One brief in particular stands out. It’s so powerful, it should not only persuade the Supreme Court but influence people on both sides of the transgender debate, particularly the mainstream media.
The brief examines the personal testimonies of the following people, all of whom identified as transgender at one point, then reverted to affirming their sex: Walt Heyer, Jamie Shupe, Linda Seiler, Hacsi Horvath, Clifton Francis Burleigh Jr., Laura Perry, Jeffrey Johnston, Jeffrey McCall, and Kathy Grace Duncan. While regular Federalist readers may be familiar with regular contributor Heyer, the other names may be unfamiliar. Yet their stories are just as powerful.
For starters, each of these people now believes, due to counseling, therapy, and personal experiences, that there is no such thing as gender fluidity or transgender. They now believe it is a fantasy many people try to make real.
Take Shupe, American’s first person to secure legal recognition of a nonbinary, transgender identity. He is a former hero of the left. His transgenderism “became the driver for over a dozen states to adopt an X marker in addition to male and female on driver licenses.” He first identified as a “transgender woman,” then as nonbinary.
The brief reads, “Publicly acknowledging that he is male and that his sex changes were a legal fiction has led to Mr. Shupe being shamed by the LGBTQ community for his beliefs that sex is binary and that those who struggle with gender identity issues need therapy and compassion, not to identify as a third gender.”
Laura Perry is a former female to male transgender person who underwent hormone treatment and a double mastectomy. “Ms. Perry enjoyed the transition process at first, and she entered into a relationship with another transgender individual,” says the brief. “They attended LGBT events together but stopped when the members of the community developed hatred for her partner who was conservative. They viewed her partner as a ‘traitor.’ Ms. Perry and her partner also claim that ‘we thought these people are the most depressed people in the world,’ referring to the LGBT community. Soon after, Ms. Perry became aware of the fact that changing sex is not biologically possible, and that sex is binary.”
Toward the end of Heyer’s story, the brief says, “For more than ten years Mr. Heyer has informally mentored and assisted scores of persons identifying as transgender who regret changing their appearance to that of the opposite sex. He encourages those who contact him who have gender dysphoria to seek psychological and psychiatric assessment for other disorders that are also present, which is the case in a majority of those who desire to identify as persons of the opposite sex.”
These claims fly in the face of what many on the left, including the transgender person on the other side of this particular Supreme Court case, say. To make matters worse, the media have also attacked former transgender people and ridiculed their stories as unreal.
Almost every single person in the brief said they stopped being transgender with the help of therapy. It didn’t just help them heal, but also revealed that deeper emotional traumas were often the cause of their gender dysphoria and the reason they chose transgenderism in the first place. All of the people claim that those who proposed or helped them transition often (unknowingly) created more pain.
Shupe suffered from PTSD after nearly 20 years of service in the military. The brief reads, “Mr. Shupe argues that his gender transitions were the result of his mental confusion and that he should have been treated with therapy rather than fictional identities. ‘I should have been treated. Instead, at every step, doctors, judges, and advocacy groups indulged my fiction.’”
The brief describes Heyer’s journey as both a former transgender person and one who now counsels so many who struggle. From both perspectives, Heyer believes current transgender medical protocols fail to treat the root causes.
Heyer now informally mentors people who also regret attempting to identify as a person of the opposite sex, such as by adopting a different name and opposite-sex pronouns, wearing clothing and hairstyles typically associated with the opposite sex, using sex-segregated spaces and engaging in sex-segregated activities that correspond to the opposite sex, and changing their appearance to more closely resemble the opposite sex through makeup, clothing, surgery, and hormones.
Heyer has seen firsthand the harm that can come from encouraging people down that path. Every person Heyer has mentored has concluded that he or she was not born transgender. They believe transgenderism is a learned behavior, a social ideology, not an innate condition from birth. Heyer says he has seen too much unhappiness and regret over the years from hormone therapy and surgeries to think otherwise.
The brief describes a number of possible outcomes if gender-confused people seek plastic surgery and opposite-sex hormones rather than receive help through therapy:
Seeking to align one’s mind with reality has always been the preferred method for treating dysphorias, such as anorexia, xenomelia (the feeling that one or more limbs do not belong), or transdisability (believing one has a physical disability that does not actually exist). No one would ever address an anorexic person’s needs by providing a low-calorie diet, diet pills and stomach stapling. Moreover, one of the most comprehensive scientific studies tracking individuals who underwent sex-reassignment surgery revealed that (1) the rate of psychiatric hospitalization was approximately three times higher for postoperative individuals than a control group; (2) mortality rates and rates of criminal conviction also increased; (3) suicide attempts were almost five times more likely than before surgery; and (4) the likelihood of suicide following surgery was 19 times higher than the control group, adjusted for prior psychiatric illness.
The brief continues:
Hacsi Horvath is a Lecturer in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco (“UCSF”) and is an expert in clinical epidemiology. For 13 years, Mr. Horvath identified as a female and now that he has de-transitioned feels angry he was encouraged to embrace that lifestyle. ‘I am far angrier that thousands of young people are being irreversibly altered and sterilized as they are inducted into a drug-dependent and medically-maimed lifestyle.’
The amicus brief also says, “Affirming the dysphoria in people suffering from gender identity issues as if they really were persons of the opposite sex only serves to lead those that are suffering with such issues away from finding the serenity and wholeness of being at peace with their bodies and identities. Forcing employers to affirm the denial of reality is not required by Title VII and is more likely to cause harm than good.”
While this brief will only play a small role in this important case, its personal testimonies and arguments should influence public discourse.