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.