Transgender hormone therapy is becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States, and so too are instances of individuals undergoing gender transition surgery and later regretting it, according to a recent CBS report.
As reported by The Daily Wire, the segment highlighted how some doctors, including “Dr. Laura Edwards-Leeper, the first psychologist at the first major youth gender clinic in the U.S.,” say they are “greatly concern[ed]” with where “the field has been going.”
Discussing the topic of children undergoing gender transition, Dr. Edwards-Leeper said, “I feel like what is happening is unethical and irresponsible in some places.
“Everyone is very scared to speak up because we’re afraid of not being seen as being affirming or being supportive of these young people or doing something to hurt the trans community. But even some of the providers are trans themselves and share these concerns.”
Here are five people who regret going through transgender therapy, in their own words.
Grace Lidinsky-Smith — who underwent a female-to-male transition in 2017 — runs a Substack called “Hormone Hangover” detailing her experiences.
In an essay explaining her transition, Lidinsky-Smith wrote that she has “made a lot of mistakes in my life,” but “none have impacted me so indelibly” as her decision to undergo surgery to remove her breasts.
“As I write this, the mastectomy scars are twinging on my chest. 4 years later, I’ve grown older, wiser, and way more cautious. But the scars remain,” she wrote. “When I realized that being a trans man wasn’t what I wanted anymore, I fell into despair. My body was permanently changed. The surgery was the hardest thing to deal with. The scars hurt. I missed the feeling of having an intact, unscarred body. I was convinced my life had been ruined.”
Despite expecting “a transformative and spiritual experience” from her surgery, she was instead left with “psychological fallout,” “loss,” and “grief.” She also felt “betrayed, disoriented, and confused.”
In another essay, Lidinsky-Smith writes that she at first attempted “trying to honor myself for what I was trying to do with transition.”
“It’s hard to imagine life as a woman without breasts, especially after you had them removed to try to live as a man,” she explained. “I’ve struggled with feeling like I’m scarred, mutilated, and deformed. It really sucks. But you can heal from them to a large extent, and learn to live with them.”
Carey Callahan — from whom Lidinsky-Smith derived inspiration for her blog — likewise attempted a female-to-male transition.
As a feature story from The Atlantic explains, Callahan de-transitioned following a four-year period of identifying as transgender and a nine-month regiment of male hormones. During her work at a San Francisco transgender clinic in 2014 and 2015, Callahan realized that people who had transitioned “were cutting themselves, starving themselves, never leaving their apartments.”
“That made me doubt the narrative that if you make it all the way to medical transition, then it’s probably going to work out well for you,” she recounted.
In an essay about her experiences designed to help other de-transitioning individuals, Callahan compared her experience to a “bad trip.”
“Yes, I am appropriating drug culture and stealing it for detransition mental health,” she wrote. “Have faith. You will get out of this bad trip. Not immediately — just like with hallucinogens there’s some time between when you want off the ride and when the ride lets you off. You’ll have to be patient. I think it took two years after detransitioning before I began to have windows of feeling like myself again.”
For those two years, Callahan devoted herself to “feeling big, hard feelings, but behaving in a strategic and outcome-oriented manner.”
Keira Bell — a 23-year-old woman from the United Kingdom — was subjected to transgender hormone treatment and surgery when she was a teenager.
Bell had a difficult childhood; after her parents divorced when she was five years old, her mother descended into alcoholism and mental illness. By the time she was 14, Bell was “severely depressed and had given up.”
“I stopped going to school; I stopped going outside,” she wrote. “I just stayed in my room, avoiding my mother, playing video games, getting lost in my favorite music, and surfing the internet.”
After experiencing attraction to females, she grew to believe that “it would be best if I stopped becoming a woman.” Psychologists within Britain’s National Health Service diagnosed her with gender dysphoria; she began taking puberty blockers and hormone shots “after a series of superficial conversations with social workers.”
Five years later, she began de-transitioning: “As I matured, I recognized that gender dysphoria was a symptom of my overall misery, not its cause.”
James Shupe — the first American to obtain nonbinary status under law — recently resumed living as a biological male.
In 2015, Shupe began working as a transgender activist; he once claimed to The New York Times that he lived “in a world where radical, conservative politicians and religious groups routinely attack my very existence with legislation to deny me basic human rights such as a bathroom that matches my gender-identity.”
In 2019, however, a Portland judge granted his petition to legally restore his sex to male — a development that he attributed to “God’s grace.”
“New to identifying as a woman at that stage of my life, but indoctrinated by the peddlers of transgender ideology to believe I was one, I incorrectly believed that gaining access to female bathrooms was a human rights issue for me,” he wrote for The Daily Signal. “Although my landmark court case was built on lies, deceit, and pseudoscience, I didn’t care. It didn’t matter to me that the sex change petition fictitiously claimed my sex was non-binary and got two doctors to say so.”
“When I was finished, sex was no longer grounded to science by things like chromosomes and genitals observed at birth. It was determined by personal feelings rooted in what I would later come to realize were sex stereotypes,” he continued. “In my mind, by winning the case, I was sticking it to those radical feminists who had refused to accept me as one of them.”
Walt Heyer — another adult who resumed living according to his biological sex — now works as an activist to help other de-transitioned people.
Heyer — who runs the website Sex Change Regret — went through male-to-female gender reassignment surgery in 1983: “At first I was giddy for the fresh start. But hormones and sex change genital surgery couldn’t solve the underlying issues driving my gender dysphoria.”
While de-transitioning 25 years ago, Heyer learned that “hormones and surgery may alter appearances, but nothing changes the immutable fact of your sex.”
Heyer has written several books about his experience. One recent book — Articles of Impeachment Against Sex Change Surgery — lays out 55 points explaining the “harmful and irreversible consequences the social and medical experiment called ‘sex change’ continues to inflict on real people — adults, teenagers, and even children.”
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.