National Geographic’s ‘irresponsible’ front cover criticised by ex-transsexual

Children who embrace transsexualism will not “heal the pain they feel”, a former transsexual has warned in the wake of a controversial National Geographic front cover.

The January edition of the magazine features Avery Jackson – a nine-year-old boy living as a girl.

But Walt Heyer explained that his efforts to live as a woman – although at times pleasurable – resulted in much pain and sadness.

‘Gender Revolution’

The magazine features the quote: “The best thing about being a girl is, now I don’t have to pretend to be a boy”.

Its Editor in Chief said the publication thought the nine-year-old “summed up the concept of ‘Gender Revolution’”.

But some readers threatened to cancel their subscriptions in response.

Heyer said the image of Jackson “is a glossy reminder of the brokenness of transgender ideology”.


He explained that he had enjoyed cross-dressing but the “delusional pursuit” escalated to surgery.

“I can see from my experience that transgenderism is fantasy motivated by strong feelings”, Heyer said, adding that while Jackson may be regarded as a hero at present: “What will surface eight, ten or even thirty years from now?”

transgenderism is fantasy motivated by strong feelings
Walt Heyer

“Promoting Avery’s situation as a success story will hurt others who are struggling, because it advances the false idea that embracing transgenderism will solve the issues they face and heal the pain they feel”, he said.

Heyer said it was noteworthy that the publication did not include any interviews with people who “have had their lives destroyed by the long-term consequences of cross-dressing and gender confusion”.

Psychological harm

He said that even if people are affirmed in their transsexualism, some attempt suicide.

National Geographic was being “naïve” if it thought there were not any negative outcomes from using Jackson on the front cover, Heyer commented, adding it was “irresponsible imagery” and presented the child as an activist.

Heyer said that his own experience resulted in psychological harm but now he was happy living as a man.

Read our briefing

The Christian Institute’s transsexualism briefing considers the issues behind the topic.



Transsexualism – wanting to change physical sex because you feel you are ‘in the wrong body’ – has become an increasingly high-profile issue. People in the public eye have ‘changed their sex’, and the media normalises transsexualism. There has been a corresponding push for greater transsexual rights. This briefing introduces some of the issues at stake.

Dr Sharon James has recently reviewed a book by Christian author Vaughan Roberts on the subject.

And watch Walt Heyer, in an exclusive interview with The Christian Institute, criticise the BBC over its trans coverage.

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