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The Journey Back to My True Identity (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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March 23, 2021 6:00 am

The Journey Back to My True Identity (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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March 23, 2021 6:00 am

Offering hope to those struggling with their sexual identity, Walt Heyer and Kathy Grace Duncan discuss their transgender journeys, during which they lived a period of their lives as the opposite gender until God's restorative power enabled them to transition back to their biological sex. (Part 1 of 2)

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You're asking people to define the word appreciate it's like when something goes up in value. It's telling someone they did a good job Focus on the Family invite you to give a gift, appreciate when you give a non-cash gift of stock, bonds or mutual funds. You will avoid capital gains tax deduction and help families thrive for generations to come. Find out more about non-cash gifts. Just visit focus planned giving.com for when I came to the realization that the surgery and the hormones.

None of that actually change me coming. That was just a point where we I'm not even a woman I'm out here with the new birth. I've had all these hormones and surgeries put my body and none of it actually was capable of changing me, made me realize what a lie had been living. Isn't that a really powerful statement about Walt higher shares about his struggle with gender on today's episode of Focus on the Family. We also have Kathy Grace Duncan join us know this is an important topic but it's not going to be appropriate for younger listeners and would be examining transgender is him and how this issue is reshaping concepts of identity in our society. Your host is focus. President Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller. John this is one of the most difficult issues for Christian families to navigate today because it has become such a social dynamic and you know for many Christians know what it is were not well educated about this issue of trans gendered is him and yet college campuses. They are going to the nth degree to tell incoming freshmen what it means and how you need to talk to people and what pronoun needs to be used, etc. on the other side of culture there's a building momentum pushing towards this normalization and acceptance and so our goal is to equip people. Christians, particularly we know some non-Christians are listening to, and we hope to equip everybody with more knowledge about this topic. The way that people have suffered through these situations and come out on the other side embracing God and that's the story of our two guests today and they are Walt higher and Kathy Grace Duncan and they joined us in the studio. Walt identified as a transgender woman for eight years and he now has a passion to help others who regret gender change. He's an author and speaker who travels extensively to share his story of redemption at conferences, churches and universities and Kathy Grace identified as a man for 11 years and she's active in the changed movement and volunteers with Portland Fellowship ministry center that helps men and women discover Bible-based freedom from unwanted same-sex desires and relationships Walt and Kathy Grace, welcome to Focus on the Family and thinks Raven is really good to have you and working a gift to your amazing stories in just a minute. The first give us a general understanding of this term transgendered again as we said in the set up there. I don't think in the Christian community. It's not our day-to-day activity were not really oriented to the language and even to the part of the culture. So what is transgender mean the term transgender is kind of an interesting word, and over the last several years I've come to understand that actually no one really transgender's you know that would suggest that they can actually change from one gender to the other, but I traded for eight years and you really can't change. You can change your parents and make yourself look different but you don't actually transgender, but the term is to help people can escape this umbrella term around people who struggle with their identity. For whatever reason they're not comfortable with who they are there, struggling, and so this term is sort of been used to help put the focus on how do we address this issue. How do we help them. How do we come alongside them. How do we help them understand that this part of their life. Most likely over a period of time. They're going to regret or have as Kathy, Grace and I have found out you can want to revert back and come to where the Lord has redeemed your life working again were to unfold. Kathy Grace describe the transgender revolution.

What is happening, you heard a couple of examples from John and I but will what's going on in the culture.

What is the revolution about what does this do for them in terms of gaining support within the culture. Well it's interesting because for a while. They they rejected the tea party LGBT because they didn't feel like that really represented them, but I think by inviting them in gives him a bigger community gives them more power.

You know, because it is a growing thing. It is a growing culture in a it seems to me that there is to there's gender dysphoria. And then there's transgender in the gender dysphoria is the one that goes way back. You know where you start at a really young age and you grow up feeling you know that you've been born into the wrong body premature whole life and I feel like the transgender movement is those kids that when they reached puberty there like maybe I should be the opposite sex. And so they dive into that and EMC not mostly among girls, though it happens you know with boys in. You know then there's the older people like we are talking earlier about the person who's 30. And all of a sudden he says why I decide I want to be a woman in my mind I wonder have you struggled with that. This whole time, but now the culture says it's okay to express that and so he feels the freedom to go and by the way I want to be a girl because I think if he was talk to you now and ask the questions. He's probably thought that way for a really long time that you didn't want to split because it wasn't okay right in that sometimes is the argument the other side makes is that if there were these maybe even religious constraints on the culture these hard rules about gender then people wouldn't feel guilty and things can be accepted and everything is normative.

How would you respond Walt LSU first and I'll come to you Kathy Grace for an answer as well.

But how would you respond to that that you know these are the constraints of the Judeo-Christian culture that hasn't matured in their sexual maturity that is having come alive now how would you say this yeah I think this is so interesting because underneath that umbrella. The word transgender is similar transgender identity. What we really haven't unpacked and talked about enough.

I don't think I've done a few articles about it, but underneath that whole spectrum that they talk about are so many other things. I think what's important is like when I work with people I have for 10 years.

I sit down with them and try to identify what the actual issue is that they're struggling with, and one when they realize that maybe they were sexually abused or they were emotionally abused or there physically abused or they were addicted to pornography and they got involved in these sexual fetish disorders or just wanted identifies a different person like I did because I was sexually abused which, in the people I work with is you know very high percentage up to 40% of the people I work with have been sexually abused so, what's so interesting is that if we can sit down and have this conversation whether Christian or not, and they began to identify these things that happened in their life and only say what we want to find out is what happened that caused you to not like who you are and in that moment that person then opens this up and we start on packet and they began to feel all okay now I know why I feel this way and then at that point the person can kinda begin to come back and realize they don't need to act out as a transgender person because they have a different terminology to place it on right you know one thing I'm sensitive to your getting to know people in the LGBT Q community know it's beyond the reach of God right and your evidence of that. And I think so often for those of us in the Christian community that have never struggled in this way. Perhaps we struggled with heterosexual attractions outside of God's design for us, etc. but were so quick to judge those that are in this dilemma their sexual understanding and God's plan for them. First of all why do you think that is being Christians and coming from this background and then secondly what's a better way to behave yeah it's a great questions you know as you approach people who are struggling in this way because I I went to church as Laura & then is Laura thinking you know I'm going to be cool in this church and sign in is Laura Jensen gave my address and phone number and listen to the message that Sunday and went home that afternoon and then I looked out of my front window and I saw the pastor who gave the message coming to my house and I thought always get a welcome me to the church because he had my address and phone number so he knocked on the door and he came in and he said we don't want your kind in our church and I actually smiled.

You know, I thought wow are you kidding me and I looked at him and I said okay what kind you want in your church and so he was like dumbfounded.

So this was sort of the real moment for me that I've carried with me and I think people have this feeling you want to reject anything that you can't control, and so this thing is so out of control, but I think what I have been advocating is that we need to look at everybody regardless of who they are, through the eyes of Christ and understand it. If you look through the eyes of Christ. You see someone who can be redeemed and restored and so I avoid says pastors and leaders and churches to sit down with the people who they are afraid of our who are messy people and ask them the questions that I ask why are you struggling what has caused this to happen and get to know them as pastor Jeffrey R did for me.

He spent a lot of time sort of looking at my heart right to see where my heart was he's a great example of working to get to that, but so I think is so important to look at each person through the eyes of Christ and realized they can be redeemed and restored to Christ if we walk with them. Kathy Grace, what you think. Well, I think to you that it becomes a big deal because people have the lack of understanding and they think that this is all a choice and yes it is. But no, it isn't.

It's an unconscious choice there making this choice from that place of pain from that place of wanting to escape, because who they are, has been so hurt and it's so unsafe you know or they feel that they they will be hated in its understanding that homosexuality transgender. All those sexual identities are actually a place of brokenness and were seeing the fruit of that place of brokenness and so if you can look at them rather than take the sin label often look at him.

This right here is because it's pain and it's brokenness and we need to address the brokenness before we can address that identity is I so agree, let me ask you starting with that more science-based question. Walt you say that no one can prove trans gendered is him actually exist now and again summer and wait a minute that's wrong.

Let's blow by that. Let's put political correctness aside for minute what do you mean by that. Yeah well it. The truth is that you biologically. You can't change a man to woman. Scientifically, you can't change a man to woman hormonally. You can't change a man into a woman. Let me ask you there because some people attempt to introduce hormones under their body to do things, but it doesn't change fundamentally what you are biologically correct. Yet there's internal morphology that doesn't change the only thing you can do through surgery and hormones is to neuter someone, but you can't change them to another gender. While let's let's get in the stories now. I think were ready. We've done enough of the background you've talked about even having surgical alteration, but let's take you back to four, five, six years old, I believe, after reading your story. You had a relationship with your grandmother you point to that is the beginning, take it from there. Yeah, I think one of things is so interesting about this topic is that you do a whole lot more soul-searching years beyond the times that they started new. You can sort of looking back in hindsight, you get to see what actually happened and what occurred and and and for me being my grandmother was a seamstress he made dresses for ladies that's how she earned an income she was very poor and I got curious about you know her making dresses in and I made some indication to her that I wanted to dress and so she made me a purple chiffon evening dress just for my little four-year-old body and then what I didn't realize that I can share with you today that looking back at this what I realizes a second she put that purple dress on me and started affirming me what really came through was she was actually saying there was something wrong with Walt and so you can't affirm somebody in a different gender. Without it, the very same time saying there's something wrong with you the way you really are. Take us forward than okay this like you said, it seems somewhat innocent. I mean I would I would raise my eyebrow about it, but I get it.

I know what your grandmother was trying to share what happened subsequently to build on this foundation of I don't know who I am now yeah will going to sleep at night after wearing the dress and if keep in mind this was a secret.

My parents didn't know about that we were doing for the first couple years they only learned later, but when I would have those weekends with grandma where I cross-dressed and I would go to bed at night and I would think about that purple dress and think about wow. I wonder what it would be like you start to really fantasize you start to dream. This becomes a dream world and and it becomes an obsession, and this great desire continues to build.

So for two and half years.

It was a secret, but what's so interesting is how this really overwhelms you to the point where you have such a strong desire to fulfill this dream and desire to change genders. Yeah. In that context.

Describe what you're thinking or feeling in the years leading up to surgery than what what were these additional experiences that drove you to that major decision that you can alter your physical being. To accommodate this feeling inside of you. Again, it's the reflection back where I learned most of this I didn't know it at the time, but I think it's instructive for us to to know that one of things that happened early on as it when I was about seven years old.

As a result of the purple dress, my uncle Fred found out about me wearing a purple dress and uncle Fred decided that I was fair game to be sexually abused and said what's again this is so the consequences and I keep one use at work is we need to have that you know in our head. It needs to rent space in us to realize there are consequences. So, had it not been for the purple dress. My uncle never would've sexually molested me.

It never would happen while so you have the consequence which look benign, of wearing a purple dress and then feeling that there was something wrong with Walt that carried on for several years and then to be sexually abused just because of the purple dress. Then later on I had this extra baggage that I carried with me and I learned later on that one of the things I believe and I I just believe deep down inside me that I wanted my genitalia removed not so much to become a female.

But as protection against ever being sexually abused again. All my goodness. This became my way of being unattractive to being sexually abused like I was. So I think I had other people share the same story with me that they they actually change genders not because they want to be another gender. But as a way to protect them from ever being sexually abused again and again on the honest, I've never even thought of something like that is it's you know is not the world I live in, and that that's so sad. Yeah, you sorta live in this world that is all fantasy and then you realize later on after you've gone through surgery and took hormones. You lose your career, you lose your family and you come through this and then you realize will you know you really couldn't change any way that you know they can't change and that's what's so hard in the culture right now is your world was forbidden to talk about it in that context because it nobody wants to see this as an ailment or confusion a disorder. Kathy gracefully come your direction and talk about your story. How old were you when you started to feel different.

What kind of affirmation were you looking for what happened to you that you know because the deep wound in your heart, your soul so my story is different than waltz and I didn't have anybody dressing me. For me it was always there that I should have been a boy.

So before I have that manifests itself. Well, I think it came from beliefs in as I watched my interaction between my dad and my mom and again this came years later as I sorted it out with the Lord when I said yes to him, going back to being the woman I discovered that you know my dad was abusive.

He was verbally and emotionally abusive to my mom and so he would cut her down in a pretty much daily, as far as who she was and what she looked like an you know in so in my little mind. I watch that and that told me that women were hated women were vulnerable. They were weak and then I watched my mom respond to that abuse and she responded as though she was hated and she was weak and she was vulnerable. So my little mind, I realized oh if my mom is my example than that means I'm weak and vulnerable and you know I can be hated, and I like that I don't want that.

I don't want to be that but yet if I can't be a woman then I have to be a man in him being a man. There is the example of my dad. I don't want to be that either. And so I made this vow that I would be the man. My dad wasn't so you could live up to that standard. In your mind, and I could rescue women. While I may think of that there some nobility in that, but again it's born out of this tremendous confusion and an dysfunction within your family to be bold about it.

You in fact began to develop an imagination as a young girl about that describe what took place for you.

As you know, kind of a kid that has a normal imagination, but how did you apply it share so I would imagine writing my tricycle over to pick up my girlfriend in on this was before kindergarten and we are here to get married and in my little mind.

I somehow I knew that that need to be kept a secret because my parents wanted a little girl but there was an affirmation for this little girl you know I didn't feel loved and so to be this boy was a lot safer and so I would play the here I was the fireman I was. The cowboy was the police officer coming to somebody's rescue and it was always a woman's rescue of becoming a teenager. This became no longer imagination began to change in terms of how you dressed, etc. describe it for the listeners share so I became friends with the neighbor boy. My parents had a rental and they read into family and had a neighbor boy and he was two years younger than me and so we began to hang out in my first affirmation aspires becoming a boy was good. It is when I shared with him unite. I really want to become a boy. He's like that. A lot of them in on and think about what he now he was 10 let you know that he affirmed that I was like okay I am on the right path, and so he and I would go places and you know I was raised in a small town and so we would go outside to the next town over. And then we go rollerskating I would skate with girls.

We would say we were cousins and then as I got into high school I started dating women.

So basically I start acting out, being a man and identifying as man because I hated being a woman absolutely hated being a woman. I can imagine the energy that you had to keep putting into this investment of dual characters mean constantly thinking whom I supposed to be right now. I think maybe this is the place to and and will come back next time. But I do want to assess final question and get both of your responses. Just so as we enter the day were very concrete about what you experienced again. Some people are going to say well your conscience. Your lack of commitment to the movement.

Your lack of commitment to your own new identity and no been born a girl. But wanting to be a man. Your lack of commitment is what drew you back and you know you may have used religion to get there. I don't mean to be sounding harsh, but I want to hear your answers to this. You know what the critics say the right right you all the time. How do you respond to that kind of thing having gone through it and finding a relationship with Christ which were going to get into next time. That's the beauty of transition right. That's the true transition right right accepting Christ as your personal Lord and Savior knew both of live now, decades in a relationship with Jesus. But how do you defend that position to say no it wasn't that I was fully committed, but my eyes were opened. While it is a pretty big commitment to start cutting body parts, often taking the question that Walt yeah you know how in changing your birth record leaving your family abandoning your career and you're totally devoted to changing this whole identity in living out this life in a different persona, but I think what it wasn't anything more than realizing when I came to the realization that this surgery and the hormones.

None of that actually change me. I mean, that was just a point where we I'm not even a woman I'm out here with a new birth record, I've had all these hormones and surgeries put my body and none of it actually was capable of changing me, made me realize what a lie. I had been living and I felt I needed to get real with who I was and stop living in this phony persona and that's what I said to myself that I'm living out a lie and I don't need to do this. I don't need to continue acting out as if I'm somebody who I'm really not. And it was that just knowledge that I really wasn't a woman that made it absolutely rocksolid.

I had to go back and be will Kathy Grace, how about you so for me and I had no regrets. I liked living as a man for me.

It was like I was headlong into this lifestyle.

I had no no him and I didn't want to go back to being a woman because there is such deep self-hatred of being a woman that there is no desire to go back to being woman but you know as I continued to go to church and learn about Jesus and when he called me, you know, there was four years and there where he wooed me and then when he called me out.

I said yes.

I wanted that relationship that I begging for more than living as a man, and so that's what called me out was the love of Jesus, Kathy, Grace, I mean if there's anything from both you and Walt's testimony. So far the people purchase exactly that Jesus is in your corner no matter what circumstance your rent write grants if you're heterosexual and you're out of control. If you're homosexual or any of the LGBT Q components I mean Jesus wants you with him and that's the extension of hope and love and grace and peace that the Christian message is all about. It's not about what has eaten you from the inside.

It's how to how to get healthy and better in that regard yet and he wants all of you.

He doesn't just want your sexuality or your trance, he wants all of you and he can and will redeem you and you will just be thrilled with the new life in Christ. And I'm so glad were ending here on day one because I want to make sure we have a message of hope for people and if you're willing, I think you will be. Let's come back next time and continue the discussion and get more detail from you about how that true transition occurred. Moving from death to life in Christ can we do that and yeah you so much. Let's do that and therefore listeners.

I hope you'll join us next time. As we continue the story because it doesn't end here. God has done something miraculous for Walt and Kathy, Grace, and he can do the same thing for you. What ever challenges you're facing. We have lots of follow-up resources John on this topic, particularly including a book by Vaughn Roberts called talking points transgender is a great resource that compares the Christian worldview with the gender confusion that is so prevalent in our culture today. We also have several articles or website that I know of people are going to find helpful. We have lots of resources. It focuses anything. It's a resource house for you and I want you to tap into it to better equip yourself to engage in this dialogue in a loving and kind way and I want to reemphasize that John the way the Christian community approaches. This would done it for 40, 50 years in a way that I don't think was very productive. I understand it is a Christian, but I think we have to remember, no one is beyond the reach of God of its rights and we will help you get a better understanding of these complex issues will send a copy of Vaughn Roberts book. When you make a donation of any amount to Focus on the Family today. That will be our way of saying thank you for supporting this ministry and helping us help families and individuals were hurting all across the donate, call 800-232-6459.

That's 800 K and the word or visit the episode page for some of the details next time will hear part two of these powerful stories of transformation. I was broken by having gone through this procedure, having taken hormones and having believed that going through this transition to a different gender was my salvation when in fact the salvation is actually in Jesus Christ on John Fuller and on behalf of Jim Daly, and the entire team here. Thanks for listening to Focus on the Family report having a back next time.

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