Peter Baklinski

Journey to manhood: a former ‘transsexual’ tells his story

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
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CARLSBAD, California, November 3, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Walt Heyer was a little boy growing up in California in the mid 1940s, interested in cowboys, cars and steel guitars when one day, his grandmother fancied that he wanted to be a girl. She naively made for him a purple chiffon evening dress that he would wear when he visited her.

According to Walt, donning that purple chiffon dress triggered something that put him on a 35 year long path that led through a dark valley of “torment, disillusionment, regret, and sorrow.” His gender identity confusion led him into alcoholism, drug addiction, and attempted suicide.

Ultimately, Walt would resort to vaginoplasty “gender reassignment surgery” to make himself appear like a woman, something that he came deeply to regret and that he now counsels gender confused individuals to steer clear of. “He (God) had made me a man, the way I was, and no knife was ever going to change that,” Walt told LifeSiteNews.com in a recent interview.

Ashamed of Being Male

In his 2006 book, “Trading my Sorrows,”  Walt recounts that the purple dress was only the first of many influences in his life that made him ashamed of being male. There was the sexual molestation he suffered at the hands of his uncle that he says made him feel ashamed of his genitals. There was the severe discipline from his father—practically indistinguishable from physical abuse, he says—that made him feel incapable of being the boy his father wanted him to be.

Walt remembers never feeling good enough for his parents, never being able to please them, and never receiving the affirmation that he greatly desired.

“What I desperately wanted was affirmation from my parents for what I excelled in, and to find my own niche where I could express myself, develop my talents and do something I enjoyed,” explained Walt in his book.

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The little boy who had no self-esteem began to despise himself and his body. Walt began to find consolation dressing as a girl, and keeping it secret from his parents. Dressing as a girl became his hiding place where he felt safe from the painful conflicts and discipline dispensed by his father and mother.

The Woman Tyrant Inside

As Walt moved through adolescence, he says the girl inside his head grew more powerful and demanded more of his time. Despite the fact that Walt enjoyed eye-catching cars and dated attractive girls from his high school, no matter how hard he tried, he could not drive away the obsession to become a female. After high school, Walt moved out of his parents’ house so that he could enjoy cross-dressing in the privacy of his own home. By now he had amassed a number of female outfits but he was still deeply ashamed of his secret habit.

Walt ultimately married, became rich, and from all outside appearances, was living the American dream. He kept his continuing escapades into the world of the female a secret.

Walt says he was living three distinct lives of “successful, hard-drinking businessman, picture-perfect loving father and husband, and twisted transvestite.” On the inside however, Walt experienced fragmentation and disillusionment. Everything in his life began to unravel.

He turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism, but this only increased his desire to become a woman. He says he allowed the girl inside his head to express ‘herself’ more and more as he desperately grasped for moments of relief from life’s raging sea of pain and trouble.

Ultimately, Walt pinned his hopes on sex surgery as the solution that would make his pain go away permanently.

The Surgery

First came the large breasts, implanted by plastic surgery. Then came the procedure that Walt regrets the most, the surgical transformation of his male reproductive organ into the appearance of a female reproductive organ.

Walt had hoped that the procedure would alleviate his “debilitating psychological distress” and that it would stop, once and for all, the conflict that had tormented him since childhood. But to his dismay, rearranging his private parts and changing his appearance did not effect the corresponding change on the inside.

After the surgery Walt’s mind became a battleground of conflicting thoughts and desires that he could only describe as “aggravating, distressing, depressing, discordant, distorted, [and] unpredictable.”

Every day after the surgery, it became clearer to Walt that he had made a “huge mistake.” His addiction to cocaine and alcohol, in an attempt to numb the emotional pain, only increased his misery, depression, and loneliness.

Walt now knew that the surgeon’s knife and resulting amputation had not changed him from a man into a woman. He realized that the surgery was a “complete fraud.” He felt that he had no choice but to live life as a surgical woman, an “impostor.”

Suicide attempt

At this point, he hit rock bottom. The surgery had destroyed Walt’s identity, his family, his social circle, and his career. He felt that there was nothing left for him but to die. Walt, who went by the name Laura Jensen, tried to hurl himself from a rooftop, but was stopped by a passerby.

Homeless and penniless, the broken “transsexual” would have ended up living on the street had not a good Samaritan given him a place to sleep in a garage. This new friend encouraged Walt to attend Alcoholics Anonymous where he realized that he needed to tap into a “higher power” if he was to come out on top of the mess he had gotten himself into.

Walt began to realize more and more that he truly was a man, but one that was wrapped in a “woman’s masquerade.”

“I was well aware that I was now on the scrapheap of humanity, a thrown-away life, distorted by my own choices. Alcohol, drugs, and surgery had rendered me useless to anyone. I had failed miserably as the man God had created me to be.”

Out of the Valley of Darkness

Through the help of some newly discovered Christian friends, Walt began a journey towards healing and the discovery of his true identity as a man. Walt realized that the key to winning the battle that raged inside of him was sobriety. His mantra became: “Stay sober—no matter what—stay sober.” He put away the bottle and turned to Jesus as a new-found source of strength.

Once, during a time of prayer with his Christian psychologist, Walt says he spiritually experienced the Lord, all dressed in white, who approached him with his arms outstretched, scooped him up and said, “You are now safe with me forever.” It was at this moment that Walt knew that he would find the healing and peace that he so greatly desired in Jesus.

Walt told LifeSiteNews in an interview that those who are struggling with their identity as a man or woman and think sex surgery is the solution “need to go to a psychologist or psychiatrist and get into therapy and dig down deep to find out what is causing this desire, because there is some underlying psychological or some psychiatric issue that is unresolved that needs to be explored—whether it was sexual abuse, whether it was physical abuse, [or] whether it was modelling.”

“It may take a year to explore the deep issues that are going on and then, when you do that, you can bring the person to a point where they can begin to understand their gender and begin to accept their gender and want to live out the gender that God gave them.”

As a now old man, Walt believes that if he could go back in time and say a few meaningful words to himself as a younger man, he would tell that younger man to avoid the sex surgery, and to discover the root cause behind the desire for surgery.

Walt believes that his story witnesses to the power of hope, that one must never give up on somebody, no matter how many times he or she fails or how many twists and turns there are on the road to recovery. Above all else, says Walt, one must never “underestimate the healing power of prayer and love in the hands of the Lord.”

Contact Walt Heyer
E-mail: waltsbook@yahoo.com

Purchase Heyer’s book Trading My Sorrows: Man to woman and back again-a personal story.


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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary
By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


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Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


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