When Mike Jolls was a little boy, he couldn’t see well enough to play sports or ride a bike. He could only read a book if he held it right in front of his face. He was born legally blind.
“The neighborhood boys didn’t want me on their sports teams because I couldn’t help them win,” he says. “I was always picked last.”
A plethora of other problems plagued him throughout his childhood. He was sexually abused by an older boy in his neighborhood and by adults who worked with youth. He was constantly bullied at school, whether on the playground or in the bathroom.
Why are boys so cruel to each other? he wondered over and over. Girls don’t treat each other that way. “Girls seemed happier and friendlier. They seemed to be having a better time than I was having. All of those events made me hate my life.”
When Mike was 12, his social studies class began learning about reincarnation, and around that same time, he learned that his mom had a stillborn baby girl before he came along.
“I put those two things together and wondered, is it possible that I was that baby girl, but I died and was reborn a boy?”
These kinds of thoughts were relentless: You should have been a girl … You’ve been deprived of a life of happiness.
“I didn’t understand all the psychological factors that had impacted me,” he said. “They were all pushed deep into my subconscious mind.”
By age 13, he wished he had been born a girl. Years of secret cross-dressing sessions and fantasies followed. Then in college, he read a book that explained the sex-change process.
“I knew after reading it that’s what I wanted,” Mike said.
After college, he began his career as a software developer and started planning to pursue sex-change surgery. But God put some roadblocks in his path, including a Christian television show he happened upon one night after work, after which he prayed to receive Christ. And, months later, a 75-year-old woman gave him a ride home after a haircut and asked him this question: “Do you go to church?” And then, “Would you like to go?”
Mike hadn’t thought much about God since the Christian television show, but for some reason he said yes. And that same woman continued to drive him to church every Sunday, as he couldn’t see well enough to drive a car. Eventually—after 35 years—God miraculously set Mike free from bondage. Now married, with three grown children, he has followed God’s leading to write a book and make videos about his experiences and, like many others who have been delivered from the transgender lifestyle, he shares his story as opportunities arise.
Laura Perry, who fully transitioned and lived as “Jake” for eight years, now works with First Stone Ministries.
“We’re starting to see a real wave of people detransitioning,” she said, even though such stories aren’t told in mainstream media. A site on reddit called r/detrans has 48,000 members. CHANGEDMovement.com features dozens of testimonies; its Facebook group has more than 3,200 members.
The mainstream media also refuses to acknowledge that hormones and surgery protocols are responsible for elevating suicide rates, says Walt Heyer of SexChange Regret.
“After surgery, transgender people are 20 times more likely to die by suicide,” Heyer said.
You can see their anger on social media, Laura says. “They’re screaming, ‘Why didn’t somebody tell me the truth? Why didn’t the doctor stop me? Why did they let me cut my breasts off?’ They’ve been extremely traumatized, and they can’t get any answers.”
Jesus is the answer to the identity crisis faced by people in the transgender movement, said Laura, who is now married to a church worship leader.
“Instead of trying to create whoever it is that they want to be, people who are coming out of the transgender lifestyle and coming to Christ discover, like I did, that God created them—with an identity, with a purpose, with a plan. And He designed us with a plan and a purpose to glorify Him in femaleness and in maleness. There are over 6,500 biological differences between men and women. And that’s just what scientists know about. It doesn’t include what God knows that we don’t.”
First Stone and SexChange Regret both provide guidance to help former transgenders grow in their faith.
“We have people contacting us from all over the world,” Laura said. “We offer Biblical counseling services remote or locally, and we can refer them if needed. We encourage them to find a local church home and study the Bible. This will help them understand God’s will for their lives.”
Memorizing Scriptures has been key for Laura. Two of her favorite passages are: “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it” (Philippians 1:6), and “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me” (Psalm 139:8-10).
Without God, there is no hope. “I’ve been asked several times to share my story and just leave the Jesus part out, and I won’t do that because there’s no hope outside of Christ,” Laura said. “I don’t have a story of how I fixed myself. I was broken and I wanted to die, but the Lord rescued me. And that’s the hope I try to put out there.”