Early transgender pioneer who transitioned back to male rejects today's gender ideology

"I haven't found one person that actually has gender dysphoria," Walt Heyer said. "I have found that they have generalized dysphoria."

Published: December 20, 2022 12:39pm

Updated: January 2, 2023 12:26am

Walt Heyer, one of the first transgender women when he transitioned four decades ago, has long since transitioned back to male.

Today he rejects the notion that there can be a transgender person, arguing a person struggling with gender dysphoria almost always an underlying issue.

"People who identify this way are struggling with either bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, body dysmorphia, depression, or some underlying comorbid issue," Heyer said on "The New Foundation for American Greatness," a Just the News special report sponsored by Heritage Action for America. 

"Nobody's born transgender," he continued. "The truth is transgenders don't exist. There is no such thing as a transgender."

Walt Heyer began his transition from male to female in the 1980s, when he started to go by the female name Laura Jensen. He said that childhood trauma from his grandmother dressing him up in a purple dress when he was four and being sexually molested as a kid led to this ultimate decision.

"My grandmother was a seamstress making women's clothing, and she was babysitting me," Heyer recalled. "I became very interested in what she was doing as a 4-year-old kid. I was mesmerized by what my grandma was doing and eventually showed an interest in cross-dressing, at 4 years old. As you know, 4-year-olds are curious about everything." 

Heyer recounted how his grandmother ended up psychologically abusing him by dressing him up in a dress she made for him. 

"Grandma decided in her wisdom to make me a purple chiffon dress that perfectly matched my little body in 1944," he continued. "She put that dress on me and started affirming me and started telling me how cute I was. In there lies what we call an adverse childhood experience where you begin to damage a child. This is emotional and psychological abuse."

Although this early cross-dressing episode and his later experience as a victim of sexual abuse at age 9 led to him struggling with gender identity, it wasn’t until the early '80s that Heyer began his transition, he says.

"I decided that I would go see a gender specialist," he said. "Never go to a gender specialist. They will destroy your life. That's their whole purpose. It destroyed my life. He said, 'You have gender dysphoria, and what you need is hormones and surgery.' That was in 1981."

It wasn't until he started studying psychology at the University of California Santa Cruz that he understood that nobody is born transgender and those struggling with gender dysphoria typically have underlying issues, such as depression or body dysmorphia. 

Heyer went on to write "Trans Life Survivors,"  a book compiling the first-person accounts of 30 people who learned the hard way that the promises of gender change are illusory

"Nobody is altered hormonally to the point where they change genders," said Heyer. "The only thing that hormones do is make you look feminine or, for a girl, look masculine. So what is the real word that we should be using? The real word is we're feminizing boys or men, and masculinizing women. We're not changing anybody's gender. No gender in history has ever changed."

The most important takeway from Heyer's own unhappy gender change experience is to understand "we have a social contagion that is indoctrinating kids in school," he said.

Successfully turning back the seemingly inexorable tide of gender ideology must begin with rejecting the new language the movement seeks to normalize in its bid to effect a new social reality, Heyer believes.

"We need to stop using the word gender dysphoria, stop using the word transgender, and stop saying transitioning," he said, "because I haven't found one person that actually has gender dysphoria. I have found that they have generalized dysphoria ... so I think we need to own the language. We're using the LGBT language, and we're hurting ourselves by using their terminology." 

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