‘The lie was crushing me’: First gov’t-recognized ‘non-binary person’ re-embraces his male sex
April 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The man who made international news for being the first legally non-binary person in the U.S. continues to put his life back together after wrestling with gender confusion, mental illness, cross-sex hormonal treatment, and being exploited by advocates of gender ideology.
James Shupe, formerly Jamie Shupe, has embraced anew his male sex and is fighting to get his legal and medical records to reflect this, along with trying to get authentic treatment for his mental and physical health.
The retired United States Army sergeant’s story is one of a man failed by multiple forces in his life — from the abuse he suffered as child to the military and its administrative handling of his case to medical professionals, journalists and others seeking to advance gender ideology, of which he has become a vocal critic.
Sexual abuse, violence, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and pain were all part of Shupe’s pre-transgender story, and he’s certain that medical and legal mishandling of his situation played a part in fostering the gender confusion.
He personifies how individuals experiencing gender confusion need legitimate psychological help, not encouragement to futilely attempt to change their sex.
He told LifeSiteNews that gender transitioning is a lie and that the left and media that once branded him a champion now either ignore him or consider him a traitor. He says that in reporting on him, the media have left out the mental health component all along.
“The lie was crushing me. I don’t want any part of it,” Shupe said. “There’s no third gender.”
Twitter blocked him at one point when he spoke his mind about transitioning and gender confusion. He was also fired by Lambda Legal as a client for speaking out about transgenderism and says pro-trans quarters continue to mislead people and use him to do so, while avoiding mention of his de-transitioning.
A heartbreaking story
Shupe has been reported on at length and he has told his story — lengthy, complex, and agonizing — to various interested media outlets, garnering notice from Christian leaders such as Franklin Graham and Mike Huckabee.
His mental health and life fell apart following his discharge from the Army. Afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder, his six-year struggle with gender confusion began in 2013, with him convincing himself he was a woman, and later when that idea collapsed, pursuing non-binary status.
Shupe never had surgery to make himself look female, but he requested and was given female hormones — at levels dangerous to men.
He encountered plenty of people in the government, medical, and legal fields willing to entertain his confusion, but he takes responsibility for his part in the saga.
He wants the truth to be told
Shupe told LifeSiteNews he is laying himself bare because he wants the truth to be told, and he hopes for some atonement for what his groundbreaking court-ordered non-binary status has caused. Some eleven states have followed Oregon, the state that granted him non-binary status in 2016.
“I feel responsible for what I unleashed,” Shupe said.
“I’ve seen so many lies being told, so much fake science,” Shupe told LifeSiteNews. “I thought, I could die famous, or I could tell the truth.”
“I don’t care what the cost is to me,” he said.
Shupe’s been fighting with the V.A. to correct his records and obtain proper treatment, and he gives reports of misdiagnosis, being dropped by providers when this became apparent, and then being shuffled outside the V.A. system, where he’s been refused treatment a well.
He’s been able to change some of his records with no problem, but the Social Security and Veterans Administrations are a different story and often amount to an ugly experience.
Shupe also warns that gender classifications being forced into government policy and documents by trans activism will have negative fallout going forward in terms of categorizing people.
For example, he was denied the ability to change his sex back to male with Social Security records without having officially undergone “gender transition” to male — when he’s never ceased being male in the first place.
Shupe says all the big “gender” problems started in 2010, when under then-secretary Hillary Clinton the State Department began permitting transgender-identifying people to change their sex markers on their U.S. passports without undergoing surgery, as long as they had a letter from a physician saying they’d obtained “appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.”
A false drug
The fame of being the first non-binary person was a drug, Shupe said, but just like with pursuing gender transition, it was false.
It’s eaten at him, he said of the legal binary status wave he caused.
“The lie of it all stressed me out,” he said, thinking of “all the people who get sterilized and mutilated. It’s all a lie.”
Trading one harm for another
With the high suicide rate among gender-confused individuals, Shupe says medical professionals often push transition treatment attempting to keep their patients from killing themselves but aren’t addressing the real issues, leaving their patients in harm’s way.
Shupe says many therapists don’t question anything anymore when a patient says he is gender-confused and that if he’d had a legitimate therapist, he never would have gone through what he did, and he never would have transitioned.
“That’s how wrong the whole thing was,” he said.
On Twitter he said, “If you have cancer, a doctor will tell you that you have cancer. If you are dying from a deadly disease, a doctor will tell you that your time left is limited. But when it comes to gender dysphoria, doctors refuse to tell you the truth about your biological reality. Why is that?”
Of the attempts to change his sex, he told LifeSiteNews, “They weren’t my cure. The whole thing has been one big circus.”
Leave the kids alone
From the beginning and throughout his confusion, Shupe has opposed gender “treatment” for children. He had reached out to LifeSiteNews in 2017 about a LifeSite report on his situation, and while he was still amidst the confusion at the time, he did state then that he opposed “transitioning” for children.
“I’m horrified by what it does to children,” he told LifeSite again recently.
Last month on Twitter, Shupe said, “For 49 years I was grounded to reality by the knowledge that my male chromosomes and male reproductive system dictated that I was a male. Then gender ideology entered my life and unmoored me. If gender ideology messed me up that bad as an adult, just imagine what it does to kids.”
For 49 years I was grounded to reality by the knowledge that my male chromosomes and male reproductive system dictated that I was a male. Then gender ideology entered my life and unmoored me. If gender ideology messed me up that bad as an adult, just imagine what it does to kids. pic.twitter.com/Ic4nnZvvFz— James Shupe (Formerly Jamie Shupe) (@NotableDesister) March 23, 2019
Sexual abuse and porn
Sexual abuse by an uncle during Shupe’s childhood and pornography contributed to his situation, he said. He feels that the abuse left him with conflicted feelings about his sex.
“I thought, he really did this to me because I’m really a woman,” Shupe said.
This wasn’t helped by his time in the military, he added, where there were elements of a porn culture that fostered indoctrinating him into it. Over time, he would build up an image collection of porn, and he eventually ran a pornography site for income after his discharge.
“The more porn I looked at, the more I started to think of myself as a woman,” he said.
Forcing a story to meet an agenda
He’s had three stays in a psychiatric ward in recent weeks related to his emotional problems being aggravated by cessation of cross-sex hormones that he was given in an attempt to transition from male to female.
Shupe tells LifeSiteNews he’s feeling much better mentally and is stepping back some from media interviews to give himself a break.
It bothers him that much of the media are so heavily invested in gender and the non-binary issue, even trying to get his wife to admit during a recorded phone conversation that transitioning kids is a good thing.
He said he’s had to make peace with the fact that some will write whatever they want, and what he says or the truth behind the situation isn’t going to matter.
The real human toll
Shupe is hoping with his sex classification with the federal government returning to male that he can obtain proper treatment for his physical and psychological issues.
Health issues he’s experienced from female hormones include swollen legs, vein problems, broken blood vessels in the eyes, kidney damage, bladder problems, and bone density issues. It’s not certain right now how much of this will be permanent, but he knows that others who took more drastic steps are facing worse things.
He will always have larger breasts from the female hormones, but he joked to LifeSiteNews that as a 55-year-old man living in a retirement community, having “man-boobs” doesn’t make him unique.
Shupe walks his dog, bikes, and works out with hand weights to burn off his returning testosterone, trying to take off weight put on from estrogen and also to contribute to his mental health.
He’s also focused on being a husband and father to his wife and daughter, for whom the ordeal has been hard. Shupe says in forthrightly unvarnished fashion that it has not been easy and that his wife has stood by him.
At one point, he wrote a letter to his daughter, now grown, explaining his situation and the reasons for it and apologizing for how it affected their relationship.
“I went to church Sunday, which is helpful,” he said. “I've also been doing Bible study for an hour on Thursday evenings with a woman I met on Twitter who offered to teach me things about the Bible. So I’m doing well there, too.”