HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa.—Eighteen-year-old Chloe Cole—a self-described “former trans kid”—joined a panel of speakers on March 18 to discuss the threat that gender ideology presents to children at “Innocence Under Siege.” The event, hosted by conservative activist group No Left Turn in Education, was hosted at New Life Community Church.
Cole told the audience: “Neither my parents nor I was fully informed of most of the potential risks of going through these treatments.”
When she was 13, Cole was prescribed puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. When she was 15, she had a double mastectomy.
Now she deeply regrets the pain and suffering she endured, but even more, the consequences for her future motherhood.
After the event Saturday, Cole told The Epoch Times: “I think the most painful thing about having been through transition is losing my breasts. I may not be able to have kids. But even if I am able to, I’ll never have that experience of feeding my kids through my own body.”
Lawsuit Hopes to Raise Awareness
Last month, Cole filed a lawsuit against her surgeon, her gender specialist, the hospital where she had surgery, and Kaiser Permanente, her health care provider, for pushing her into medical mutilation between the ages of 13 and 17.
“I’m hoping that in this lawsuit, we will raise awareness of this issue but also discourage other doctors and hospitals from doing this to kids.” She is suing “to create a precedent for other people who are in my situation to get justice for themselves as well,” she said.
The teen hopes that speaking out will lead to “a better model of care … for patients who have gender dysphoria.”
Cole said she has received a number of threats since she began speaking out.“Before the rally that I hosted last week, there were activist and Antifa members threatening me with rape and sexual assault and with pepper spraying me in the eyes.”
Threats Force Venue Change
Saturday’s event received threats the day before it was scheduled to occur. Elana Fishbein, Ph.D., founder and president of No Left Turn in Education, told The Epoch Times that the group had to change the event location because the previous location received threats.
Fishbein said she knew what she was facing when she launched No Left Turn in Education in August 2020. The group is determined to fight gender ideology. “We are very determined to stand up and protect our own children, to protect our communities and protect our nation,” she said.
Fishbein said her goal is to help more people understand “how severe is the condition that we are in today.” She feels that schools are “hyper-indoctrinating our kids in sexualizing them.”
Fishbein commended Cole as very brave: “She got the double mastectomy. A year later, she realized it was a mistake. And she detransitioned. Now she’s 18, going all over the country.”
Activist Mom: Cole Should ‘Speak at Every High School’
Cole’s story drew the full attention of several dozen attendees.
Fenicia Redman, who has gone to court to remove sexually explicit books from her son’s school, told The Epoch Times: “I was moved to tears when Chloe shared [that] her breasts [were] cut off and that she would never be able to breastfeed her children as a mom. She’s 18 years old. I’m a mom who already has an 18-year-old boy. I’m just heartbroken for her. She’s lost the potential to feed her children in the future.”
Redman said: “I’m a mom overwhelmed by the power of this young teenage girl to speak up about a mistake that doctors made with her. I think this young lady needs to speak at every high school in America.”
Forensic Nurse: ‘That Should Have Never Happened’
Tami Hartlaub, a retired forensic nurse from York County, Pennsylvania, presented on the medical issues involved with transitioning children. She talked about how the human brain works, noting that the frontal lobe, which controls judgment, is not yet mature in young children and teens. They do not have the maturity to make life-changing decisions like gender reassignment surgery, Hartlaub said. Parents need to stand up for their kids, she stressed, instead of allowing the medical community and the psychiatric community to dictate to them that they need to transition.
Hartlaub has over 30 years of experience in the nursing field, providing forensic examinations for adult and child victims of sexual and physical assault.
Hartlaub called Cole’s story “heartbreaking.” She told The Epoch Times: “That should have never happened.”
“It’s very obvious,” said Hartlaub, that the teen suffered “extreme harm” at the hands of physicians she respected and trusted to be able to provide her with the best care.
Hartlaub suggested parents become more involved with school boards. “They can not allow themselves to back down” in the face of pressure from schools that are pushing the liberal agenda, she said.
‘A Battle of Good Versus Evil’
Paralegal Peggy Welsh attended the event because her sister offered her an extra ticket. She found it to be “very informative” and “very well done.”
Walsh said, “They covered pretty much every angle of the issue. Starting with just a broad overview of the issue itself, and then into the medical side of it, and the psychological side of it, and the pharmaceutical side of it, and then getting into the personal side. Personal testimony is powerful.”
Welsh typically does not attend this kind of event. “I have a very busy job. My children are raised. I don’t think it’s an issue that affects me. But I’m a Christian. And I see it as a battle of good versus evil right now.”
Welsh feels it’s difficult to help, “because if you speak out, you are labeled as hateful, bigoted phobic, or so forth.” However, “I will speak the truth with love and speak the truth with compassion,” she said.
The issue, Welsh said, is “pharmaceutical intervention, bullying parents and scaring parents.” Parents need to take courage, she said: “Parents need to be given information and not be fearful. The root of everything right now is fear. We’re inundated with fear.”
Radio Host: ‘Very Burdened’
Kim Kennedy is a pro-life activist and radio host. She said she appreciated the presentation for exposing the mutilation of children’s body parts and the side effects of the drugs they are prescribed.
“I’m very burdened. I’m very, very concerned about some of the philosophies and ideas that are being pushed on very young children … I think there needs to be a lot more national discussion.”
“I just learned that it’s not as cut and dry as some have said in the media. It’s much more complex; it’s much more in-depth,” said Kennedy. “For all intents and purposes, these young people are guinea pigs in an experiment that will have incredible effects on their lives.”
“That’s not something we want on our conscience. We don’t want the blood of these young people on our hands.”
No Left Turn in Education has chapters across the country in 27 states.
Charlie Beatty, Pennsylvania chapter leader, said he was satisfied with the turnout at the presentation. He said: “We’re going to keep moving forward and educate parents about what’s going on behind the scenes in the education system today.”