An ex-transgender 17-year-old girl is urging states across the U.S. to make it more difficult for minors to undergo hormone therapy and surgery, arguing that children and teens should not be able to make such life-altering decisions.
Chloe Cole identified as male from age 13 to 16 and even was allowed to undergo hormone therapy and have her breasts removed. But today, she regrets her decision and now identifies as her biological gender.
“Children cannot consent,” she told California legislators last month during public testimony on SB 107, which would make the state a “safe haven” for minors seeking transgender procedures. Cole spoke out against the bill.
Cole also appeared at a Florida public hearing in support of a state rule that prohibits Medicaid funds being used for a minor’s transition.
Medical professionals, she told the California committee, are essentially rubber-stamping requests by minors.
“My parents took me to a therapist who affirmed my male identity,” Cole said. “And the therapist did not care about causality or encourage me to learn to be comfortable in my body. He brushed off my parents’ concerns about the efficacy of hormones, puberty blockers and surgeries.”
The therapist told her parents that Cole might commit suicide if they didn’t move forward. Her parents reluctantly agreed.
“My endocrinologist, after two or three appointments, put me on puberty blockers and injectable testosterone,” she said. “At age 15, I asked to remove my breasts. My therapist continued to affirm my transition. I attended a top surgery class that was filled with around 12 girls. … Most were my age or younger. None of us were going to be men – we were fleeing from the uncomfortable feeling of becoming women.”
Cole says she was “unknowingly physically cutting off my true self from my body, irreversibly and painfully.”
“Our trans identities were not questioned. I went through with the [top] surgery. Despite having therapists and attending the top surgery class, I really didn’t understand all the ramifications of any of the medical decisions I was making,” Cole told California legislators. “I wasn’t capable of understanding, and it was downplayed consistently. My parents, on the other hand, were pressured to continue my so-called gender journey with a suicide threat.”
Cole, at the young age of 17, is now facing life-long consequences from a time in her life she regrets.
“I will never be able to breastfeed a child,” she said. “I have blood clots in my urine. I am unable to fully empty my bladder. I do not yet know if I am capable of carrying a child to full term. In fact, even the doctors who put me on puberty blockers and testosterone do not know.”
States, she said, need “safeguards in place, so my story is not repeated.”