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Pete (Wendy)

Pete, now Wendy, was a client of Jerry Leach (2000-2005) and operated Ask Pete for people writing to Jerry wanting to change their transgender instinct. Some of those emails were posted on Jerry's website. She left both counseling and writing to embrace being trans. In 2009, she wrote about her experience. (The following quotes are from that document unless stated otherwise.)

There are several pieces to note about Wendy's reflection. She marvels at the lack of success in people. After five years, she herself experienced no change. Jerry's annual Couples Weekend "was the only time he ever mentioned anyone else who was winning the war."

I came across more and more guys who had been fighting this thing for longer than I.  They still had no answers and were still looking.  Purge yourself of all these evil thoughts, all the clothes, all the contacts and daily pray and fight the good fight didn't seem to make the desires go away.

I have already found that Jerry changes others' words to suite him and creates pseudonymous people to agree with him. Wendy says Jerry plagarized her words as well.

I also began to see things I had written in my journaling or other topics assigned by Jerry show up in his writings.  Often facts were changed to fit his story but there were clearly recognizable passages.

Jerry had often handled people's writings deceptively. Wendy describes Jerry's counseling as more preaching than counseling.

Jerry, did not talk with me but at me.  The conversation was a lecture on a topic of interest to him.  I wanted someone to listen to me and had hoped to find it in Jerry since he had the same problem I had.  I did not find it. 

In response, Pete stopped being open and honest about his feelings and eventually dreaded their counseling sessions. "I just couldn't face anymore of his criticism." Jerry's only methods were repression and prayer. "Purge yourself of all these evil thoughts, all the clothes, all the contacts and daily pray." A significant motivator was guilt by listening to endless letters of regretful trans people and their wives. "I guess that's what they were meant to do, heap more guilt on me so I would try harder to get rid of these feelings."

Before Wendy's writeup, I noticed Pete's ideas of the root of transgenderism were surprisingly unlike Jerry's. Jerry is obsessed with childhood events - absent father, alluring mother, sexual abuse, and symbolic confusion. Pete never mentions childhood but often talks about the sin of self-sufficiency as follows.

We [transgender people] are extremely independent and self sufficient men. We don't even need women; we can become our ideal woman at anytime. That's a very large part of our brokenness. We are afraid to trust anyone with our feelings, even Christ. We've been wounded deeply and we fear allowing anyone to get close enough to hurt us again. It is truly easier for us to become completely self sufficient by becoming our own helpmates, taking on the role of woman, rather than have to deal with the risks and frustrations of a real woman. Healing for us lies in establishing trusting relationships.

...

I could understand being so attracted to cross dressing if I had a really traumatic childhood. I'm in a small group at church with other men who struggle with various addictions - mostly substances like alcohol and drugs. These guys had childhoods that make me cringe. By comparison, Mom and Dad were like TV parents of the 50's and 60's. I'm beginning to think it takes very little to make us vulnerable to Satan's lies.(Transsexual Fighters Q & A http://web.archive.org/web/20070123133632/http://www.realityresources.com/fighterqa.htm Accessed September 20, 2009)

But Jerry doesn't mind the disagreement (or didn't realize it) and posted Pete's words to his website, tacitly endorsing the contradiction. This demonstrates Jerry is more interested in fighting transgenderism, but whatever statements necessary, than in finding the truth. Wendy/Pete confirmed this, later writing.

Jerry's theory seemed to be that people like me had not been called into manhood by our fathers. . . . None of this fit with my life.  Dad . . . was head of the family.  He had taught me how to skate, swim, play baseball, fix a car, pour concrete, and repair plumbing.

I also believed Pete provided a possible link between Jerry's conflation of being a "transvestite" and transexual. Pete identified as a transvestite, not a transexual, and clearly had no interest in hormones, for example. Yet he often wrote in transexual terms: "Life would have been better if only I had been born a girl." Did Pete already think these ideas or is he adopting Jerry's vocabulary and motifs? Again, Wendy confirms this (somewhat):

I never felt I gave the "right" answers for some reason.  By this I mean, Jerry would add to my answer things that I didn't say or mean.  It was a pattern that continued and made me feel I was being fit into Jerry's box.  He was not trying to understand me.

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