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Former trans kid shares agony of side effects from 'mutilating' medical transition: 'I've gotten no help'
February 03 2023, 08:00

A former transgender kid who detransitioned after having a double mastectomy told Fox News Digital that she was worried about living with the painful side effects of the "gender-affirming" medical interventions for the rest of her life. 

"At this point, I'm far from whole. I'm far from healed. I'm still processing and dealing with what I went through," Chloe Cole, 18, told Fox News Digital in an interview. 

"I've lost all my trust in my health care provider and possibly even health care," she said. 

Cole, who calls herself "the canary in the coal mine," has become one of the most prominent voices speaking out against what is known as "gender-affirming care" for kids. She joined Do No Harm – an organization fighting to restore the ideals of the Hippocratic oath in the medical field – as part of its campaign to "protect[t]minors from gender ideology."


Cole's motivations, she explained, derived directly from her heart and concern for others; she is trying to prevent a future generation from treading on her path. 

"It's not loving to lie to a child. It is not loving to disrupt a child's natural, healthy development, or to encourage them to do so," she said. 

Cole was put puberty blockers and testosterone at 13; she underwent a double mastectomy at 15. 

"I wasn't really allowed any time to just be and to just be observed alone without intervention. I mean, it was only about half a year between being diagnosed with gender dysphoria and actually being medicated. So the process for me was very expedited and there weren't really any pushback from any medical professionals," she told Fox News. 

Cole began to question her identity at the age of 12. Her parents were advised by medical professionals that she would commit suicide if she wasn't "affirmed" with medical intervention.

"My distraught parents wanted me alive, so they listened to my doctors," Cole previously said at a hearing. 

Then, at 16, Cole detransitioned. Two years later she continues to experience painful side effects from the medical interventions. 

For example, Cole reported that the double mastectomy procedure causes fluid to leak.

"They use skin grafts as part of it. Two years after the surgery, I thought the healing was going fairly well – save for the grafts being slightly dry on the surface. But they started to leak fluid, and I've had to start wearing bandages over them again," Cole said. 

"I don't know what it is. I don't know if it's an infection, [or] if it's some other complication from the surgery. But I've gotten no help from it, and I'm not sure whether it'll even go away or if I'll have to live like this for the rest of my life."


Cole added that she doesn't know if she will be able to carry a child to term.

"Because of the testosterone, I have permanent changes to my bone structure that cannot be reversed. And I have issues with my urinary tract, but I'm not sure whether I'll be able to conceive a child or be able to safely carry to term or to birth. And because of the mastectomy, I'll never be able to breastfeed," she said. "Transitioning… affects every area of your life… [including] your ability to conceive children in the first place, and a lot of people don't know whether they want to have children until they're in their thirties or forties or even beyond that."

Other side effects Cole experiences includes joint pain which she attributed to the puberty blockers. 

"While I went on puberty blockers… I would hear cracks in my neck and my back," Cole said. "But to this day, I still experience joint pains, mainly in my arms, my hands, my knees, and mostly in my back and my neck."

Puberty blockers are considered to be "temporary," according to St. Louis Children's Hospital. Blockers, however, the hospital added the drugs can cause lower bone density, delayed growth plate closure, less development of genital tissue and other possible long-term side effects that are not yet known. 

Female cross-sex hormones – estrogen – can cause blood clots, gallstones and a heightened risk of diabetes and heart disease, according to the hospital. Testosterone can cause a higher risk of heart attack, heart disease and stroke. 

Cole is currently being represented by the Dhillon Law Group and will be seeking damages from her former medical providers "based on the evidence of malice," according to a notice of intent to sue. 

"I have been emotionally and physically damaged and stunted by so-called medical professionals in my most important developmental period. I was butchered by an institution that we trust more than anything else in our live," Cole said at the time. 

Cole said she will be working with Do No Harm to affect change through legislation. For example, Cole told Fox News that she supported Utah banning gender-affirming surgery and other treatments for minors diagnosed with gender dysphoria. 

"I plan to work with Do No Harm to organize events and to work on legislature against the mutilation of children, and for a better standard of care for patients with gender dysphoria," she said.


"I'm afraid that my generation, and the generations following mine, are going to be led to led astray down the same path that I was on," Cole said. 

In August, Cole testified on California's State Senate Judiciary Committee against a bill that would make the state a "sanctuary" for gender surgeries.

"Who here really believes that, as a 15-year-old, I should have had my healthy breasts removed or that it should’ve been an option?" she said. "How many more children’s bodies will be destroyed before you actually listen? What is the sweet spot? 100? 200? 1000?"

"SB107 will open the flood gates for confused children like me to get the gender interventions that many regret. I am the canary in the coal mine." 

The bill was passed and took effect on January 1. 

The chairman of Do No Harm, Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, said, "The movement to promote ‘gender-affirming care’ is profoundly dangerous and driven by ideology rather than scientific evidence."

"At their core, medical professionals who support [medical interventions for minors]… are violating the Hippocratic oath directive to ‘do no harm’ by ignoring key consequences of this type of ‘care,’ including the fact that underlying mental health concerns are usually not addressed," he added. 

Though her advocacy, Cole hopes to protect a future generation from being "lead astray" into making a life-changing decision they may regret later in life. 

"I'm afraid that my generation and the generation, the generations following mine, are going to be led to led astray down the same path that I was on. It is not loving to lie to a child. It is not loving to disrupt a child's healthy natural development. Or to encourage them to do so," she said. "I stayed quiet about it for a little for a little while…. But I at the same time, I was also speaking to other people who… regretted their transactions and people who… we're harmed medicall."


Cole continued, "And seeing how these people were suffering, how a lot of them had all the same struggles that I did – and some… even worse off – I realized that this is this experience is a lot more common than previously thought. And not everybody in the situation feels that they're able to speak up. And that's a large part of what motivates me to speak out."

"I think the things that keep me the most motivated to do what I'm doing would be the love of my friends and family and my friends who are detransitioning as well. Just seeing what they're going through… and [what] thousands of children and young people are going through reminds me what I'm fighting for," she said. 

Fox News' Tyler O'Neil, Bradford Betz, Maria Lencki and Ashley Carnahan contributed to this report.