Walt Heyer
Anti-transgender crackpot Walt Heyer, circa 2016 | via YouTube

Walt Heyer may be many things.
Endocrinologist is not one of those.

Ex-transgender Walt Heyer makes a living trying to convince people that being transgender is bad, evil, not endorsed by his god … unnecessary. Monday, Heyer wants people to know: Cross-Sex Hormones Are Steroids and Addictive. Heyer’s willing outlet is the blog of the Heritage Foundation.

Some people are going to detransition. They pose no threat to transgender persons. The noisy Walt Heyer chooses to be a problem for two reasons:

  1. The religious right — in defense of scripture — is willing to give Heyer a seemingly limitless supply of space.
  2. Heyer’s pitch is that no one should be transgender and that every transgender person is (inexplicably) obliged to detransition.

In sum, Heyer has been provided with an inexhaustible platform to spew a nonsensical and toxic message. It might be nonsensical to us. However, Heyer’s bullshit has been used to advance anti-trans legislation at the state level. It also has the potential to discourage parents from adhering to medical science in the treatment of pediatric gender dysphoria.

Meanwhile, Mr. Heyer is batshit crazy. He has “determined” that he was misdiagnosed. The condition that he really has is dissociative identity disorder, previously known as multiple personality disorder.

More importantly, Heyer’s experience is inapplicable to the overwhelming majority of transgender persons. Heyer transitioned about 40 years ago. Moreover, he did so well into middle age. Heyer would be irrelevant in the absence of a religious right that is determined to discredit transgender persons in order to eliminate a contradiction to doctrine.

Getting back to Heyer’s headline, some (FTM) cross-sex hormones are steroids (Lynestrenol). These medications are commonly used as hormonal replacement therapy in postmenopausal women or to treat endometriosis.

“… the best inoculation from litigation is informed consent. It’s just common sense.”

Therefore, the only trans persons taking steroids are FTM. Moreover, feminizing hormones (MTF) contain estrogens and antiandrogens. Masculinizing hormones include androgens which are the exact opposite..

According to Heyer:

A dirty little secret withheld from people who seek help for gender distress is that cross-sex hormones are anabolic steroids and addictive in the same way that daily consumption of alcohol can lead to addiction.

“Gender distress?” In any event, to the extent that Heyer is correct, only half of trans persons (FTM) are taking anabolic steroids. I can find nothing in the literature regarding addictiveness. Dependency is a different matter. Athletes become dependent in order to maintain their physical prowess. Trans men become dependent in order to maintain their masculinization.

Furthermore, without getting too far into the weeds, the meds for transgender men are different — to some extent — from what athletes abuse. Moreover, the treatment protocol is vastly different since trans men are in the continuous care of an endocrinologist. The comparison to alcoholism is preposterous.

According to medical science, long-term cross-sex hormone treatment is safe and effective.

The most idiotic thing about the prior quoted paragraph is that information is being withheld from patients. I have personally spoken with endocrinologists who treat transgender persons. Every possible side effect and consequence is discussed.

There are two reasons for doing so. First of all, some side effects, if they occur, require medical attention. Patients need to know what those are. Secondly, the best inoculation from litigation is informed consent. It’s just common sense. Furthermore, there is no earthly reason to withhold information from patients.

“… hormone therapy and surgery have been found to be medically necessary to alleviate gender dysphoria in many people …”

Apparently there is a conspiracy:

Gender clinics, now including Planned Parenthood, routinely prescribe cross-sex hormones on the first or second visit, and they neglect to disclose that steroids are addictive and distort one’s ability to make decisions. Steroid use makes people easy marks for the next step: surgery, such as mastectomy and genital reconfiguration, both of which mutilate healthy tissue.

How the fuck would Heyer know what Planned Parenthood tells patients? What motive could clinics possibly have for hiding information? Furthermore, characterizing transgender people as “easy marks” is factually incorrect (they are aggressive medical consumers) and, frankly, obnoxious.

What Heyer is attempting to assert is that hormones lead to surgery. Therefore, hormones are baaad! Surgery is a separate decision that is more a function of progression than individual elements of treatment.

Heyer should know. Quality of life is a vital consideration. Transgender persons want to present as close to their gender identity as possible. The better the presentation, the better the quality of life. It’s not terribly complicated.

WPATH expresses this as (emphasis added):

Medical treatment options include, for example, feminization or masculinization of the body through hormone therapy and/or surgery, which are effective in alleviating gender dysphoria and are medically necessary for many people.
[…]
Indeed, hormone therapy and surgery have been found to be medically necessary to alleviate gender dysphoria in many people (American Medical Association, 2008; Anton, 2009; The World Professional Association for Transgender Health, 2008).

“The fact that Heyer took hormones several decades ago has no bearing on what medical treatments people opt to receive.”

Walt Heyer is, in no way, qualified to opine about what is, or is not, medically necessary. Furthermore, Heyer’s motives are not centered on the best interests of people with gender dysphoria. Heyer makes a living doing this and Heyer is a very religious individual.

Furthermore, WPATH recognizes that therapy for gender dysphoria has become increasingly individualized:

Some patients may need hormones, a possible change in gender role, but not surgery; others may need a change in gender role along with surgery, but not hormones.

Did I mention that Heyer is a liar?

Distraught parents contact me, desperate to help their children avert the coming train wreck. But unfortunately, once under the addictive influence of cross-sex hormones, people are as unreachable as I was when I was abusing alcohol, bent on self-destruction and deaf to any information that stands in the way.

Heyer is referring to young adults as children. Hormones are an intervention to treat gender dysphoria. Addictiveness is irrelevant. People make decisions in concert with trusted physicians. Mr. Heyer is unqualified to offer relevant information.

The fact that Heyer took hormones several decades ago has no bearing on what medical treatments people opt to receive. Furthermore, as WPATH makes abundantly clear, hormone therapy might be a medical necessity. There are no valid arguments in opposition to what is medically necessary.

Were I transgender and then were I considering hormone therapy, I would tell meddling parents that I appreciate their concern. I would also point out that their arguments were not consistent with medical science.

“Did I mention that Heyer is a liar?”

Heyer’s self-importance operates to cause him to believe that he represents a universal paradigm:

I have 30 years of recovery from my ill-advised pursuit of a trans identity. I applied the same 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to the trans-addiction that erases and destroys a person via hormones, surgery, and a new identity.

Indeed, a 12-step approach can change one’s gender identity. Sure. Do people realize how utterly ridiculous that is? Walt Heyer is too self-absorbed and too stupid to realize how utterly ridiculous that proposition is.

Did I mention the vast conspiracy?

I realize that applying the definition of addiction to transgenderism will be scorned, dismissed, and shouted down, especially by the enablers who benefit financially: gender therapists who diagnose everyone with gender dysphoria and affirm everything transgender; drug companies who peddle cross-sex hormones (powerful steroids); surgeons who rearrange male and female genital like a sushi chef preparing a California roll.

Yes. Aside from being profoundly annoying, Heyer is a crackpot. Who are these so-called “gender therapists?” The diagnosis and treatment of gender dysphoria is based on science in contrast to economics.

The science is gleaned through peer-reviewed articles published to reputable academic journals. According to Mr. Heyer, everyone is corrupt. The researchers, the doctors and just about everyone else involved in transgender medicine.

Heyer has no evidence of corruption. Heyer is claiming corruption for two reasons:

  1. It is a means of avoiding personal responsibility for his actions.
  2. It is a way to avoid having to argue in opposition to the science.

I have asked the same question many times: Where are all the lawsuits against these supposedly corrupt clinicians? I cannot find any.

“Walt Heyer has never made much sense. Moreover, he has never demonstrated anything more than a mediocre intellect.”

What I have found (at least on the federal docket) are three court cases in which Heyer offered a declaration of the same unqualified nonsense. Heyer has not fared well as a witness.

Walt Heyer concludes with links to anti-trans books that he is trying to sell. Those seem to constitute Heyer’s prime source of income. I did not know that Walt Heyer is an alcoholic. Heyer is willing to claim that everyone else he does not approve of is, similarly, an addict.

Walt Heyer has never made much sense. Moreover, he has never demonstrated anything more than a mediocre intellect.

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.