EXCLUSIVE: Detransitioners speak out in new film The Lost Boys

"I'll never be able to have kids," he said, "my rugged masculinity is never gonna come back."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY

"No happy person transitions because they are happy," Ritchie Herron says at the top of the new documentary The Lost Boys. "It's self hatred, not self love that drives you there."

For each man interviewed in the documentary, the trouble that led to transition began in childhood. As boys, they were bullied, or they liked clothes and toys that were more aligned with stereotypes for girls. They heard messages that manhood, that men were bad, were not something anyone should want to be.

Herron spoke to the issue of the hatred of men, the continuous efforts to blame men. "You're part of the sex that has damaged society for so long," he said. "So you've got a lot of guilt, a burden, and you take that very literal mind: and it just goes 'being a man is a bad, I don't want to be a man, therefore I'm a woman, or a trans woman, or something."

Cancelled comic Graham Linehan has been outspoken about the problem with the trans trend to the point of destroying his career and losing his family due to the pushback. He spoke about the problem of what has become hatred of men in contemporary culture.

"Young men are probably in a place where they feel they're being monitored, they have to watch everything they say," Linehan said, "and they can't really be themselves." In his view, social media and the very online culture young men exist in is a big part of the problem.

And so, each of these men determined that they were not men, that deep down they were women. They undertook to live as women, to present themselves as women, and most importantly, to be perceived of as women by strangers, friends, and family alike.

The men who undertook transition spoke about hitting puberty late, developing later than their peers, being interested in poetry, or simply not fitting into the stereotypes or archetypes of the men and women in their lives. These men felt like they didn't belong and so they began to trying to come up with some way to fit in.

Shame was a big component of the pre-transition period for these men. They felt ashamed for being male, and as puberty began, further shame was fueled by pornography, leading to more obscure pornography. That porn was accessible due to the very online lives that they were leading.

One man spoke about "living two lives," living one life as a man, playing football, doing man things, and hearing on social media that transitioning could solve all his problems. It was a dissociated sense, a confusion, that left the door open to the idea that the answer was gender transition.

Mental health professionals, it turns out, were no help for many of these men. Once they explained their problems to therapists, those therapists would lead them further down the road to gender transition. In one instance, a therapist told a would-be transitioner that "only a trans person" would like the kind of freaky porn he was into.

Two men said they liked taking estrogen because it decreased their sex drive. One of these men was so supported in his life, even by his mother who insisted on proper use of preferred pronouns. In each case, it was easy for these men to find their way to a gender clinic. And once there, to hormones, androgen blockers, and genital reconstruction surgery to remove their male organs and replace them with replicas of female organs were recommended.

For Herron, the concept of genital surgery continued to be pressed by doctors. He was suffering from OCD, was taking anti-depressants, and his mother spoke to doctors about how she felt that he was unready for something so drastic. The referral for surgery came through anyway. He was eventually, essentially, pressured into having his penis removed.

"I had the surgery, and everything went wrong. And before I knew it went wrong, I was regretting it straight away," Herron said. "It was just savage," he said of the appearance of his genitals after his surgery. Herron said that at this point he's "a life-long patient" though he's "sick to death of hospitals."

He told his therapist his regrets within the months after his surgery. He was in agony, he "hated life," and he was miserable with medial complications. His gender therapist denied his claims of regret, and said that the feelings of regret were just the OCD. Later he was diagnosed with "unstable personality disorder."

"An absolute massacre," said a Norwegian man who went to Bangkok for the surgery. It was 6 months before he stopped "dilating" his neovagina and went off the estrogen he'd been taking. He'd lived as a trans woman for three years.

It's been 9 years since his surgery, and he's been dealing with mental health issues, addiction, and had been "trying to forget what had happened." In Norway, the word for a destranitioner is something like a "regretter."

For the men in The Lost Boys, eventually they found they were gender dysphoric while dressing as women and presenting themselves that way. And in many ways, the gender transition replaces the growth of transitioning from child into adult.

"Medical professionals really led me astray with this," said one man who takes full ownership of his mistakes, but also feels that there need to be changes in the medical industry to prevent this kind of thing from happening.

"I'll never be able to have kids," he said, "my rugged masculinity is never gonna come back." He believes there need to be safeguards put in place. "I just don't like the idea of being collateral damage for this movement."

The documentary spoke to men who had embarked down the path of gender transition only to realize the mistake and try to get off that path, complete with the scars and complications that went along with it.

The Lost Boys is the final film in the trilogy of films on the topic of transition. The team behind The Lost Boys also produced "Trans Mission: What's the Rush to Reassign Gender?" as well as "The Detransition Diaries: Saving our Sisters," in which this author appears. Each of these is essentially a warning to women and men who feel that attempting to live as the opposite sex and undergoing medical procedures and drugs to do that will make them happy.

But even more so, it's a message to those who are pushing these ideas: the doctors, mental health professionals, teachers and activists who claim that taking drugs and undergoing surgeries to fix having been "born in the wrong body" is appropriate and "life saving."

The number of young people who claim to be gender-something keeps increasing, the medical industry keeps profiting, politicians keep pontificating, and confused men and women keep seeing their bodies destroyed in service to a lie.

The film will be available for streaming on January 15 and was produced by The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, an educational non-profit whose mission is to educate and inform members of the general public, the media, and lawmakers on ethical issues in healthcare, biomedical research and biotechnological advancement.

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