At just 15 years old, Chloe Cole underwent a surgery that radically changed her life: She had a double mastectomy after taking puberty blockers, believing she was a transgender male born in the wrong body.
Forbes initially published an article critical of the now-18-year-old Cole, who has spoken out about the dangers of body-altering surgeries for children and teenagers. The outlet has since removed the story, written by transgender writer Dawn Ennis, from its website.
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Ennis, a male who identifies as female, originally wrote the piece for the Los Angeles Blade, a pro-LGBT website. It was republished to Forbes on Sunday and immediately drew criticism for content many readers believed to be factually inaccurate.
“We removed that article because it violated our editorial guideline of publishing work that was published elsewhere,” a spokesperson for Forbes told The Daily Wire of the story, which was pulled from publication Monday. “We only accept original content.”
One of the leading critics of the since-scrubbed Forbes piece was the founder of Libs of TikTok.
Cole, for her part, has become an outspoken critic of early intervention in the lives of children who believe they are transgender, arguing these significant, body-altering treatments, procedures, and surgeries irreparably change a person’s life.
The California native — a target of those who support the transgender movement — started to identify as a transgender male at just 12 years old. By 13, she was taking prescribed puberty blockers and testosterone supplements and underwent a double mastectomy at 15 years old.
Two years later, Cole realized she had made a huge mistake; she regretted everything. Now 18 years old, she has become a staunch supporter of the increasingly vocal detransitioners movement, a group of people who once identified as transgender but have since realized it was not the cure-all they hoped.
Ennis claimed in the removed article, which still remains public on the Blade’s website, that Cole is an “outlier” and argued “most surgeons won’t operate on anyone younger than 18.”
In mid-August, Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) faced criticism for a since-deleted video in which medical personnel promoted what they referred to as “gender-affirming hysterectomies” for young girls who identify as transgender.
The scrubbed video, highlighted by Libs of TikTok, was part of a larger series published by BCH nearly a year ago. In one of the other videos — “When does a child know they’re transgender?” — Dr. Jeremi Carswell, director of the Gender Multispecialty Service at BCH, claimed children “will often know that they’re transgender from the moment that they have any ability to express themselves, and parents will often tell us this.”
“We have parents who tell us that their kids, they knew from the minute they were born practically,” Carswell explained. “And actions like refusing to get a haircut, or standing to urinate, or trying to stand to urinate, refusing to stand to urinate, trying on siblings’ clothing, playing with the ‘opposite gender’ toys — things like that.”
At the time, CBN’s Faithwire reached out to BCH for comment, but a representative for the hospital did not respond.
It is worth noting, however, the hospital posted a statement earlier this year lauding itself for its support of “gender-diverse kids and teens.” Interestingly, the hospital has since pulled that page from its website.
“As the first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program in the United States, GeMS has long provided gender-affirming care,” read the removed statement. “That care can come in several different forms: It can mean supporting kids who are exploring their gender identity, transitioning socially (for example, changing their pronouns, using an affirmed name, or modifying their clothing), or pursuing medical care.”
BCH’s Center for Gender Surgery does acknowledge on its site a child as young as 15 years old can undergo a double mastectomy so long as a doctor or nurse practitioner gives the hospital a note stating the patient has “persistent, well-documented, gender dysphoria” and a mental health provider attests to said patient’s “capacity to consent” to the procedure.
Ennis also claimed in the article in question that “some note the fact that surgery takes years of planning and preparation and is not done on a whim or under pressure.”
In fact, though, a leading transgender care association, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), recommends only “one year of testosterone treatment” in its standards of care guidelines for a teenager like Cole to receive the surgery she underwent at 15 years old.
Ennis went on to write that “others have doubted [Cole’s] account because of medical inconsistencies in her treatment and subsequent health conditions,” continuing, “Endocrinologists generally do not prescribe puberty blockers and testosterone simultaneously; typically, someone would get puberty blockers prior to experiencing puberty, and testosterone would be prescribed thereafter.”
That, however, is assuming all doctors are following WPATH’s recommendations, which is not the case, according to Cole and endocrinologist Dr. Michael Laidlaw, who affirmed Cole’s testimony.
“My experience in reviewing transitions and detransitions is that the clinicians and other health care providers involved in medical care often do not follow even WPATH’s ill-conceived guidelines,” he told The Daily Wire. “Some of these doctors follow their own recipes and provide puberty blockers at the same time as testosterone.”
He continued, “These gender quacks don’t understand basic endocrine physiology and prescribe whatever toxic concoctions they dream up. Unfortunately, young people like Chloe [Cole] pay a heavy price for this experimentation on our youth.”
Laidlaw appeared last year on Christian author Preston Sprinkle’s podcast, where he talked about the dangers of these kinds of hormone therapies:
Toward the end of the removed Forbes article, Ennis accused Cole of causing “deliberate harm to trans and nonbinary youth.” The writer did not elaborate on how Cole is doing that.
In response to the support she’s received in the wake of Ennis’ article, Cole tweeted Tuesday, “Thank you guys for your continued support. Let’s stop what happened to me from happening to other kids and end medical transitioning in children.”
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