Detransitioner Chloe Cole plead with lawmakers Thursday on Capitol Hill to pay heed to the traumatic struggles she has already endured as a young person who sought to transition to become another gender.
Cole spoke before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the “Dangers and Due Process Violations of ‘Gender-Affirming Care’ for Children,” a hearing pushed by Republicans and denounced by Democrats, who decried the need for such a hearing.
But Cole, who underwent an irreversible double mastectomy when she was only 15 years old, emphasized that her story of attempted transition, and then detransition, should serve as a warning to everyone who hears it.
She is now suing Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Permanente Medical Group, and the doctors who pushed her along the path to hormonal and surgical transgender procedures, alleging that her mental health issues were not properly taken into consideration, that she was not fully able to consent to such irreversible procedures, and that as a young teen, she had no concept of whether she might one day want to become a mother.
“This needs to stop,” she emotionally told the lawmakers on Thursday. “You alone can stop it. Enough children have already been victimized by this barbaric pseudoscience. Please let me be your final warning.”
Later on during the hearing, Republican Texas Rep. Chip Roy pointed out that his Democratic colleagues had repeatedly emphasized the importance of protecting trans-identifying youth.
“I just want to make sure that you know, from our standpoint, that your life is worth it,” Roy said. “And that the people have gone through this, that your lives are worth it. I wonder if you would like to comment on the worth of your life, and the social pressures and the pressure placed on you to pursue a path that you now believe is the correct path.”
Cole emphasized that everyone has a right to happiness and that everyone’s life is worthy. She then asked to address another witness — Myriam Reynolds, the mother of a biologically female young person who identifies as a transgender male.
During the hearing, Reynolds had testified that her child was unhappy before receiving so-called “gender-affirming care,” but happier after receiving the treatment (it is not immediately clear what treatment her biologically female child underwent). Reynolds also claimed that this treatment was “life-saving” for her child, and pushed lawmakers to support parents who wish to transition their children.
“I understood that Mrs. Reynolds is scared for her child,” Cole said. “And I just want to set the record straight that I don’t hate her. I don’t think anyone in this room hates her.”
“In fact,” Cole said, as she began to cry, “I see my own mother and my own father in her. And that clearly, she dearly loves her child. And she’s doing the best with what she’s been given. And unfortunately, its not much. And for that I’m sorry.”
Cole remained emotional as she continued: “I think every parent deserves the utmost grace and guidance with how to help their child. That being said, I don’t wish for her child to have the same result as I did. I don’t wish for anyone to regret transition or detransition, because it’s incredibly difficult. It comes with its own difficulties, and it’s not easy. I hope that her child gets to have a happy and fulfilling adulthood, whatever that may look like.”
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