Kids must be protected against transgender ideology, says Detransitioner
Helena Kerschner will appear next to Preston Sprinkle, President of the Center for Faith, Sexuality and Gender, at the Q 2021 Culture Summit on April 23, 2021.(Photo: Q Conference)
A former trans-identified woman who has overturned emphasizes the importance of treating those struggling with gender dysphoria "just as we would treat any other young person struggling with mental health problems" rather than allowing them to permanently change their bodies.
Helena Kerschner, a 22-year-old woman with no transition who once identified herself as a transgender man, shared her story with the Center for Faith, Sexuality and Gender President Preston Sprinkle last Friday at the Q 2021 cultural summit.
As a child, Kerschner said there was "no evidence" that she was struggling with gender dysphoria. Then, at the age of 15, she "got really caught up in this online community that was always about social justice (and) … gender".
"There was this hierarchical view of people like it was bad to be cis, not trans, straight, white girl and that was me," she said. "I was a straight white girl, and I felt that was very bad in these communities at the time."
Her dedication to these online communities, coupled with her mental health issues, led her to identify as non-binary in what eventually became "a full-fledged transactional program."
Although she switched to hormone replacement therapy from the age of 18, Kerschner has since canceled the transition without lasting effects.
"I don't think I would ever have thought of seeing myself as a boy without the social aspects, especially if I hadn't specifically joined these online communities because at that point there was nothing, really in my school or in my community , that influenced me. It was all online, "she said.
Kerschner said she will soon be surrounded by others in her school and online community who have made the transition – and how they have since lifted the transition.
"If I just look back, it was the same pattern – just kids who really have problems, kids who were very lonely and isolated, maybe they didn't have a welcoming family life," she said.
"They just got caught up in these communities online and just started interpreting their emotional pain through the same lens together."
Although Kerschner acknowledged that her story was unique to her situation, she stressed that it was "unrealistic" and not "appropriate" to make decisions about children who are struggling with gender dysphoria and who are "permanently injuring" their bodies.
"The way my brain works now that I'm 22 is completely different than it was when I was 18, and I have even more to do," she said.
"I think it's very important to protect young people and children," said Kerschner, co-founder of the Pique Resilience Project. "You are the future of our society and you only get one life and you only get one body. I think that should be the priority: protecting the health and protecting the future well-being, happiness and ability of people to be in their own God given bodies to exist That would be the priority when talking about it. "
When Sprinkle opened the session, he found that rapidly onset gender dysphoria – especially in biological women – has increased in recent years.
"The term 'quick onset' describes the rapidity with which many teenagers appear to suffer from gender dysphoria," he said. "They have not had gender dysphoria in the past and it seems like they seem to be coming out of nowhere as trans or non-binary."
Sprinkle, a bestselling author, professor and speaker, cited statistics from the UK that found a 5,000% increase in teenage women who went to gender clinics to seek help with the mismatch between their inner self-esteem and their biological gender .
Another study found that many women struggling with gender dysphoria also struggled with mental health problems.
"There is probably something more going on than just society accepts more," said Sprinkle.
For those who believe there is no such thing as quick-onset gender dysphoria and social contagion, Kerschner said her history and statistics prove otherwise.
"I firmly believe that there is a social contagion. I experienced it as I said it. I saw it. I look back and see that it happens to so many people I knew at the time," she said.
Those struggling with gender dysphoria have "a lot to do under the surface" and need to be treated with kindness and compassion, Kerschner said.
"There are many comorbid mental health problems. There are many depression, anxiety, self-harm, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and eating disorders," she said.
"I think we should treat these young people just like any other young person struggling with mental health problems. We should take care of them and love them. And we should help them and (should) pay attention to the root causes why they feel the way they feel.
"I don't think the potential of causing endocrine disruption from the administration of cross-sex hormones or the potential surgical modification of healthy parts of the body is an appropriate way of responding to someone with mental health problems," added Kerschner.
"I think they deserve much more personal, specific loving care."