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(Above: Erin Brewer shares her story with Dr. Morse on April 3, 2020. This story is taken from that interview)
Erin Brewer was only six years old when she was molested by two men outside of her elementary school. The event was traumatic and horrible for her and it led her to dysphoria with her own body. She decided that if she were a boy, she wouldn’t have been assaulted. Her brother, for instance, was with her, and the two men left him alone. She cut her hair and started wearing her brother’s hand me downs. It was a tremendously difficult episode in her childhood.
Erin’s childhood home was far from idyllic. When she was only four, her parents got divorced. She stayed with her mother, who remarried her stepfather. “I longed for my dad’s attention. Still, still, it breaks my heart. I never felt loved by him. A lot of that was because I felt like the divorce was my fault.In my head I felt that if I had been a son, if I had been a good boy, that he would have stayed with my mom.” Any child of divorce will readily recognize and identify with these sentiments.
Another terribly disturbing part of her home life was the nature of her mother and step-father’s marriage. “I basically grew up in a family that is being promoted as sex positive now where there was sex happening in my home, not just between my mother and step father, but between my mother and other men, and my step-father and other men. So it was a very sexualized environment that I grew up in. I think they call it an open marriage. Not a good environment for children to grow up in.”
It was against that background that six-year-old Erin had to cope with the sexual abuse she endured. She talked about the dissociation she experienced with her body, and how she acted out because of it. “In my case, I hated my body so much that I was doing dangerous and harmful things. I raged, when I’d be brushing my hair, I just started hitting myself with the brush because I hated myself so much. I had blood coming out of my hair. Sometimes, outside, playing on the playground, I would get so angry I would start slamming my fist on my crotch, because I just had this incredible anger because I felt like my body betrayed me. I felt that if I hadn’t been a girl, that sexual assault wouldn’t have happened.”
The emotions and confusion she experienced led her to making sense of the world and coping with the trauma in these destructive, painful ways. Her school psychologist gave her mother some effective guidance, that she says was effective. Among the suggestions were: reinforcing positive ideas of being a woman, exposing her to strong and talented women, putting her in a special group of kids with communication problems, discouraging her from wearing her brother’s hand-me-downs.
This was a critical factor in helping her deal with her transgenderism, but it wasn’t the end of the story. “I stepped away from a trans identity when I hit puberty and realized, ‘guess what, my body is a female body. There’s nothing I can do about it. Nobody is accepting that I’m a boy. Nobody is recognizing me as a boy. I better just accept that I’m a girl.”
But as she moved forward, she had a very different idea of who she was as a woman. “That [acceptance] wasn’t embracing myself as a girl. It wasn’t until the last year, that I really accepted myself as a female, because I had a hole that needed to be filled, and you know this, and I know this gets into religious stuff that alienates some people. But it wasn’t until I accepted God into my life that I was able to accept myself as female and love myself. And that’s why I was able to get into the pornography. If I had loved myself, I never would have fallen into pornography.This does relate to my gender dysphoria and that is because growing up I had so much hatred for myself as a female and I felt so disassociated from myself as a female, that when I sort of started to accept myself as a female, I became very sexualized. So I thought, ‘If I’m going to be a female, that means that I’m going to be sexualized, and I’m going to be objectified and I really kind of accepted that role as being a sexualized and objectified female. That in order for me to be valuable, I had to get that kind of sexualized attention.”
She performed as a solo performer on PornHub. And she found almost immediate success and admiration. Even her therapist gave her a green light. She recounts that he said, “it was great that I found something that I was good at. He likened it to being a social worker, that I was providing a service to these men who needed it.” There was tremendous demand for her videos. The comments poured in. “I can’t eventell you, the kind of affirmation I got from it. I’m not feeling very good about myself, and instantly, I’m having people tell me I’m beautiful, that I’m a goddess, that they want to marry me, that they want to take care of me, that they love me. Instantly, within like an hour of posting my first video.”
But she slowly came to the realization as to why these men liked her videos, specifically. “I’m not the ideal beauty, I’m not a blond bombshell, in some ways, it was really confusing. And at some point, I started to realize that one of the reasons that I was popular was because my body type is that of a little girl. I’m petite. And I started getting more and more requests, to dress up like a little girl, to look younger. And that’s disturbing. So I ended up causing some physical harm to myself.”
The realization came slowly for her, because these users, to her, felt very much like people who loved her. “They felt like my friends, they felt like people who loved me. They felt like my family. It was very easy to get sucked into it. And I finally stopped, I started doing increasingly dangerous things, and there was one day where I was up in the mountains, totally naked, doing something, and I looked up, and there was a man watching me. And I suddenly was like, ‘What am I doing? What the heck am I doing. How stupid is this?’ And I realized my life was a mess. There’s something seriously wrong with my head.”
The expert, her therapist, advised she make her videos in more safe places, like her house. But she recounted that the Ultimate Expert was the one that helped her turn to the light. “Around this time is when I had an epiphany, that I needed to stop doing this. I felt like God kind of interceded and said, “You are loveable. These guys don’t love you. They are teasing with you. They are using you to replace some emptiness in their lives, but they don’t love you.” And having that realization that all of this was, that I was kind of being taken advantage of, that I was harming myself, that I was, potentially, harming other women, by acting out scenes for men that were derogatory or violent towards women. I could potentially be making them thinking that that’s what women want. And that I could be a party to somebody thinking that it is ok to be that abusive to women. It hit me really hard, and I am so thankful.”
Today, Erin works with the Compassion Coalition, a non-partisan national group for those fighting to ban invasive, harmful, unproven medical interventions for gender confused children. Our goal is to support efforts around the nation and around the world to stop the medical abuse of children who identify as transgender.”