gallbladders, and testicles and ovaries.
Cotton reported a success rate of 85 percent.The New York Times lauded Cotton as a scientific genius whose investigations gave "high hope" for the future, and Cotton became famous in the United States and Europe. Desperate people brought their suffering loved ones to the Trenton hospital for the breakthrough treatment. Kept out of public view were the chilling mortality statistics: 30 to 40 percent of his surgical patients died from his so-called treatment.
I find striking similarities between Cotton and the gender-change surgeons of today. The media celebrate those like Caitlyn Jenner who "bravely" change genders. Desperate people who feel they should be the opposite sex seek treatment from sympathetic surgeons, who will cut away male and female body parts, and from endocrinologists, who will inject cross-gender hormones. It sounds barbaric and crazy—and it is.
From Body Chopping to Brain Blending
The surgical insanity did not end with Cotton. Starting in the mid-1930s, neurologist Dr. Walter Freeman partnered with Dr. Watts, a neurosurgeon, to perform lobotomies as treatment for mental disorders. Freeman believed cutting certain nerves in the brain could eliminate excess emotion and stabilize a personality.
The first lobotomies involved drilling holes in the skull and inserting a rotating knife to destroy brain cells in the prefrontal lobes of the brain. Later, Freeman developed a 10-minute trans-orbital lobotomy in which the brain was accessed through the eye sockets with an instrument that resembled an ice pick. Freeman's procedure did not require a surgeon or an operating room, which allowed Freeman, who was not a surgeon, to perform the lobotomies. Freeman performed more than 2,500 lobotomies in his lifetime.
Results for patients varied. In "The Lobotomy Files: One Doctor's Legacy," the Wall Street Journal says: "Drs. Freeman and Watts considered about one-third of their operations successes in which the patient was able to lead a 'productive life,' Dr. Freeman's son says. Another third were able to return home but not support themselves. The final third were 'failures,' according to Dr. Watts."
During their heyday, both doctors were held in high esteem, but the long-term negative results for a majority of their patients were another regrettable outcome in the history of using surgery to treat mental illness.
Surgery Doesn't Treat Transgenderism
Cotton, Freeman, and Watts were precursors to today's treatment of transgenderism, a mental disorder, with another set of surgeries. They treated patients by pulling teeth, cutting out colons, and scrambling brain tissue, resulting in mortality rates of 30 to 40 percent and a failure rate of 33 percent, respectively. The treatment methods in hindsight seem barbaric.
Today's accepted treatment for gender issues—cutting off body parts and rearranging everything from the Adam's apple, hips, and breasts to the genitalia—seems barbaric as well, and lacking in compassion. The compassionate response is to explore other less extreme options first, before resorting to surgery.
Our long history with treating transgenderism strongly suggests surgery has not been effective. In my journey to gender change, my psychologist told me surgery was the only answer to my problems, and never asked any questions to discover other possible causes of my gender distress.
Today, people write to me about their gender-change experiences. They consistently share how at the time of their transition they were told gender change was the only treatment for their condition. Parents write to me concerned about their adult children pursuing transition because they know no one is considering that trauma from the person's childhood could be leading to this unusual desire. Parents report that gender therapists don't want to know about childhood events. The therapist says if an adult wants transition, he or she can have it.
As with Cotton, Freeman, and Watts, today's surgical gender-change treatments are not submitted to rigorous scientific study to evaluate their safety, effectiveness over time, and unexpected consequences. Those who regret making the transition, who return to their birth gender, and who are lost to suicide aren't counted in studies because researchers can't find them. The statistics are skewed in favor of positive outcomes because the people experiencing negative outcomes are, in scientific language, "lost to follow-up."
Suicide Threats Indicate Mental Illness
Gender-distressed teens will often say something along the lines of "If I don't get puberty blockers or hormones and surgery to transition, I'm going to commit suicide." They mean to demonstrate the strength of their cross-gender feelings and the urgency of their need for transition to everyone who might otherwise urge caution, such as parents, psychotherapists, and endocrinologists.
Threatening suicide is a serious matter that points to the presence of serious mental health issues. When a transgender child uses emotional and psychological blackmail to get fast-tracked towards extreme surgery, it should raise concerns about the person's emotional and psychological health. A suicide threat points to the urgent need for intervention and psychotherapy, not hormones and surgery.
Consider early life events that unfold like this, from an email I received recently:
It's not completely unexpected a young woman like this would seek to become a transgender given the rejection of her father, her appearance calculated to repel men, and a failed lesbian relationship. Her dad's pedophilia, homosexual leanings, and rejection of her would easily keep her from developing a healthy self-image and relationships.Help, my daughter is trying to live as a man and desperately wants gender re-assignment surgery.
Her father was a male to male pedophile. He abused our son. Years later my son became homosexual and is married to a man.
My daughter on the other hand was rejected by her dad. She spent her teen years hating men. She began to engorge herself so that guys would be repulsed by her. She developed obsessive disorders and made sure she looked unattractive to men. She accomplished being unattractive and men turned away from her. She decided to be a lesbian. She decided that wasn't for her after a bad break-up. Now she wants to become a transgender.
She sees transgenderism as the fix to all this rejection. As a transgender, she can fall in love with herself and avoid rejection. Yes, it is psychologically unhealthy behavior, but it will provide a temporary reprieve from the rejection she has experienced so far in her life.
Young people who consider themselves neglected, abused, or abandoned may turn to self-abusive or attention-getting behaviors. They latch on to anything they can control when all seems out of control. Notice I said "consider." A child can feel rejected when no rejection exists. Perceived rejection can lead a child towards homosexuality or transgenderism because it looks more attractive than the life they have, or allows them to feel in control of their life.
Parents need to take a stand against public schools and government policies that are intended to groom children towards gender change and eliminating male and female sex distinctions. Parents cannot afford to stand silently by while their right to parent their children is eroded.
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.