- Resource Centers
- Knowledge Base
- Make a Difference
Stories collected for our Resource Centers
James Shupe lived for 6 years as a transgender woman. His transgender activism prompted far reaching changes, from pushing the state of Oregon to make gender neutral bathrooms, to receiving a legal non-binary gender designation, even on his birth certificate. But in 2019 he detransitioned and was able to restore his birth name and gender. His transgender story begins in childhood, is complex, distressing, and reveals terrible lapses in our national mental health infrastructure.
After a discharge from the military, Shupe found that he was increasingly distressed and felt at odds with his body. His solution was to visit a nurse practitioner in 2013 and threaten to get and inject hormones on his own if she didn’t prescribe him what he asked for. That same day, even though the nurse had never met him, she ordered the hormone treatments.
What followed were three years of attempting to live in what he perceived as a woman’s body. During that time he was planning on receiving surgery to compliment the hormonal treatments he was taking. Only one lone therapist raised concerns about his treatments and procedures. He not only fired her, but filed a formal complaint against her. All the other professionals went along with his desire to look like a woman.
His fantasy of living as a woman came tumbling down after those first three years. He said, “Despite having taken or been injected with every hormone and antiandrogen concoction in the VA’s medical arsenal, I didn’t look anything like a female. People on the street agreed. Their harsh stares reflected the reality behind my fraudulent existence as a woman. Biological sex is immutable.”
His next steps were to receive legal recognition as a non-binary person. Through some clever legal maneuvering, a transgender-activist lawyer, and a transgender friendly judge, he made international headlines by having his sex change form declare him “non-binary.” The attention he garnered caused further stress, and while he had attempted the “non-binary” designation as a compromise, and he was hospitalized several times over the next few years.
The root cause of all of this stress, in reality, dates back to his childhood. His childhood was far from happy. His parents beat him violently. He recalled that his mother beat him for “being a sissy.” Understandably, his psyche was scarred, and he was left emotionally vulnerable. During his childhood, he was also sexually abused by his uncle.
After entering the army, and marrying his wife (who, amazingly, stuck by him through the entire process) he became ensnared by pornography. “After having watched pornography for years while in the Army and being married to a woman who resisted my demands to become the ideal female, I became that female instead. At least in my head.” Autogynephilia, a man who is attracted to the idea of himself as a female, is the disorder, articulated by Dr. Ray Blanchard, that explains one of two types of transgender women (the other being homosexuals that are attracted to men).
That none of his medical professionals asked why he felt the way he did, or even looked into the post-traumatic stress he experienced while in the army, shows the power of the transgender lobby. They have cowed the medical profession into ignoring the Hippocratic Oath, and get them to engage in serious psychological and physical harm.
And harm there was. Speaking to PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil, Shupe detailed the disastrous effects of the hormonal treatment on not only his body, but his mind.
“I ended up in the psych ward three times because of hormones. I had blood clots in my eyes because my estrogen levels were 2,585 instead of 200, low bone density, problems controlling my bladder, and emotional instability. Blood tests indicated I was dropping into kidney disease territory (EFGR below 60) for about 18 months, I had chronic dermatology issues and skin reactions to estrogen patches, I passed out on the kitchen floor from Spironolactone.”
Noticeably absent was a discussion from the terrible side effects that this type of treatment causes. It is almost as though the potential profits blind the physicians to their responsibility to do no harm.
James’ life has been full of difficulties and hardships, both from the affirmation therapy from the professionals, and his distressed upbringing. He has, however, come to a realization about his life and actions. “In January 2019, unable to advance the fraud for another single day, I reclaimed my male birth sex. The weight of the lie on my conscience was heavier than the value of the fame I’d gained from participating in this elaborate swindle.” No longer is he referenced as the man who started the “non binary’ legal option, and he is no longer the darling of the liberal media. But he is a man working to live truth, and speak out about his part in changing it.
He spoke to the Daily Signal about moving forward after detransitioning. He referenced the 12 steps of the Alcoholics Anonymous program, and said it works with other addictions, including compulsive sexual behavior.
“I have admitted that I am powerless over my mental illness and transvestic disorder. I have accepted that my life has become unmanageable and that only a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. And I have made a conscious decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him.”
“It took seeing and experiencing all of that destruction and recognizing the harms of it for me to finally understand that Christianity builds stronger families, safer communities, and most importantly, a better nation.”
His story is real. His pain is real. His transition, and subsequent desisting, are real. Let’s not ignore his powerful testimony, or forget him.