GLENN: Walt, how are you, sir?
WALT: Yes. Well, what a pleasure and honor to be on your show, Glenn. Thanks so much for inviting me on today.
GLENN: You bet. I will tell you, Walt, that you have a remarkable story, and I don't know how much you're comfortable sharing. But can we start at the beginning of your story?
WALT: Oh, absolutely. Sure. Any questions you have, I want to answer right here for your audience.
GLENN: Okay. So, Walt, start with your childhood and your grandma and your dad and your uncle and everything else.
WALT: Yeah. Well, I started out, you know, four years old. Interested in female things and cross-dressing. And my grandmother helped me by making me a purple chiffon dress, which we both delighted in. And it was our little secret. She did this while babysitting me. So that started the journey of gender dysphoria. Journey of transgenderism. Journey of confusion over gender. And then when my dad found out a couple years later, when the secret was out, and both my mom and dad found out -- my dad obviously was furious. And he -- you know, not knowing what to do -- keep in mind, this is, you know, before 1945. Because I'm 76 years old.
WALT: So there wasn't much out there about this. So he was -- you know, he's a part-time police officer. Industrial goods salesman. Strong guy.
And I'm sure inside him was just turmoil. And so he decided that, you know, to toughen me up, he was going to exercise real strong discipline. And when the secret got out, my uncle, who was an adopted uncle, decided that, you know, it was appropriate to tease and sexually molest me.
So, you know, before you get very old in life, you're cross-dressing, and you've got some heavy discipline, and then you're molested.
GLENN: My gosh.
WALT: So it's not the best way to start.
GLENN: So at 13, you were told you had multiple personalities.
WALT: Well, it wasn't quite that early. I did start changing my name. I became -- I changed my name at 13 to Crystal West. And people began to wonder that I was confiding in, which was a small group of people. And so I didn't know what was going on. All I knew was I had these very, very strong feelings. And it just didn't go away, Glenn. They went on literally every hour in my head. I kept thinking that I was in the wrong body and that I should change to be in a female.
GLENN: Walter, I have to tell you, I think America has changed from when you were young. And I think we saw it with Bruce Jenner when he came out and said, he's been feeling this way his whole life. I don't know anybody -- none of my friends at least said anything but, I can't imagine going through that. And the empathy of feeling that way. I mean, I -- do you feel America has changed? When you can tell your story and -- I mean, I think the vast majority of people just their heartbreaks for you.
WALT: Well, yeah, my heartbreaks for everybody who is struggling with it today. I'm fortunate because I've come out the other side. I've been married now for 20 years. And I'm working with transgenders who want to be transitioned, after they found out, as I did, that it was not effective or proper treatment for things that happened during early childhood.
WALT: You know, so I'm quite comfortable with who I am as Walt today.
PAT: That must be politically incorrect for you to be working with other transgendered people.
GLENN: My gosh. And to even say that you can come out the other side and this is not --
GLENN: I mean, that's -- that's a nightmare politically.
WALT: Oh. Well, quite frankly, it happens quite a bit.
WALT: I've had as many as three people in a week contact me. Some of them are doctors, physicians that are changing, airline pilots.
WALT: Two teachers, who are struggling to, you know, come out with the union and tell them, gee, I need to go back after they got such support. So it's much, much more difficult to detransition because of all of the efforts that went into transitioning. So this is the tough part, is to step up and come back.
GLENN: Okay. So, Walt, you -- at what age did you decide to become a woman and begin to transition?
WALT: Yeah, well, at about 40 years of age, I went and saw a psychologist up in San Francisco who specialized in this. And he diagnosed me with having gender issues and said that I needed to undergo hormone therapy and wait the two appropriate years and then have surgery then by Dr. Biber in Colorado. And so I thought, "Well, this is pretty radical, but, you know, I've been struggling with this now for 36 years," by that time.
And so the feelings are extremely strong. And my heart goes out to anybody who is struggling with them. But I listened to the guy as though he was an authority on it. And two years later, you know, I got my second letter of approval. Went and had the surgery in 1983. I was an executive for American Honda Motor Company at the time. And they promptly terminated me, which was I think appropriate actually.
GLENN: Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.
WALT: Well, you know, when somebody is struggling with that depth of issues, personal issues, they're not going to be effective in doing their work. I totally understand that. And so I -- I've never begrudged people for not wanting me -- and I went and interviewed for over 200 jobs, Glenn, and couldn't get a job because I was one of the early people who went through this. And I understood it. I told my counselor in California at the time, "You know, I understand that." It's a confusing issue. And people should have the right to not employ anybody who they don't want to employ.
GLENN: Where did you get --
PAT: What a hatemonger.
GLENN: Here's a guy who has been abused. You have every reason to be, you know, cut me some slack. Where are you getting this Christ-like attitude of, "Hey, I just need to do my thing. And I understand if you disagree." Where are you getting that kindness?
PAT: Just as you said, yeah.
WALT: I get it from Jesus. I totally understand that people are confused. Listen, I was a little confused for a while. Frankly, now it's nice to have my feet on the ground.
PAT: Especially Walt, at that time, because the only person I can think of that I knew about when I was growing up, that was in your situation, was Renee Richards, the tennis player, who went from man to woman.
PAT: And then there was the big controversy of, should she be allowed now to compete against women, when she's -- she just came from being a man. That had to be a really difficult time period because America wasn't socially where it is now.
WALT: Oh, yeah. Yeah. And keep in mind, Renee Richards has come out later and said -- regrets, I have a few.
WALT: Oh, yeah.
WALT: So, you know, these are the stories that don't get talked about. And Renee doesn't suggest anybody have it.
In fact, Renee stays very quiet about it. But I don't. I -- I'm troubled by the fact that we have a population of people that are changing genders.
And from 1979 to this day, Glenn, they've been reporting extremely high rates of suicide.
GLENN: I know.
WALT: And suicide attempts at over 40 percent. So if this is so good and so effective and so wonderful, why are 40 percent of this population attempting suicide? That's a question I ask all the time.
GLENN: Well, it's interesting to me, when we talked about this last week and we spoke about how the, you know, pre-surgery suicide rate is 46 percent. Post-surgery it's 45 percent. So it's the same. So obvious, this does nothing to those feelings at all.
GLENN: And so it's -- it's not a life-saving surgery by any stretch of the imagination. And we are just -- we are just -- just throwing in with this and saying, "Yeah. This is all good." And if -- if I'm not mistaken, the numbers for suicide for, you know, people under 30, are -- are even higher than that.
WALT: Yeah. The suicide attempts -- I don't know what the actual rate of suicide is. The suicide attempts are at 50 percent. And at lower age-groups, children especially, 12 to 24, 28, somewhere in there.
So, you know, this is just not a healthy thing psychologically or emotionally. And what we do know is that, according to the studies, that 60 to 70 percent of the population are struggling from what's known as comorbid disorders. That's separation anxiety, dissociative disorders, body dysmorphic disorder. And schizophrenia and a whole bunch of other disorders that we are totally ignoring. And the treatment of modality of -- of people who are suffering.
We should sit these people down. And what I do is actually talk to them and say, what do you think was the trigger mechanism that set this in motion?
And 100 percent of the time, Glenn, every one of them, over a period of time, when we have this discussion, can identify the moment of trauma or event or situation that caused them to not want to be who they are and attempt to be someone who they can never be.
GLENN: Walt, we're with Walt Heyer, somebody who transitioned from male to female and then back to male. We'll continue with him here in -- in just a second.
(OUT AT 10:23AM)
GLENN: We're glad to have Walt Heyer on. He is a guy who has had really an amazing life. Started out in the 1940s with his grandmother cross-dressing him, his father physically abusing him, and his uncle sexually abusing him. Then he was diagnosed with a personality disorder and then gender dysphoria. He had a sex change to a man. Walt --
PAT: To a woman.
GLENN: Sorry. To a woman.
Can you tell me, Walt, what that is like, going through that?
WALT: Well, I -- you know, when I went from male to female, there was a period of euphoria, where, I thought, wow, I finally solved all the problems. And that all of this stuff that I had gone through and suffered was going to be behind me.
You know, the truth is, it's only a temporary reprieve because early childhood issues, when you have any event happen that you're struggling with, you need to go to psychotherapy and get it done. So I -- you know, within eight years of trying to suppress what had happened in my early life, I finally started going -- well, I went to -- as I went to UC Santa Cruz and studied psychology, I realized, you know, the whole gender thing is really built on a foundation of psychological issues, and they're trying to cure psychological issues by giving people hormones and surgery, which are defective.
GLENN: So, Walt, before you have transgender surgery, no one is recommending to you to have serious psychological work done on your childhood to see where those scars are? Is that just too politically incorrect now too?
WALT: Oh, that is really politically incorrect. In fact, in California and other states, it's actually against the law for a therapist to -- if the kid is under 18 years of age who comes in and said, I want to change genders. It's against the law for him to probe into what might have stirred this idea that --
GLENN: So wait.
GLENN: So teachers -- teachers can -- are required to probe on sexual abuse and anything else if they have any inkling. Yet, a psychiatrist cannot probe a child who is having gender dysphoria?
WALT: Well, no. That's -- I know it sounds totally absurd. When I had -- just got an email yesterday from a mother who said, "My daughter is getting hormone blockers. She's 12 years old." I think it was. And I know there is something wrong because my child was sexually abused by her father. But they don't care. So they're going to give the child hormone therapies and send them down the track of changing genders. This is so common today. They don't want to acknowledge early childhood trauma in the transgendered population. They do not want to do that.
GLENN: Why, Walt? I mean, that's what Freud has been all about. That's what the progressive movement has been all about, you know, these hidden sexual fantasies and problems.
WALT: Glenn, if they allowed in-depth effective sound psychotherapy for people who struggled with gender issues, it would collapse the entire hormone and surgery procedure. Because they would be able -- to do effective psychotherapy, they would be able to pinpoint what the psychological issues are and would make surgery and hormones --
GLENN: But, Walt, you're -- I mean, I just have to play devil's advocate and push back here. What you're saying is, is that there are no doctors out there that are in this that don't -- that just say, this -- you know, I don't care about the money. We're talking about people here.
I mean, the whole industry is okay with doing that?
WALT: Well, I think there are some really good doctors. Because I've had people report to me that, you know, they would do it because they -- the doctor found that they did have coexisting disorders and wouldn't approve them. And, you know, whether it's a condition called autogynephilia, which people don't talk about. That's a sexual disorder. And so there are some excellent therapists out there that do provide good therapy.
GLENN: All right. So I want to pick it up there. I mean, you would have to get rid of other issues first and then go in. I want to talk to you about what is -- what it was like. And then your transition back into a man, which they say is a very rare procedure, when we come back.
(OUT AT 10:32AM)
GLENN: Walt Heyer is with us. WaltHeyer.com. H-E-Y-E-R. A guy who has just led an incredible life. Started off young. Grandma cross-dressing him. He says that planted the seed or fanned the flames of desire. Physically abused by his father. Sexually abused by his uncle. Was diagnosed with personality disorders. Then was a very early adopter of being transgendered, back in the 1980s, when it must have been -- you were remarkably alone, Walt.
This was the time, wasn't it, where -- I mean, that's early for America doing this. I think growing up, when I was growing up in the '70s, it was all in Sweden or someplace. Wasn't it?
WALT: Right. Yeah. Dr. Biber in Trinidad, Colorado, was kind of the sex change capital of the United States. And by the time I had gone there, he had -- he had done -- it sounds like a lot then, but about 2800 or 2700. So he was well on his way. He had started in the late '70s doing the procedure. So he was pumping them out almost daily.
GLENN: So when you had a sex change. I don't need to get graphic here. But all the parts were changed. What is that like, Walt?
WALT: Well, you know, at first, you think this is good. And this is the way you should be. And then you realize that you just have been mutilated totally unnecessarily because people didn't look at the early childhood issues. So that's devastating. And it's hard to deal with. And then you realize, back in those days, they didn't have, you know, good surgeons who could do anything to replace the destruction and was extremely expensive. And I was financially destitute. And so, you know, there's some things you just weren't able to do. So you transition back in as many ways as you possibly can. But even today, many of the -- what they call phalloplasty, which is putting things back together, isn't totally -- it's not going to function as it once did. And so that can actually be another deeper psychological issue after you detransition and have the surgery. Some of them -- reports are that they work fairly well. Other reports are that they don't. So it's kind of a mixed bag.
GLENN: Well, you wouldn't have any feeling down there. And you've taken away, I mean, chemically in many ways, some of the things that make you a man.
WALT: Well, you know, one of the things, Glenn, that I came to the conclusion, that appendage did not make me a man.
GLENN: No, I understand. I mean, I just don't want to get graphic.
GLENN: But there are things involved that, you know...
WALT: Yeah. Yeah. So it isn't -- it isn't totally replaceable, let's just put it that way.
GLENN: Yeah. So, Walt, what was it -- when you had transitioned to a woman, you say it lasted for a while, this euphoria. And then it kind of started to go back to the way it was, to where you're like, I am -- what? Because you had thought you were a woman, or you would just be happier as a woman beforehand?
WALT: I thought I would be much happier as a woman. But then you realize that -- the same thing, Glenn, kind of happens again. I don't remember at what point it was, but a point on down the road, you realize, now you're a man trapped in a woman's body. How do you fix that? And this is the reason for this. Is because you never really resolved the original issues that caused you to not want to be who you are. And so I think that's the core issue. We need to look at this as people not being who they really are and attempt to be somebody who they cannot be.
GLENN: I have to tell you, I can't -- I cannot imagine -- I mean, look, you know, I said this last week. And we've had this for a long time. You know what, that is between you and your maker and whatever -- you know, I just am not going to judge people. And I can't imagine living the life that you have lived. I thank God I haven't had to.
But you have come out of it on the other side happy and whole and finally at peace. But there are -- I can't imagine that people wouldn't say, hey, let's overturn every stone before we start doing this. Let's just make sure that this is what's really going on with you before we take some really dramatic -- to push that all underneath the rug is -- is sickening to me. But at the same time, Walt, you have said more things -- I know this show is going to show up on all of the lefty sites and going to say that I've had a hatemonger on and that I am bigoted and everything else, when I've not heard anything but compassion from you, compassion from us, and you -- but you have said some controversial things that nobody wants to say like, it's -- you're not born that way.
WALT: Right. Yeah.
And, you know, Glenn, I would be here today -- let's just take it for what it is. It's Jesus and my 31 years of sober living that make this possible. And so once I came to know the Lord and got sober, things began to fall into place. So I understand that people -- and I struggled when I didn't have those two things in place.
GLENN: Me too.
WALT: So I know there are a lot of people who are not going to like what I have to say. But I'm concerned about the number of people who are attempting suicide. And that's why I speak out. Because I hate to see that. I was one of them who attempted suicide. And my heartbreaks for them, that they become so confused and so -- just entrenched into this whole transgender life that they just want to kill themselves. I mean, that to me should stop the hormones and surgeries right in their tracks until, like you've said -- basically, turn over stone. You're so correct on that, Glenn. They should turn over every stone.
GLENN: Well, until you go to AA, I mean, as a recovering alcoholic, you know, you'll go to a doctor and they'll treat you with all kinds of stuff. They'll give you all kinds of drugs and everything else, to help you through whatever it is. But until you -- until you turn and find a higher power and you start doing the 12 steps and realize there's something in you, you know, you could say it's a disease all you want, I don't care. I don't care if I was born this way.
There are tons of alcoholics in my family. And there are tons of people that have committed suicide or at least it seems like that, in my head, in my family that have killed themselves. If I was born that way. Fine. I'm born that way. But it doesn't matter to me. Because I know what has helped. And AA and going through and plowing through the whole life and making peace and then serving is the answer, at least for me and millions of other people. It sounds like it's the same kind of thing that you're saying.
You know, and in AA, we talk about doing the same thing over and over again. It's insanity. Well, here we are, with the transgender surgeries and hormones. They've known since 1979 that people attempt suicide, and they're still attempting suicide today, and they're still giving hormones and surgery to people. I mean, that's insanity.
PAT: Walt, are you completely comfortable in your own skin now, do you feel like a man?
WALT: Oh, absolutely.
PAT: So those feelings -- none of that lingered. You've overcome that?
WALT: No! No lingering.
GLENN: How -- when did you meet your wife? And how did you go through all of this with her?
WALT: Well, I was actually speaking at an AA meeting, a recovery meeting. And she had nudged a friend that she was there with and said, that's the kind of guy I want. He's been through all this stuff, and he's out the other side, you know.
So we started seeing each other. And so we knew each other for about five years before we got married. And so -- like I said, we were married in May, 20 years. So it's wonderful. I mean, she is, you know, just my -- my companion. My rock. She edits all my books and all my writing. And -- and is so supportive of what I do. And she's just fantastic.
GLENN: You know, I looked at your website during one of the breaks, and I see the people who are there who are -- you know, have transitioned to women and now want to transition back. And the -- the heartbreak there.
GLENN: At what point, Walt, did you -- I just talked to somebody who said to me, you know, I don't talk about my alcoholism, Glenn. I know you do. But I don't really talk about it at all. I don't see any good that comes of that. And I said, well, to each his own. For me, I've seen tremendous good from that. Because I'm not hiding it and I don't care. And it helps other people.
And at what point in your life did you say, I don't care if people know that I want to be a woman. I don't care if people know that I want to go back to being a man. And I don't care that the world seems against me on political correctness. I'm going to say it.
Was there one turning point in your life?
WALT: Well, yeah, I think when we started the website about 12 years ago -- and I thought I was probably the only person in the entire world that regretted it. And then all of a sudden, you know, within that first year, we realized -- we had 700 people came to the website that first year. And, you know, one person contacted us. And I thought, okay. Well, I'm not alone. Well, to give you an idea, in 2015, 350,000 people came to the website.
WALT: And now we have people contacting us frequently from around the world and United States, Canada, Australia, Italy, everywhere, who are struggling with these issues. Because we're really giving them the wrong information about what and how to treat gender issues. And so I'm excited today that I can lend an ear to it. You know, I can't change, you know, what the powerful groups are doing. But if I can help one person, if I can prevent one person from committing suicide, which I've already done -- if I can prevent somebody from totally unnecessary surgery, then, you know, my life has meaning. And that's why I'm here.
GLENN: If you had one message for somebody or a parent that was struggling with this, what would the message be?
WALT: Well, any time somebody is announcing that they are transgendered. Someone needs to look back and see when that onset of that desire, that feeling, that struggle, and begin to explore what caused it. Was it a traumatic event? Was it an illness? Was it -- something always has happened in somebody's life that caused them to not want to be who they are, and then they began looking around for a way to escape. And what I want to do is let people know that they don't need to escape. They need to face whatever issue it is. Get effective sound psychotherapy and avoid hormones. Avoid unnecessary surgery. Turn your life around. And you're going to be far better off than struggling with the issues of a lifetime of hormone therapy and surgery that mutilated your body.
GLENN: Walt Heyer, thank you very much for talking to us today. I appreciate it, sir. God bless.
WALT: Thank you.
GLENN: Remarkable life.
STU: Yeah, whether you agree with him or not, I mean, what an experience to go through.
GLENN: Oh, my gosh. And he's going to be bashed. So are we for having him on, I'm sure. But you can't say that that guy hasn't lived it. I mean, that guy has as much right to say what he believes as Bruce Jenner.
GLENN: When he came out and announced -- I have the same feeling about Bruce Jenner, you know, when he was Bruce and he came out and said, I've -- I'm Caitlyn. I mean, I feel the same way. How are you going to argue with somebody's, you know, life experience? You can't.