Walt Heyer

This content was last updated Nov. 15, 2023, 8:45 p.m. UTC

Walt Heyer is California-born Christian detransition activist, one of a very small number of detransitioned people who politically oppose transgender rights. Heyer originally transitioned in his 40s and detransitioned in his 50s. He has written about his story for many conservative and far right news outlets, offered testimony in opposition to transgender rights, and contributed amicus briefs to the Supreme Court in cases regarding the rights of LGBTQ+ people.

Teachers groom children as early as kindergarten or first grade to think that ‘there are many genders’ and they can choose one.

Heyer, for The Federalist, 23 March 2023

Court Briefs and Legislative Support

Heyer contributed to an amicus curiae brief for the Supreme Court case Doe v. Boyertown Area School District. Writing in favor of the claimant’s assertion that transgender boys should not be allowed in the boys’ locker room, Heyer claims “The effect of gender ‘make believe’ is the destruction of core identity,” and urged the Court to “correct the lower court’s incorrect application of the strict scrutiny standard to the asserted government interests in this case.” The Supreme Court declined to take action.

Heyer contributed another brief for the Supreme Court case of R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The case revolved around the right of an employer to fire a gay or transgender employee on the basis of their gender or sexual identity, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Heyer urged the Court to “correct the lower court’s misinterpretation of what constitutes discrimination because of an individual’s ‘sex’.”

During Vermont’s 2023 hearings over a bill relating to an individual’s rights to reproductive and gender affirming care, Rennee McGuinness of the Vermont Family Alliance presented Heyer’s life and experiences as evidence suggesting against the adoption of the resolution. Heyer’s pamphlet misrepresents and obfuscates statistics about standards of trans healthcare to support his opinions.

Heyer was a leading proponent for Montana’s Senate Bill 99, relating to providing health care for transgender minors. “I think the way to reduce regret is to tackle the underlying issues before we introduce them to hormones and surgical procedures that they will regret,” Heyer stated.

Early Life

Heyer describes his first experience with gender dysphoria after his grandmother made him a dress when he was 4 years old in an effort to support his apparent discomfort with his gender. Following sexual abuse at the hands of his uncle before age 10, Heyer remembered “secretly begging God to change me into a girl.” Decades later, he sought gender-affirming care at the age of 40, later scheduling gender-affirming surgeries at age 42. By age 50, Heyer had decided to reframe his view on his gender identity and sought to revert to a more masculine identity by age 55.

Journalism and Public Appearances

Heyer has contributed many articles to conservative and far-right publications ncluding The Federalist, The Daily Signal, and the Christian Post. Heyer has also spoken with Fox News about his life and anti-trans activism.

Heyer appeared at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul to open the “Man, Woman and the Order of Creation” symposium held in 2017. The event hosted many other anti-trans activists, including Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians.  Heyer runs the Walt Heyer Ministry program and makes regular appearances speaking at various churches.

When Harry Became Sally and Written Works

Heyer’s story was recounted in When Harry Became Sally, a book written by The Heritage Foundation staff member Ryan Anderson. The book was later removed from Amazon for framing LGBTQ+ identities as mental illnesses.

Heyer has gone on to write several books of his own, including Paper Genders, a book Heyer states “exposes and debunks the promises of gender change surgery.” Notably, the work claims transgender people are “treated like rock stars” in a paragraph before Heyer describes how he “went on 200 job interviews without success.” The book also incorrectly states that bullying experienced by transgender people does not lead to increased suicide rates, despite clear evidence to the contrary.

Further resources:

Contact The Trans Data Library

Contact Us


[('DefinedTerm', 'Title VII'), ('DefinedTerm', 'Christian'), ('DefinedTerm', 'activism'), ('DefinedTerm', 'author'), ('DefinedTerm', 'book publishing'), ('DefinedTerm', 'detransition'), ('DefinedTerm', 'publishing'), ('DefinedTerm', 'conservative'), ('DefinedTerm', 'amicus briefs'), ('DefinedTerm', 'public speaking'), ('Place', 'United States'), ('DefinedTerm', 'gender-affirming care'), ('Place', 'California')]