Opinion Editorial — Why Spread Bad Information?

| Feb 22, 2016
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Why are cisgender conservatives so threatened by trans (and LGB) people? They see our efforts to make the world aware that we are here and just want to live with the same rights granted to other citizens as an “agenda” that is out to tear down the fabric of society. To them presenting one’s true-self to the world is “deception” and “disguise” that we perpetrate for some unclear advantage. Just being allowed to urinate in a safe space is not allowed and for wanting that right we are treated as predators and deviates. And, when they find a “repentant” trans person they use them to condemn us all.

Walt Heyer as a female on the left and as a male again on the right.

Walt Heyer as a female on the left and as a male again on the right.

This op-ed started as a portion of the TWIT Awards section of The Week In Transgenderism but it has turned into a separate opinion editorial. I became inspired by a Feb.15 article in The Federalist by Walt Heyer. Heyer is a “repentant transsexual” who transitioned from male to female, lived that way for several years, and then went back to identifying as a man. That’s anyone’s right but it indicates to me that perhaps his original desire to be a woman was not rooted in transsexualism. It’s quite possible that Heyer was not a transsexual, and of course living full time as a female would not bring him the joy he expected. This is why there are Standards of Care for trans people. Being sure that you’re taking the right step is of the utmost importance. Transition is not a “cure all” for your troubles. It can lead to many more problems that need to be solved.

The big question though is why Heyer, and others who have gone back and forth across the gender divide, feel that it’s necessary to become rabid crusaders against the existence of transgenderism, and efficacy of GRS. Perhaps they feel that because it didn’t work for them that it is a huge mistake for anyone? Maybe they are embarrassed that they couldn’t live in the other gender and hide their shame by saying that  being trans is just not real.

Heyer’s article is titled Have We Finally Reached Peak Transgender? It is illustrated with a large photo of drag queens dancing for a video shoot. Right off the bat you know this article will be spreading disinformation. While drag queens fit under the transgender umbrella they are representative of flamboyant excess, not every day life for trans women who live full-time as females.

The subhead says, “Men competing as women at the Olympics, LGBT themes on 30 to 45 percent of prime-time television, and influence at the White House—please tell me we’ve reached the transgender high-water mark.” Then Heyer begins his attack by bringing up the trans community’s attempt to “force their way into both public and privately owned bathrooms and showers with women and girls.” Hardly has that sentence stopped and he has moved on to assail trans woman athletes competing in the Olympics. Oh the horror — a “man who is still packing his “tools”” will be able to compete against “biologically correct females.”

After that it’s time for Heyer to rail against trans people appearing in television shows. He claims, with no evidence, that trans people are not abused but are “Olympic athletes and TV stars.” We guess he has never looked into the high rates of suicide and murder endured by the trans community. His belief that trans people have gotten themselves inserted into television show plots to make the world more accepting of them is so spun around that it’s ludicrous. Trans people are part of society and a part that is mistreated and ignored. Showing what trans lives are like is as important as making the general public aware of any segment of society that is different than the “norm.”

Heyer asserts, “We’re in the midst of a major, deliberate, well-executed social indoctrination coming from the entertainment industry, the White House, and pro-trans LGBT activists.” He is correct. We are trying to get people to recognize that we exist. That we are not a threat. We don’t want to rape their daughters or use our trans status for some kind of special privileges. We just want to be seen as normal. We exist. We always have.

The article goes on to link up a vast conspiracy between television network executives and members of the White House staff. While these links may exist they are hardly a conspiracy to “normalize” transgenderism. Movers and shakers are connected. That’s how things work. And if the White House and the Democrats have the interests of trans people at heart they will work toward helping us using what connections they have. They surely do not dictate that a certain percentage of television characters must be trans.

Heyer takes the entire trans experience and twists it completely around to serve his own message. This is the most telling paragraph from his Federalist article:

“I lived the delusional transgender life for eight years, and I can tell you: the LGBT lobby is serving us a boatload of pure malarkey. I hear from transgenders who needed psychological help but instead were put on the surgical slice-and-dice assembly line and now live with the awful consequences. Transgenders attempt suicide at a rate higher than 40 percent and, as I’ve reported elsewhere, studies show that more than 60 percent of transgenders have co-existing mental disorders.”

Yes, there are suicides in the trans community. At an appalling rate. But those are not the result of “slice-and-dice” surgery. They are the result of people who can’t live as they want. People who are oppressed by being told they can’t go to the restroom they prefer, who can’t get a job because they don’t have the proper identification. Those are the people whose struggle becomes too much of a burden and they end it all rather than face more pain. Those who do suicide after surgery or give up and go back to their birth gender were not suited to change gender. They were “delusional” in that they believed once they had surgery everything in their lives would be rosy and all problems would disappear. As for having “co-existing mental disorders,” who wouldn’t when they’re forced to live as something they’re not?

Heyer’s “malarkey” is his own. For the majority of the trans community his “malarkey” is their truth. Since he did not achieve the perfect life after transition he attacks those who seek to live as the person they are. His last sentence says it all. It shows why he writes these lies in conservative publications. He says, referring to the LGBT community: “I just hate the mess that buying into their lifestyle made of my life.”

Get more facts about Walt Heyer and his anti-trans screed from Media Matters.

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Category: Transgender Opinion


About the Author ()

Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Assoc., Inc., former editor of its newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She was the Diva of Dish for TGF in the late 1990s and Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows.