A de-transitioned woman once identified as a transgender man stressed that gender dysphoria should be seen as a mental health issue rather than a physical condition to be treated by permanently altering one's body.
According to The Christian Post, 22-year-old Helena Kerschner, who has since de-transitioned back to a woman after identifying as a transgender man, shared her story last Friday at the Q 2021 Culture Summit with the Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Gender President Preston Sprinkle.
During her childhood, Kerschner explained there was "no indication" she would struggle with gender dysphoria. When she was 15, however, Kerschner became "really embroiled in this community online where everything was about social justice [and] ... gender all the time.
"There were these hierarchical ways of looking at people, like it was bad to be cis, not trans, straight, white girl, and that's what I was," she said. "I was a straight, white girl, and I felt that that was very bad at the time being in these communities."
Because of her engagement in these communities, alongside her mental health issues, Kerschner decided to transition using hormone replacement therapy when she was 18 years old.
"I don't think I would have ever even considered seeing myself as a boy without the social aspects, especially if I hadn't joined these online communities specifically because there wasn't anything at the time, really in my school or in my community, that was influencing me," she recalled. "It was all online."
Kerschner later found herself surrounded by like-minded individuals in her school and online community who transitioned and, like her, have since de-transitioned.
"Just looking back on it, it was the same pattern — just kids who are really struggling, kids who were very alone and isolated, maybe they didn't have a welcoming family life," she noted. "They just got caught up in these communities online and just started interpreting their emotional pain through the same lens together."
Kerschner asserted that those struggling with gender dysphoria should be treated "the same way we would treat any other young person who's struggling with mental health issues."
"We should be caring and loving to them," she continued. "And we should get them help, and we [should] pay attention to the root causes of why they're feeling the way that they're feeling."
"I don't think that potentially causing an endocrine disorder by giving someone cross-sex hormones or potentially surgically altering healthy body parts is an appropriate way to respond to someone who's having mental health issues," Kerschner said. "I think that they deserve a lot more personalized specific loving care."
Kerschner is the co-founder of the Pique Resilience Project, a group of de-transitioned women seeking to help others find alternative treatments for gender dysphoria.
According to the group's Twitter account, as of last summer, the Pique Resilience Project has since disbanded due to distance and the desire to pursue other projects.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Vladimir Vladimirov
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.