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“Good morning. 

My name is Chloe Cole and I am a detransitioner. Another way to put that word would be I used to believe I was born in the wrong body and the adults in my life, whom I trusted, affirmed my belief. And this caused me lifelong irreversible harm. 

I speak to you today as a victim of one of the biggest medical scandals in the history of the United States of America. I speak to you in the hope that you will have the courage to bring this scandal to an end and ensure that other vulnerable teenagers, children, and young adults don’t go through what I went through.  

At the age of 12, I began to experience what my medical team would later diagnose as gender dysphoria. I was well into early puberty, and I was very uncomfortable with the changes that were happening to my body. I was intimidated by male attention and when I told my parents I felt like a boy, in retrospect, all I meant was that I hated puberty and that I wanted this newfound sexual tension to go away. I looked up to my brothers a little bit more than I did to my sisters. 

I came out as transgender in a letter I set on the dining room table. My parents were immediately concerned, and they felt like they needed to get outside help from medical professionals, but this proved to be a mistake. It immediately set our entire family down a path of ideologically motivated deceit and coercion. The gender specialist I was taken to see, told my parents I needed to be put on puberty-blocking drugs right away. They asked my parents a simple question, “Would you rather have a dead daughter or a living transgender son?”  

The choice was enough for my parents to let their guard down, and in retrospect, I can’t blame them. This was the moment we all became victims of so-called “gender-affirming care.” I was fast-tracked onto puberty blockers and then testosterone. The resulting menopausal-like hot flashes made focusing on school impossible. I still get joint pain and weird pops in my back, but they were far worse when I was on the blockers.  

A month later, when I was 13, I had my first testosterone injection. It has caused permanent changes in my body. My voice will forever be deeper, my jawline sharper, my nose longer, my bone structure permanently masculinized, my Adam’s apple more prominent, and my fertility unknown. I look in the mirror sometimes, and I feel like a monster.  

I had a double mastectomy at 15 and they tested my amputated breasts for cancer. I was cancer free of course, I was perfectly healthy. There was nothing wrong with my still-developing body, or my breasts, other than that as an insecure teenage girl, I felt awkward about it.  

After my breasts were taken away from me, the tissue was incinerated. Before I was able to legally drive, I had a huge part of my future womanhood taken away from me. I will never be able to breastfeed. I struggle to look at myself in the mirror at times. I still struggle to this day with sexual dysfunction. I have massive scars across my chest and the skin grafts they used, that they took from my nipples, are weeping fluid today. They were grafted into a more masculine position, they said.  

After surgery, my grades in school plummeted. Everything that I went through did nothing to address my underlying mental health issues. And my doctors with their theories on “gender” thought that all my problems would go away as soon as I was surgically transformed into something that vaguely resembled a boy. Their theories were wrong. 

The drugs and surgeries changed my body, but they did not and could not change the basic reality that I am, and forever will be, a female. When my specialist first told my parents that they could have a dead daughter or a live “transgender” son, I wasn’t suicidal. I was a happy child who struggled because I was different. However, at 16, after my surgery, I did become suicidal. I’m doing better now. But my parents almost got the dead daughter promised to them by my doctors. My doctors had almost created the very nightmare they said they were trying to avoid.  

So, what message do I want to bring to American teenagers and their families? I didn’t need to be lied to. I needed compassion. I needed to be loved. I needed to be given therapy to help me work through my issues, not affirming my delusion that transforming into a boy would solve all of my problems. 

We need to stop telling 12-year-olds that they were born “wrong”, and that they are right to reject their own bodies and feel uncomfortable in their own skin. We need to stop telling children that puberty is an “option” and that they can choose what kind of puberty they will go through, just like they can choose what clothes to wear or what music to listen to. Puberty is a right of passage to adulthood, not a disease to be mitigated.  

Today, I should be at home with my family celebrating my 19th birthday. Instead, I’m making a desperate plea to my elected representatives.  

Learn the lessons from other medical scandals, like the opioid crisis, to recognize that doctors are human too and sometimes they are wrong.  

My childhood was ruined, along with thousands of detransitioners that I know through our networks. This needs to stop. You alone can stop it. Enough children have already been victimized by this barbaric pseudoscience. 

Please, let me be your final warning.

Thank you!”