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Panel Discussion on Transgender Issues And Detransitioning Set for March 18

Always a tomboy, Chloe Cole, now 18, began to think she might be a boy when she was about 12. The idea came mainly through social media. There she learned she could be transgender and received support for these ideas. So much so that she eventually told her parents and demanded to be put on hormone blockers and testosterone.

At 15, she had her breasts surgically removed. But a year after the operation, she realized she had made a horrible mistake and wanted to return to being female. The support she had gotten from her transgender “friends” vanished.

Sara Higdon was a 4-year-old boy when she started feeling that something wasn’t right and that she might be a girl. Higdon remained a male, grew up, served in the military, and married. After her divorce, she transitioned.

“I started taking hormones in 2018,” said Higdon, who had begun wearing women’s clothing. “I made friends in the creator space and started my own YouTube channel, just trying to make political content of different sorts. And then my niche was mostly talking about trans issues.”

Higdon strongly opposes children and teenagers transitioning and is with the organization Trans Against Groomers.

“It’s very much tied together because they want people to feel so comfortable in their own skin, so they’re pushing this queer theory on kids,” said Higdon. “This ideology in order for them to feel supported and have better emotional results.”

But isolation from the COVID shutdown caused “mental health issues,” said Higdon.

“When you’re talking to a 5-year-old about sex and gender and all this stuff, that’s a major red flag for me. And any time the school is keeping secrets from the parents, that’s another major red flag. And it actually ends up harming kids with gender dysphoria,” said Higdon.

Cole said doctors told her parents she would be at risk for suicide if they did not affirm her gender choice and allow her to transition. But after being a boy for a year, she “missed being a girl.”

During a psychology class in her junior year in high school, she read that breastfeeding helps mothers and infants bond.

“I felt like a monster,” Cole said. “I not only took something from myself but from my future children.”

And the more she learned about brain development, the more she realized she was too young to make such a life-altering decision. And she made it “under the guidance of medical professionals.”

She stopped taking testosterone and medication to block estrogen.

“It was all crap,” said Cole. “Just made up. I was lied to.”

She has also been diagnosed with being on the autism spectrum and noted that many children and teens with gender dysphoria have other conditions like depression, autism, attention deficit disorder, or they have suffered a sexual assault.

“The model right now is one size fits all,” said Cole. Cole is suing the doctors and hospital that treated her with hormones and removed her breasts when she was 15.

Cole and Higdon will join Elana Fishbein, Ph.D., founder of No Left Turn in Education, and forensic nurse Tami Harrlaub for a panel discussion, Innocence Under Seige, on March 18 in Malvern from 2 to 5 p.m.

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PA Moderates Toomey, Fitzpatrick in the Midst of Gun Control Deal-Making

Washington lawmakers are forging ahead toward possible gun violence legislation, and two Pennsylvania Republicans are at the center of the effort.

A group of bipartisan lawmakers led by U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey found common ground on gun control legislation that stands a chance of passing the Senate. Toomey (R-Pa.) told reporters 10 Republicans were “on board in principle” with a deal that could break through a GOP-led filibuster that stalled previous attempts.

“I do think it’s more likely than not that we will get something done in the Senate,” Toomey said last week.

Lawmakers involved in the negotiations said the measure provides “needed mental health resources, improves school safety and support for students, and helps ensure dangerous criminals and those who are adjudicated as mentally ill can’t purchase weapons.”

His comments came after the House passed a wide-ranging package of gun safety bills, called the Protecting Our Kids Act, in a 223-204 vote. It followed a tense hearing where victims of recent gun massacres across the U.S. urged lawmakers to take action.

The bills would raise the minimum age for purchasing semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, ban high-capacity magazines, require a registry for bump stocks, and tighten federal firearms regulations to apply to so-called “ghost guns,” which are manufactured without serial numbers by private citizens.

It would also create tax incentives for sales of safe storage devices and add criminal penalties for those who violate gun storage regulations at their residences.

Among the five Republicans voting for the package was Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks). He said that while the legislation was “far from perfect,” it was a “necessary step” to put pressure on the Senate to adopt a bipartisan proposal in the wake of mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, Buffalo, N.Y., and Tulsa, Okla.

Fitzpatrick said e supports Americans’ Second Amendment right to own guns but added there was “no higher responsibility” for lawmakers than protecting children from gun mayhem.

“Our policies should support responsible gun ownership. We must protect mentally healthy, law-abiding citizens’ right to protect and defend themselves, their families, their homes, and their communities, and we must also prevent mentally ill individuals and criminals from gaining access to firearms and causing harm to others. If we’re going to stop the violence plaguing our nation, we must all accept these basic premises,” he said.

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action said the House package threatened to “turn millions of law-abiding gun owners into felons.”

“This unconstitutional legislation would extinguish law-abiding adults’ Second Amendment rights and contends that these individuals are responsible enough to defend their country or vote in an election, but cannot be trusted to follow the law,” the group wrote on its website.

The Toomey-backed legislation, still being debated among the bipartisan group of senators, doesn’t go as far as the House package. But it would provide for an enhanced review process for buyers under age 21 and penalties for straw purchases, CNN reported.

The review process would include an “investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement.”

The proposal calls for support for crisis intervention and funding for school safety resources, a key point of contention among Republicans who accused Democrats of seizing on tragedies to push forward more restrictive gun laws.

Meanwhile, Delaware Valley Democrats at the state level are pushing for further gun restrictions. Sate Sen. Steven Santarsiero (D-Bucks) proposed legislation that would ban military-style weapons in the Keystone State.

He told reporters at a news conference in Lower Makefield Township that the measure was modeled after a 2013 Connecticut law that banned high-capacity magazines and provided a voluntary buyback program for gun owners.

“Military-style weapons have no place in civilian society,” Santarsiero said. “Easy access to assault weapons is one of the greatest threats to the health and safety of Pennsylvanians.”

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