My experience with Jerry Leach began as I was earnestly looking for someone who could help me understand why I wanted so much to live life as a woman. I was in my mid 50's at the time and had just recently realized I had this strong desire and it had been part of me for quite a while, even though I didn't recognize it. I found Jerry's website, Reality Resources through an Internet search for the words "transvestite" and "christian." I also had found Jade Devlin's TG Christian, was intrigued by the idea that one could be a Christian and still cross dress, but dismissed it as just someone who was denying their sin. Reality Resources, on the other hand, offered what I was looking for, deliverance from my sinful lifestyle.
After reading over the material on his website, I contacted Jerry through e-mail and was soon counseling with him by phone on a weekly basis. From the beginning, I dreaded the phone calls, but was convinced this was just my sinful nature rebelling against being corrected. The calls consisted of Jerry, or occasionally me, praying earnestly for us and then a question or two from Jerry. 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. But that realization came much later.
The bulk of the sessions were dominated by Jerry lecturing from material that would later show up in one of his pamphlets. I later began to feel as if I were a test audience he was using to refine his thinking. Jerry also commonly read letters from wives of other clients or people who had contacted his wife for help with a trans relative. These made me feel even more guilt for the consequences of my sin in the life of my wife and potentially my children. 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.
Jerry regularly gave me a list of material to read, some available from him, most from others. His material was reasonably priced, as were the phone sessions, so I didn't feel he was trying to make a living off me. In fact, I was so convinced his was a real ministry, I began to contribute monthly with no prompting from Jerry.
I was hoping to find something in my life that made dressing in women's clothing so desirable. Jerry didn't seem to be able to offer much in this regard. The sessions didn't probe my thinking or background much. It was suggested by Jerry that around 90 % of cross dressers had been abused as children so I focused on that trying to remember anyone or any situation that could have been abusive. I prayed earnestly. I found nothing. Jerry suggested intercessory prayer and recommended a book by Leanne Payne (sp?). He even tried to pray over me one time on the phone to induce a sort of Spirit-led hypnotic state where I could recall the past event or events that led to my hiding in women's clothes. Nothing. He also suggested something called "theophostic (sp?) healing" which I looked at but didn't think it offered any answers either. The plain truth was I was raised by parents who were not very talkative or demonstrative with their affection, but were a far cry from abusive. My life had been more normal than most people I knew and none of them enjoyed wearing a dress.
Jerry's theory seemed to be that people like me had not been called into manhood by our fathers. We were still tied to our mothers as all children are. My Dad or another significant man had not pulled me away from her and made me part of the tribal male group. Along this line he had me read "Wild at Heart" and try to redefine my idea of a man, which he thought must be wrong. None of this fit with my life. Dad was not quick to praise but he was head of the family. He had taught me how to skate, swim, play baseball, fix a car, pour concrete, and repair plumbing. I had lived successfully 50 + years as a man. I was a good athlete, had earned a PhD in Chemistry, worked for several large companies, was handy with tools, and always consciously thought of myself as a man. I had raised two boys who were married, fathers, and successful by most people's definition. I was probably more surprised than anyone when it finally hit me that I really, really wanted to live as a woman.
I had been counseling regularly with Jerry for about 3 or 4 years. I journaled daily and sent these to Jerry. He saw in them some ability to communicate and he and I thought I had been healed of my desires, so he asked if I would contribute to his ministry by being a resource person for others with questions. He set me up on his website as a person who would field questions from other men experiencing problems with trans desires. I became the Pete of "Ask Pete." He asked me to run the questions and my responses by him before replying and I did, most of the time. I fielded about 1 to 3 questions a week for over a year in this capacity. I answered honestly and out of my experience drawing on the information I had learned from Jerry. In this capacity, 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, ever! I began to question what I was doing if I could keep up this denial of something deep inside me. Frankly, the thought of never again being able to dress up as a woman was so depressing I had to fight to not ever let that thought creep into my consciousness.
The frequency of the phone sessions became less and less. Jerry pushed for at least bi-monthly calls but my ever growing aversion to the sessions did not abate and I would delay them as much as I could. I began to realize this dislike stemmed from a sense of that I was having a conversation with my father. He, like 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.
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. This just didn't seem right.
I realized too, that there were lots of guys trying to get over this sin of cross dressing/cross living but I didn't know ANY that had. Jerry invited my wife and me to several "Couples Weekends" he and his wife held at Asbury College during the summer. There we could interact with other couples like us. We never went. That was the only time he ever mentioned anyone else who was winning the war. That began to seem curious to me. Finally I came across one of the questioners at "Ask Pete" who had struggled much longer than I. I found myself finally being honest with him. I had ceased being honest with Jerry. I was desiring to live as a women as much as ever, and I was. Five years of working at it had made no difference. My wife complained to Jerry's wife, he called and confronted me as though he had the right to tell me what to do, and read me another letter from a woman whose husband was going through with transition. That was the last straw. I hung up and never communicated with Jerry or looked at "Reality Resources" again. He called several times and sent me e-mails, finally demanding I give him the password for the "Ask Pete" e-mail account I had on Yahoo. I did not reply to that either. Not one of my finest moments, but I was in so much pain and conflict by then I just couldn't face anymore of his criticism.
But God (one of my favorite phrases from scripture because good news often follows) led me back to TG-Christians during this time and to a wonderful group of loving ladies who helped rescue my heart. When I finally was honest with God about who I was, who He had made me to be, what a sense of peace and joy I found. His amazing grace finally became fully that to me.
Thanks for all you do. I'm one of those you've helped through your website. I hope this gives you some insight into Jerry's ministry. I think he is sincere and well intentioned. He just has nothing to offer. I get the sense he does what he does to placate his wife and keep his marriage together. I pray he will find out the truth and find peace.