“If we evaluate people solely on gender expression we lose sight of their skills, personalities, character and intelligence.”

David Kyle Foster
David Kyle Foster

David Kyle Foster is morbidly pimping Walt Heyer to convince people that they can pray away gender dysphoria. David Kyle Foster is a pernicious pray-away-the-gay enthusiast. Foster has an economic incentive in persuading people to dismiss medical science. Walt Heyer is an ex-trans crackpot who has exploited his personality disorder into a living. The two have made a film. It is a macabre enterprise.

Foster has convinced himself that Jesus can turn gay people straight in spite of a mountain of peer reviewed research to the contrary. Heyer transitioned relatively late in life. A few years later he de-transitioned. Somehow Heyer’s experience means (according to Heyer) that no one should be transgender.

According to Foster in a Christian Newswire press release:

In the recently released documentary film, “TranZformed” fifteen former transgender individuals join with numerous experts to dispel the confusion and bear witness to what Jesus Christ can do for those who struggle with gender dysphoria.

Let us get a few things out of the way:

  1. Gender dysphoria (GD) is a serious condition requiring expert clinical care.
  2. No clinician ever suggests that people with GD are confused. Quite the contrary as they are quite certain of their gender. There is no “confusion” to “dispel.”
  3. There is no cure for GD. Being transgender mitigates the symptoms.
  4. Call me a skeptic but praying to Jesus is unlikely to cure gender dysphoria.
  5. David Kyle Foster cannot provide empirical proof of anything. Doing so would require clinical evaluations before and after by an impartial psychiatrist.
  6. Pray-away-the … whatever exists not to help anyone but to affirm that the practitioner’s deity makes only heterosexual-cisgender people. Any deviation from what they refer to as “God’s plan™” must be a choice made by the individual. It is, therefor, a pretext for discrimination and oppression.
  7. These crackpots are dangerous. They could convince people to forego the expert medical treatment that they require — and deserve. Were a parent to buy into this bullshit the purveyors could cause severe suffering and even the death of a child.
  8. The supposed experts include the late Joseph Nicolosi, a predator and charlatan who was clearly a defender of the Catholic faith. Nicolosi placed religion above science.
  9. Neither David Kyle Foster nor Walt Heyer have any applicable training or expertise. These people are not qualified to influence anyone regarding gender.

Are there people who transition and then de-transition? Sure. Heyer, for example, is not representative of anything. He transitioned much later in life than usual and did so more than 20 years ago. Medical science has progressed over the last two decades. Heyer was plagued with a religious conflict and we have no way of measuring his condition 20 years ago and his condition now.

Religion might have caused Heyer to desist. However that does not mean that people can (or should) be induced into having the same kind of religious conflict in order to abate gender dysphoria. Convincing people not to be transgender in order to serve God does not translate into addressing the underlying condition. It probably makes matters worse.

No one can provide any evidence that Jesus, Allah, Moses, Vishnu et al have ever healed anyone of anything. Why stop at GD? Perhaps we can dispense with the entire medical profession. All those treatments and surgeries are unnecessary. Who then needs the Affordable Care Act? Abortion? Let us pray away the pregnancies. Why not? Why doesn’t that work? In fact, who needs the pill? Why can’t a woman pray away fertilization the morning after?

My theory is that some people transition who would not do so were they in the care of a properly trained specialist. I looked at Foster’s trailer and it seems that at least a few of these people experimented with their gender and might not have been gender dysphoric in the  first place. Mine is just a theory formulated from reading a great deal of research which, admittedly, I do not fully understand due to my lack of applicable training.

I am also reasonably certain that there are people who are properly diagnosed (in recent years) and subsequently desist due to the fluidity of gender. That experience is highly atypical. That does not mean that the desister did not benefit from transitioning at the time that they did so. Nor should their experience have any influence on anyone else’s medical care.

Foster, by the way, is a piece of work. David Kyle Foster is the prototypical nutty “ex”-gay. Between 1976 and
1980 Foster had small roles in three movies and two TV films.
Supposedly, at the same time, and for a total of seven years, Foster was a prostitute. He claims to have slept with two to three guys a
night for money. Then the failed actor got religion. Foster claims to
have a Doctor of Ministry degree from Trinity School for Ministry.
Foster has a small non-profit based in Tennessee, Mastering Life
Ministries dba Pure Passion Media.

The bottom line to all of this is that people with gender dysphoria (mild or severe) need proper medical care, not crackpots. That is particularly true for children who are at risk for self-harm. Moreover, the existence of some people who might have de-transitioned in no way justifies the religion-based discrimination and persecution that is all too prevalent when it comes to trans people.

There is much more to transgender people than the fact that they are transgender. If we evaluate people solely on gender expression we lose sight of their skills, personalities, character and intelligence. That is a loss for us and them.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.