Former Trans Teen to Sue Kaiser Permanente Over Gender Transition as Minor

By Brad Jones
Brad Jones
Brad Jones
Brad Jones is an award-winning journalist based in Southern California.
November 11, 2022Updated: November 20, 2022

Chloe Cole, who was prescribed puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and had her breasts removed when she was 15, says she will sue the medical group and hospital that facilitated the gender transition she underwent as a minor that she now deeply regrets.

“The adults who were supposed to take care of and guide me as a child failed to do so and they will take responsibility for it,” Cole told The Epoch Times on Nov. 11. “My parents were sold a lie just like I was.”

Cole and her legal team, composed of Dhillon Law Group and LiMandri & Jonna LLP in conjunction with the Center for American Liberty, issued a letter of intent to sue the Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals on Nov. 9.

Epoch Times Photo
Chloe Cole, 15, wakes up from her mastectomy operation. (Courtesy of Chloe Cole)

The letter accuses the medical groups that “performed, supervised, and/or advised transgender hormone therapy and surgical intervention” for Cole when she was between 13 and 17 years old of gross negligence.

“They were supposed to help me,” Cole said.

“They put me on this really harmful path, and now I’m stunted developmentally—not only my body but my brain. It’s very likely that my brain development was affected by the [puberty] blockers and testosterone, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to have children because I started taking it so young.”

Cole’s mother signed the consent forms for her surgery, and her father went along with the decision, she said. They didn’t have to pay anything out-of-pocket except for minimal co-pays for appointments.

“Everything was covered by insurance,” Cole said. “It’s required by law.”

‘Gender-Affirming Health Care’

Cole recently testified against “gender-affirming health care” legislation that made California a transgender sanctuary state. California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 107, authored by Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat, into law last month.

Widely protested by parental rights groups, the legislation encourages out-of-state parents of transgender youth to bring their children to California for gender-affirming care and shelters them from prosecution for child abuse in other states.

President Joe Biden and his administration have also promoted the “gender-affirming” model of care, which prevents medical professionals from questioning a child’s self-reported transgender identity and exploring other possible causes of their unease.

To urge support for proposed legislation that would ban gender-transition surgeries on minors, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and 10 other Republicans held a press conference with Cole outside the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 20.

The Protect Children’s Innocence Act, if enacted, would make it a felony to perform “gender-affirming care” with penalties of up to 25 years in prison or a maximum $250,000 fine. The legislation, which Greene introduced on Aug. 19, would also prohibit the use of any federal funds or facilities for “gender-affirming care.”

Epoch Times Photo
Chloe Cole, an ex-transgender teen, speaks in support of the Protect Children’s Innocence Act as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) looks on outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sept. 20, 2022. (Terri Wu/The Epoch Times)

Another measure, introduced by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) in June, would allow adults such as Cole to sue medical practitioners for gender transition treatment performed on them as minors up to 30 years after they turn 18. The Protecting Minors from Medical Malpractice Act would make doctors liable for any injury, including physical, psychological, emotional, or physiological harm, due to the treatment or aftereffects of the treatment.

In Florida, state health officials voted on Nov. 5 to prohibit doctors from providing “gender-affirming care.” The Florida Board of Medicine and state Board of Osteopathic Medicine voted 6–3, with five members absent, to forbid doctors from prescribing puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones and performing gender-transition surgery on children.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has denounced “gender-affirming care” for children and encouraged lawsuits against doctors who perform transgender surgeries on youth.

In March, the largest children’s hospital in the country, in Houston, announced that it would no longer offer “gender-affirming” treatment for youth after Gov. Greg Abbott ordered state agencies to investigate whether such care constitutes child abuse.

Epoch Times Photo
Chloe Cole takes part in a demonstration in Anaheim, Calif., on Oct. 8, 2022. (Brad Jones/The Epoch Times)

Detrans United

Cole recently formed a group called Detrans United, in support of “detransitioners” who seek to reverse their medical transitions, and sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland denouncing the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the Children’s Hospital Association for endorsing “gender-affirming care.”

Although reluctant at first, Cole’s parents are “supportive” of her public efforts to expose how minors and youth younger than 25 are being fast-tracked toward gender transition surgery, she said.

“I know there are so many other people who are in this situation, but they don’t really have the strength to be able speak out. It’s not necessarily something that I want to do, but it’s something that I feel like I need to do. I feel called to do this,” she said. “I believe it’s a spiritual battle, but it’s not necessarily something that has to be fought in the name of religion. People from all walks of life are coming together on this one issue—conservatives, radical feminists, and people in between.”

The Center for American Liberty alleges that Kaiser never informed Cole’s parents of psychiatric treatment options or any approach that would attempt to treat her underlying psychological conditions “to bring about a mental state congruent with Chloe’s biological sex.”

Medical professionals informed Cole’s parents that she was “at a high risk for suicide, unless she socially and medically transitioned to appear more like a male,” according to the letter. Allegedly, they were asked, “Would you rather have a dead daughter or a live son?”

Epoch Times Photo
Chloe Cole in her pre-teens, prior to her transition. (Courtesy of Chloe Cole)

Cole alleges that she was told by medical professionals that the distress she was experiencing was because of gender dysphoria and would resolve as she transitioned. But, after undergoing several phases of transition over multiple years, her mental health deteriorated, and she became more suicidal following the double mastectomy, according to the letter.

“Eventually, Chloe realized that the answer to her struggle was not surgery and hormones, as she had been advised, but a shift in her mental perspective. She realized that the only way she would be happy is if she mentally accepted her biological sex and chose to live a life that aligned with her natural sex,” the letter reads.

Harmeet Dhillon, CEO of the Center for American Liberty, said in a statement that the medical system shouldn’t dictate the future of children’s lives.

“Through this legal action, the ‘professionals’ involved will be held accountable for their despicable plot to mutilate children and financially benefit from it,” Dhillon said. “We will break the cycle of them breaking our children before it’s too late.”

Cole is seeking “punitive damages based on the evidence of malice, oppression and fraud,” according to the letter.

“My teenage life has been the culmination of excruciating pain, regret, and, most importantly, injustice,” Cole said on Nov. 10 in a statement. “What is worse is that I am not alone in my pain. I will see to the fact that the blood and tears of detransitioners like myself will not lay waste. It is impossible for me to recoup what I have lost, but I will [ensure] no children will be harmed at the hands of these liars and mutilators.”

Epoch Times Photo
Chloe Cole tearfully shares her detransition journey in Anaheim, Calif., on Oct. 8, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Kaiser Permanente has 90 days to settle the case or respond to the letter of intent to sue before a lawsuit will be filed.

But Cole is expecting a court battle.

“I’m hoping that in doing this, I can encourage other people, especially other people who medically transitioned as minors, to be able to come forward and seek justice for themselves,” she said.

Kaiser Permanente officials haven’t responded to multiple requests for comment since Nov. 11.

Brad Jones is an award-winning journalist based in Southern California.