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Detransitioners share regrets, speak out against body mutilation in 'Transgressive' documentary

Helena Kerschner
Detransitioner Helena Kerschner speaks in the 2022 Fox Nation documentary "Transgressive." |

A new documentary produced by Fox News host Tucker Carlson examines the consequences of body-disfiguring transgender surgeries and highlights the stories of people who underwent experimental medicalization and how it impacted their physical and mental health. 

The two-part "Transgressive: The Cult of Confusion," which premiered last week on Fox Nation, features the first-hand accounts of people who once believed they were the opposite sex and underwent experimental hormones and surgeries but have since detransitioned and reintegrated into their natal sex following immense regret and bodily harm.

The filmmakers take viewers on a journey, explaining in eight distinct stages how transgenderism functions and operates like an actual "cult." The project shows how struggling children are indoctrinated and sent down a pathway of irreversible harm.  

One such featured detransitioner is Helena Kerschner, a biological woman who started identifying as a boy at 15 and struggled with an eating disorder and depression. She explains in the film how the social media website Tumblr contains considerable content encouraging people to undergo a gender transition. 

Filled with regret over the decision several years later, Kerschner eventually stopped identifying as the opposite sex. 

"I had like a big realization moment where I just realized how much I just regretted this whole thing, and I was wrong, and that I'm not trans," she said. "And it was like the cloud just lifted, and I immediately became a normal person again. I immediately became myself again." 

Another detransitioner who testifies in the documentary is Walt Heyer, a biological man who previously presented as a woman named Laura Jensen. He is now using his experiences to help others through a website called "Sex Change Regret." He seeks to educate others about what he says are the harmful effects of attempting to change one's sex. He claims that around 60% of the people he works with were sexually abused as children.

A 2018 American Academy of Pediatrics study and a 2016 study published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology suggest that many children with a history of gender dysphoria have mental health or neurodevelopmental condition. However, more research is necessary before a definite conclusion can be made. 

In part two of the documentary, filmmakers highlighted Heyer's path toward recovery, noting how he struggled with substance abuse and nearly took his own life before his condition improved. 

"Eventually, I found my way to the Lord, Jesus Christ," he said. 

Offering a psychological perspective, Dr. Michael J. Bailey of Northwestern University delineated the three types of gender dysphoria: child onset gender dysphoria, autogynephilia and rapid onset gender dysphoria. Child onset gender dysphoria is when children express a desire to identify as the opposite sex at a young age. According to Bailey, these children typically outgrow this confusion. 

However, proponents of allowing youth to socially transition at young ages have argued that the desistance trends in gender dysphoric children are often overblown. 

The second form of gender dysphoria, autogynephilia, is seen in biological males with a strong urge to dress as women and possess female body parts. Individuals experiencing this form of gender dysphoria may start by dressing as a woman with the desire to have female body parts potentially motivating them to undergo surgery.

Rapid onset gender dysphoria involves individuals — typically female — suddenly identifying as transgender without any prior signs. 

Interspersed with Carlson's narration, the Fox News host observes in the documentary that the "key to the success of any cult is to drive a wedge into the family."

"If parents and family members do not capitulate to the new identity of the child, those relationships are labeled toxic and must be destroyed," Carlson said. 

On that same theme, Christian Post Senior Investigative Reporter Brandon Showalter highlights the conversations he has had with parents desperately looking for ways to help their children identifying as the opposite sex.

"I've had some of these moms and dads in my house for dinner just to try and console them as they're grieving. They have nowhere to turn. They call me in absolute excruciating agony," he explains. 

"I've never heard such anguish and terror, utter horror and pain as they are sometimes forced to watch the slow-motion dissociation and chemical disintegration of their own children."

Showalter has extensively documented numerous reports of operations done on trans-identified minors, including the removal of breasts and genitals.

"By what standard of medical evidence are you legitimizing the removal of healthy body parts?" he asks in the film, referring to the practice as the "worst form of child abuse." 

Showalter has previously reported that a study claiming that puberty-blocking drugs yield positive mental health outcomes for trans-identifying youth contains several flaws. The study is titled "Mental Health Outcomes in Transgender and Nonbinary Youths Receiving Gender-Affirming Care," published in February on JAMA Network Open in partnership with Seattle Children's Hospital.

The university ceased promoting the study after a series of profound edits. The data they initially gathered claimed that gender-affirming care — which involves sterilizing hormones and body-altering surgeries — "dramatically reduces" depression and is "lifesaving." 

A press release further claimed that interventions "caused rates of depression to plummet" in adolescents who identify as nonbinary or transgender. The research team also criticized efforts in Texas and Idaho to restrict or scrutinize "gender-affirming care." 

But journalist Jesse Singal noted several flaws with the study in an April 6 essay on Substack, claiming it revealed no statistically significant mental health improvement among those who underwent such procedures and therapy.  

Showalter has also reported on how consent documents obtained in 2020 by the California Family Council from Children's Hospital in Los Angeles indicate that giving experimental cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers to youth can cause infertility. The hospital has even warned patients and parental guardians that infertility is a side effect of prescribing such drugs. 

Showalter previously reported that in the United Kingdom, where they have centralized medical care and can compile the data more efficiently, reports of a 4,000% spike in the referrals of young people to the national gender service for gender transitions led to a formal investigation. 

The U.K. National Health Service announced this summer that it will close down the London-based gender identity clinic at the Tavistock and Portman Trust and move to a "new provider model through specialist children's hospitals." The announcement came in light of recommendations from an independent review and report that was critical of using experimental puberty-blocking drugs to treat gender dysphoria.

"We do not fully understand the role of adolescent sex hormones in driving the development of both sexuality and gender identity through the early teen years, so by extension, we cannot be sure about the impact of stopping these hormone surges on psychosexual and gender maturation," Dr. Hillary Cass wrote in the report. "We therefore have no way of knowing whether, rather than buying time to make a decision, puberty blockers may disrupt that decision-making process."

Abigail Shrier, author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, notes in Part 1 of the documentary that gender dysphoria previously affected .01%, or roughly one in 10,000, males. For females, gender dysphoria affected one in 30,000. 

But today, the author claims that the number of females with gender dysphoria has increased to one in 20 college-aged women. 

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