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Detransitioner Helena Kerschner testifies how online communities convinced her she was male

"I only really believed that being trans was 'authentic' to me when I was younger, because I was so inexperienced."

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Nick Monroe Cleveland Ohio
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A prominent woman who detransitioned told a meeting of Ohio legislators about how she was swayed by her peers to believe that she was transgender, and began to transition into a male, before realizing she was making a huge mistake.

What's on the docket is HB No. 454, the "Enact Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act." It seeks to bar gender transition treatments for minors under the age of 18, and people in the medical field would be subject to punishment if they continued doing so.

Helena Kerschner gave a nearly half-hour long testimony in front of the Ohio House Families & Aging Committee on Thursday. State Rep. Gary N. Click asked a question that struck at the heart of why "transgender" is propped up as an identity choice for young people.

Rep. Click: "As I'm looking at this — people use this word 'authentic.' 'I want to be my authentic self.' Do you feel like — and at that time I'm sure you felt that that was authentic. But now that you have the time to look back, you know, you're 23 years old, they say the frontal lobe of the brain, which is risk management and assessment, solidifies at about the age of 24. So as you've gotten older and matured more, you've been able to look at these things, and what would you say was your 'authentic' self? Was it what you were going through earlier, or is it what you are now?"

Kerschner responded: "Well, I think that we come to know our authentic selves by the progression of our lives. So everything that we experience, and everything that happens to us, it all adds up on top to form who we are. And I do take issue with this idea that it's like 'oh your authentic self, it exists somewhere outside of all that,' and you need to create it, by getting hormones and surgeries. That's — I think just a false way to look at life, and I think it's really dangerous to tell young people that, before, like I said, they've had the ability to really have more life experiences, have some wins, take some losses. You know, become who they are. And it's just only, only I think — I only really believed that being trans was 'authentic' to me when I was younger, because I was so inexperienced. But now that I've had more experiences, it seems like a dangerous thing to tell young people."

As for Kerschner's background, at the beginning of her testimony she explained how she had eating disorder problems and was self-harming as a high-school freshman. Helena replaced her real social life with the online "social justice" obsessed communities that she got sucked into. It was through them that Helena thought she was trans. Her internet colleagues applauded her after she experimented with changing her name and pronouns. Then, Helena's school guidance counselor and psychologist reaffirmed Helena's affirmations of "transness," to the extent that a school staffer told Helena's mom her daughter would kill herself if she didn't get on testosterone.

Kerschner's parents didn't budge until she turned 18. A Planned Parenthood prescribed Helena with extremely high doses of testosterone that caused her to be hospitalized. Helena stopped taking the hormones, and then her physical and psychological problems disappeared.

Kerschner is a part of Genspect, which advocates for "an evidence-based approach to gender distress."

"We would like health care professionals to take the time and care to evaluate the low-evidence base for the current affirmative approach, looking more closely at the harms that medical treatment paths can cause. We recognize the high occurrence of comorbidites such as autism and ADHD among children and young people who are questioning their gender," the group states.

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