Chloe Cole is perhaps the most well-known detransitioner in America. Yet, despite a growing presence in conservative media, her public profile hardly compares to transgender activists such as reality TV personality Jazz Jennings.
Unlike Jennings, you won’t find Chloe and her story featured on the cover of Variety magazine. She’s unlikely ever to be named the face of a multimillion-dollar beauty ad campaign, have a commercial doll modeled after her, or land her own reality TV series.
Chloe’s story of identifying as a boy at 12 years old and going under the knife at just 15—only to regret it a few months later—doesn’t qualify her for glitzy, lucrative, virtue-signaling endorsements. Her story is so absent from establishment press, in fact, that at least one expert who heads a clinic treating gender-confused youth denies that detransitioners such as Chloe are even a “real thing.”
Aside from the obvious bias, there’s a deep irony in corporations, liberal media, and Hollywood ignoring Chloe and her harrowing story.
At its heart, the plotline is one that most humans can empathize with: After failing to fit in with other girls her age, a young girl gets caught up in trying to change herself, only to realize that beauty is skin deep. Chloe Cole didn’t have to change how she looked on the outside to be happy and whole; she simply had to accept herself from within.
But unlike many young teens struggling to fit in with peers, Chloe learned this the hard way. After discovering an ideology that promised an escape from the hardships of being a girl, she pursued puberty blockers and hormones starting at age 13. Two years later, at 15, a surgeon proceeded to remove her breasts, which were not yet fully developed.
“A lot of my family is larger chested than I am,” Chloe, now 18, said. “I ended up with a smaller chest; but I guess I’ll never really know, because I wasn’t really allowed to grow physically.”
Like many other detransitioners who now are speaking out, having a surgeon remove her breasts failed to address Chloe’s underlying struggles with anxiety, depression, and undiagnosed autism. Instead, the surgery acted like a Band-Aid, bringing her superficial satisfaction and joy. That is, until a few weeks after the surgery, when Chloe got her stitches taken out and had to begin changing her own dressings.
“That is when reality started to hit,” Chloe said. “Every single night after every bath, after every shower, I would have to look down at these huge wounds that were on my chest.”
Recovery from a double mastectomy, or “top surgery,” as activists call it, is serious and invasive. Patients aren’t supposed to lift their arms more than 90 degrees away from their body or over their head, nor push, pull, or lift anything greater than 5 pounds for several weeks. Patients often must change their own dressings and empty drains that prevent fluid from collecting in the chest area.
Compression garments and surgical bras are often necessary to prevent postoperative bleeding and fluid collections. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, a slew of risks, side effects, and complications can ensue beyond that.
“No 15-year-old girl should have to go through that,” Chloe said.
As Chloe realized she missed little things about being a girl, her mental health continued to decline. When nobody was home, she remembers trying on girls’ clothes and applying makeup.
Chloe eventually had to drop out of school and enroll in an alternative program where she could get more support. It was there that she took a psychology class and learned about the ways that both physical touch and breastfeeding support the emotional and cognitive development of a child—and how that child goes on to function later in life.
“During one of the consultations for my surgery, I was told that I would lose my ability to breastfeed,” Chloe said. “But at the time, this didn’t mean anything to me, because I didn’t know anything about that. I wasn’t even thinking about being a parent because I was 15 years old. I had just completed my sophomore year and I only had so much life experience.”
Then, Chloe said, she realized “something beautiful and uniquely female was taken away from me forever.”
“And I was perfectly healthy before that. I was only a kid,” she said.
Two and a half years later, Chloe still struggles to come to terms with what she lost. She feels so deceived and betrayed by medical professionals who encouraged her down this path, she decided to sue the endocrinologist who put her on puberty blockers and opposite-sex hormones, the gender specialist who referred her for a double mastectomy, the surgeon who removed her breasts, and the health care provider in the hospital that went through with the surgery.
“I don’t think the biggest problem with my transition was that I regretted it,” Chloe said, explaining:
What’s more damaging was that they lied to me and my parents. They coerced my parents into allowing me to do this. And while my parents were required to sign off on everything, they were also putting it on me, because I desired to do this. They withheld a lot of information from us, but even then at the age I was, I just wasn’t capable of giving informed consent. And it’s seriously affected both my mental and physical health. I’m still recovering to this day. I don’t know if I’ll be able to conceive a child or safely carry to term, and I certainly won’t be able to breastfeed.
“The people that did this to me need to be held accountable,” Chloe added.
Despite no longer having breasts and having to cope with ongoing complications from drugs with side effects in children and adults that aren’t well known, Chloe radiates beauty and grace.
Her willingness to vulnerably share the emotional details of a young, gender-confused girl who finds herself by simply accepting the person she is makes for the perfect character in a Hollywood script. Her contagious smile and imperfect body make for a fitting cover girl for brands wanting to promote natural and authentic beauty. Her advocacy work to protect children from experiencing the same medical harms she went through as a young girl makes for a compelling story for media interested in telling the truth about gender ideology and its impact on our youth.
And yet, for the most part, Chloe and her story are siloed to the conservative press.
For Chloe, the elite’s lack of interest in her story doesn’t discourage her. She’d welcome the opportunity to share it on a larger platform to warn other children from making her mistakes, but Chloe has found peace with not fitting in—both with her peers and with the larger narrative surrounding transgenderism and children.
No longer does Chloe feel the need to change herself to fit ideas she now knows aren’t true. Instead, she is working to change those ideas by using her own story as documented evidence.
And at 18, her story is far from over. After being fast-tracked to a medical transition by a team of eager doctors, Chloe is working through the process of detransitioning, mostly by herself.
“I reached out to every physician, every therapist who is involved with this, and I haven’t really gotten any help at all,” she said.
Left to navigate on her own, Chloe stopped taking testosterone “cold turkey,” and still struggles with urinary complications that doctors have yet to help fix.
Chloe now knows she’s on the autism spectrum, which explains much of her struggle to fit in with other girls her age. She’s also learned that, despite the hardships women often face, there are a lot of amazing things that come with being female.
“I think it takes time and experience in this world to be able to really learn about it and appreciate that,” she said. “I kind of had to learn that for myself.”
After a traumatic and in some ways tragic journey, Chloe Cole has learned that happiness doesn’t come from pretending to be something she’s not. She doesn’t need the fancy accolades, money, or fame that trans-identifying youth often get, although some recognition for the courage it takes to tell her story again and again might be nice.
But that won’t stop Chloe from continuing to share that story, now that she is determined not to let what happened to her happen to another innocent boy or girl.
It’s a shame that so few in the corporate, Hollywood, and media world are willing to match Chloe’s bravery, sharing the truth about the irreversible, damaging procedures that changed her life, as only a young girl, forever.
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