Laura Beth Perry recalls being trapped in a persistent pattern of “believing a lot of lies” — a routine she says led her to identify and live as a transgender man named “Jake” for nine years before finding Christ.
“De-transition stories,” as accounts like Perry’s have become known, are not commonly discussed in the media and culture, especially as transgender activism and acceptance continue to surge.
Yet Perry’s story offers a compelling journey worth telling amid the chaotic backdrop of our current cultural and moral dynamic.
‘Believing a Lot of Lies’
Perry told “The Prodigal Stories Podcast” in detail how she ended up on a transgender journey, what she learned, and the problematic process she underwent to leave it all behind.
She said the voyage started with self-doubt and familial questions and metastasized from there.
“Over the years, [I was] believing a lot of lies,” Perry said. “It started really early.”
Listen to Perry share her journey:
Perry recalled being jealous of her mother’s relationship with her brother and pondered whether her mom, with whom she had a more complicated connection, secretly wished she had also been a boy.
“Over the years, things reinforced that [curiosity],” she said.
Perry also felt she wasn’t like the other girls at school and struggled to relate to them.
“More and more, I was playing with my brother’s toys,” she added.
Furthermore, Perry found herself being mistreated by men. Mired in sexual sin, she felt she invested wholly in the males around her and wasn’t being treated well in return.
This coalesced into what Perry described as a “bitterness toward women” and a crescendo of complex emotions that left her contemplating her gender identity.
“I finally thought … ‘The reason I’m never happy is because I was supposed to be the man,’” Perry said. “And I had been in porn for years … and that was feeding this fantasy.”
As the complexities around Perry’s gender identity took deeper root, desperation led her to the internet. It was around 2007 when — although she had never heard the word “transgender” — performed a quick Google search that led her to find thousands of others who felt just like she did and had decided to transition.
Diving Into the Transgender Life
That’s when Perry decided she, too, would begin to live a new life.
“I started with hormones, began to grow facial hair, and my voice began to get a lot lower,” Perry said. “And the more people affirmed me, the more I began to believe that.”
Step by step, Perry said she was working to convince herself the validity she pined for would increasingly become a reality. Deep down, though, she said she always “knew it was fake.”
And some people wouldn’t comply with her wishes. Perry’s parents declined to call her “Jake” or use her preferred pronouns. Despite these disconnections, and her parents’ “devastation,” she said her mom and dad never stopped loving her — nor did they abandon or bend their faith to accommodate her newfound identity.
“I knew they loved me deep down … it was frustrating to me,” she said. “But they were such a testimony to me of Christ because they would say, ‘I love you.’”
But while Perry’s mom and dad treasured their daughter, she said they “loved Christ more” — something that ended up, years later, proving to be a “testimony” to Perry of the true depths of her parents’ faith.
Meanwhile, Perry’s spiritual health at the time was in a dark and confusing state. Despite growing up in and around the church, she said she had come to “completely reject God.”
“There were times in high school that I was praying to Satan, asking Satan to keep people from coming to know Jesus,” she said.
The Origins of Doubt
As time progressed, though, doubt began to creep into Perry’s mind. It all started after she underwent a chest surgery that left her pondering more deeply the reality of what she was trying to accomplish.
“A little bit of doubt started sneaking in after my chest surgery … there was this realization that it hadn’t made me man, and I felt so stupid,” she said. “I was like, ‘Why did I think cutting off the breasts was going to make me a man?’”
Once again, though, Perry found herself entrapped in the endless cycle of wondering if the next step in her journey would finally solidify her internal feelings. She thought it would finally feel right if she rid herself of the rest of her female organs.
“I had a hysterectomy and had all the ovaries removed,” she said. “Well, that still didn’t fix it.”
After researching some of the subsequent surgeries she would face and reading stories about dire complications, Perry was met with some difficult decisions.
“I just realized with horror that I was never going to be a man, no matter what I did,” she said. “I started to realize … I could have this outer appearance of a man, everyone could think I was a man, but I knew the truth inside.”
Perry continued, “I was constantly having to override that truth. It’s like in Romans 1, where it says, ‘They suppressed the truth in unrighteousness.’ I knew the truth the whole time, but I was constantly trying to override it.”
Giving Her Life to the Lord
The cracks started to deepen when Perry found herself working on a website for her mother’s Bible study. Still disinterested in faith and simply looking to make some cash, she embarked on the project and discovered God “wooing” her little by little.
“God began to reveal himself through this,” Perry said.
In addition to seeing the Lord through the Bible study project, she also started noticing her mother’s transformation. A far cry from the stressed-out parent she remembered, her mom — now a deeply-devout Christian — was suddenly “filled with so much peace.”
As the puzzle pieces assembled, Perry realized the truth embedded in Scripture.
“I gave my life to the Lord,” she said.
The complexities entrenched in this process cannot be overstated. After her conversion, Perry initially said she planned to be “a man of God,” but said the Lord began to chip away at that intention.
“When the Holy Spirit started to get a hold of me,” she recalled, “the whole Bible was telling me I couldn’t be transgender.”
Embarking on a Tough Journey
The voyage wasn’t easy, but Perry said she came to recognize she could no longer live as a transgender male.
“It’s such a messy process,” she said. “It was such a painful difficult journey. I can’t even describe what I went through.”
Through it all, though, Perry said God never shamed or condemned her. At every step of her de-transition, she said she clung to Jesus, grew deeper in her faith, and pulled from the Lord’s well of grace and goodness to navigate some of the most painful road bumps along the way.
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“The first time I went shopping for female clothes, I cried,” Perry said.
But she moved forward and decided to trust God — even when it felt too hard to do so. Perry got rid of all of her male items and initially said she accepted a tragic fate: she would be sad for the remainder of her life.
“I thought I was going to be miserable the rest of my life,” Perry said, adding she felt she’d never look or feel like a woman.
As God has the power to do, though, Perry’s life took twists and turns she never expected. The Lord redeemed and restored her life, allowing her to have a happiness she never imagined.
“Over the years, God peeled away the layers of all the lies, all the pain,” she said. “I began to let go of all the bitterness. As he peeled away [at] me like an onion and got to the core of who I was … all that had faded away.”
Perry is now engaged to be married to a man who deeply loves her, and she’s sharing her story to help others facing similar situations.
“It was a long journey and a process of God redeeming and transforming me,” she said, looking back on her life so far. “God has completely transformed my life. I know what it’s like to believe there’s no way to change … God has done a redemptive work in me that I never could have dreamed possible.”
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