“Spend time with your kids, keep them off technology for as long as possible. Let them know they’re loved and stay in touch with them. If they’re on the internet, monitor their usage,” she urged parents.
“Adults need to take a stand,” Cole emphasized. “Complacency is what led to this happening to me in the first place.”
“If you look away for even a second, it’s very contagious,” Cole said, speaking of what she calls “skewed information” that medical professionals are sharing on the internet.
Cole referenced Dr. Sidhbh Gallagher, a gender-affirming surgeon from Miami who advertises transition procedures to minors on her Tik-Tok account.
“There’s definitely a money incentive, especially for those who are doing gender-affirming surgeries,” Cole said. “Surgeons get the most money out of this.”
So far, Cole has traveled to five states across the U.S. — including her home state of California, Louisiana, Florida, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. — to bear witness to lawmakers about her experience and urge them to take a stand.
In September, Cole testified against California Democrat Scott Weiner’s proposed S.B. 107, which would make the state a “sanctuary” for children to obtain irreversible gender surgeries without parental consent.
Alliance Defending Freedom and over 40 other parental rights organizations wrote to California Gov. Gavin Newsom protesting the bill.
“This legislation allows the ‘taking of a child’ to California (without parental knowledge or consent) to obtain gender transition procedures — including puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and irreversible surgeries — and impermissibly gives California courts the power to strip custody from lawful and well-intentioned parents,” ADF urged.
Cole says that for the most part, politicians on both sides of the aisle have “just shied away from the issue.”
“Mostly they get into petty fights over it, but nothing has really been done about it,” she said.
CNA interviewed Cole the day after she testified outside Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., in favor of a bill proposed by U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, that would criminalize gender procedures on minors.
Greene’s Protect Children’s Innocence Act, H.R. 8731, would make it a Class C felony to perform gender transition procedures — including mastectomies, phalloplasties, and vaginoplasties — on minors. The bill is being supported by over 40 other Republican lawmakers.
“No child deserves to suffer under the knife of a gender-affirming surgeon,” Cole said in a press conference Sept. 21 unveiling the bill. “America’s children — all children — deserve better.”
“Chloe’s story is so important,” Taylor-Greene told CNA. “We’re so proud of her for being brave enough to come out and tell it, but her story isn’t the only one — there are many beyond her. If anyone is pushing this on children, they’re on the wrong side of history, and we will show that to be true.”
Suzanne Satterfield, a parental-rights activist based in Virginia, spent extensive time with Cole over her trip to D.C. to testify against child transitions.
“Chloe’s a ray of sunshine in the darkness that is looming over the children of today,” Satterfield said to CNA.
“She could easily stay out of the public’s eye and live a much different life. But she has a big heart and has chosen to sound the alarm of the irreversible damage being done to children at the hands of ‘trusted health care providers.’”
When asked if she was happy, Cole’s face broke into a smile as she nodded vigorously.
“I’m a lot happier today,” she said, her eyes shining.
“Doing what I’m doing now is giving me a purpose. That’s something that I’ve been seeking for quite a while.”
Edie Heipel is the Political Correspondent for CNA's Washington, D.C. bureau. She previously worked in communications for Center for Renewing America, served in the Trump White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and has been a contributor to various outlets including The Federalist and The Charlotte Lozier Institute. She is a graduate of Wheaton College.