For eight years, Walter Heyer lived as a woman.
“The seed was planted the second my grandmother saw my interest in cross-dressing and put me in a purple chiffon dress when I was four years old. That’s where the gender dysphoria began to grow,” said Heyer, who was a married, successful businessman when he underwent cosmetic surgery to alter his sex at age 42.
But surgery and hormone treatment failed to address his underlying psychological issues. After undergoing therapy and turning his life to Christ, Heyer said he learned to accept his true identity as a man.
Now 78 and married to his second wife for 22 years, Heyer today is an author and public speaker. His new book, Trans Life Survivors, tells the stories of 30 people who reflect on the consequences of their gender transitions. Heyer will speak at the 2020 Legatus Summit.
What will you speak about at the Legatus Summit?
I’m going to be talking about the truth of transgender identities, gender dysphoria, diagnosing children and adults, what that is all about, and what the consequences are. I’m calling the talk, “Reclaiming the truth about gender identity.”
What do you think of the growing acceptance of transgenderism?
The culture has been led to believe that people are becoming transgender when the truth is, the word “transgender” is an umbrella term for a group of people who behave in a way where they exhibit a cross-gender identity. There are drag queens, cross dressers, transvestites, people with transvestic fetishes and those who have autogynephilia, a condition where a man will dress up, look at himself in the mirror as a female, and the female he sees in the mirror becomes the object of his sexual affection. Then you have another group of people who suffer from body dysmorphia, dissociative disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. The term “transgender” doesn’t tell you anything except that the person puts on the opposite gender clothing. Why they behave that way is a bit more complicated.
How did your grandmother “plant the seed” for your own gender confusion?
By her affirming me and going gaga over how cute I looked as a little girl, she restructured the way I thought about myself. That is where the destruction comes, in affirming someone in a cross-gender identity and why I’m totally against affirming anyone in a transgender identity. I call it child abuse.
What do you think of modern gender theory which holds that gender is not fixed at birth?
People don’t actually change gender. It’s really an elaborate masquerade, childlike behavior where people themselves are acting out the behavior of a different gender, but they’re really not. Biologically, they’re still the same. There are deep emotional and psychological issues that, with proper psychotherapy, a person can work through without going through a gender change.
Pope Francis has spoken out against gender theory, which he has called a “global war” against the family. What do you think?
He’s right in that it’s a social contagion. If we put this into a context where we’re talking about kids, we know kids go through identity issues in many different ways over a period of time. We’re now in a cycle where this social contagion of transgenderism is taking place, but it’s really young individuals who are opting for this. These are usually people who aren’t really good at social adaptability and this is sort of an instant way for them to steal the attention that they don’t get or wouldn’t have gotten as who they really are.
What is your new book about?
I’ve had emails come to me from hundreds of people asking for help. In the book, I’ve taken some of their stories and changed the names and locations to allow them to share with the mass population what’s really underlying this whole issue. The book also has my latest research and goes into why transgender ideology is destructive and why it’s not what the Lord wants for us.