A group of detransitioners spoke at a recent school board meeting in California amid concerns about public schools exposing students to gender ideology, warning that such content increases the likelihood that minors will embrace “irreversible” decisions to their long-term detriment. Three young adults who formerly identified as trans, spoke at a school board meeting for the Conejo Valley School District in California. Chloe Cole, an 18-year-old woman who has launched a support group for individuals who have come to regret undergoing gender transitions called Detrans United, was among 3 detransitioners who told their stories to the board. Detrans United shared their testimonies, noting that the purpose of their remarks was to “voice our concerns about policies that allow confused children to come to harm.” Cole said the distribution of a book introducing 8-year-olds to the word “transgender” was the primary reason she decided to call into the school board meeting.
Cole shared that the book, titled Call Me Max, declares that although “transgender is a long word,” it “means something simple.” The book laid out how “trans means going across” while “gender means being a boy or girl or a little of both.” Another page of the book adds, “When a baby is born, a grown-up says, ‘IT’S A BOY!’ or ‘IT’S A GIRL!’” Call Me Max explains that trans-identified children know that they were born in the wrong body: “If a brand-new baby could talk, sometimes that baby might say, ‘NO I’M NOT!’ When a baby grows up to be transgender, it means that the grown-up who said they were a boy or a girl made a mistake.” The school board meeting that Cole and the two other detransitioners called, coincided with National Coming Out Day, an occasion that encourages LGBT youth to come forward about their sexual identities. “Growing up, I hated dresses and skirts. I hit puberty at 9 years old and I hated my developing breasts,” Cole recalled.
Cole went on “I hated growing into a woman. I didn’t identify at all with the women around me.” Cole explained that her discomfort with her biological sex led her to decide that she “wanted to become a boy.” She began socially transitioning by adopting a boy’s name, cutting her hair and wearing boys’ clothes. “My parents were supportive but they weren’t sure what to do with me, so they sought the help of mental professionals who manipulated them into allowing me to do whatever I wanted to do with myself,” Cole said. She began to take puberty blockers at age 13, and had her breasts amputated at 16. Cole lamented the lack of time between her initial referral to receive the double mastectomy and the surgery itself, which amounted to six months. “Very quickly, I was given what I wanted but it was far from what I needed. Two years later, I was still suffering from major complications,” she added.
While Cole did not specify when exactly she began to regret taking significant steps to change her gender, she elaborated on the long-term consequences of her hasty decisions. “I will not be able to breastfeed any children I have in the future and my sexuality has permanently been affected because I was allowed to make adult decisions starting at 13, and then again at 15. This is what happens when children are sexualized and exposed to developmentally inappropriate and confusing content and ideas from a young age. This is what happens when we treat children like adults and expect them to have the mental faculties for proper long-term decision making.” A round of applause followed Cole’s remarks. After Cole finished speaking, another detransitioner, Cat Cattinson, began to outline her concerns about gender ideology in public schools in remarks delivered via telephone.
Cattinson said “I was introduced to gender ideology when I began identifying as a man at 13. This negatively affected me for the next 15 years.” Cattinson condemned surgeons who are performing mastectomies on underage girls, saying it’s an “irreversible procedure that will prevent this person from ever breastfeeding.” In addition to her status as a detransitioner, Cattinson used her experience as a molecular biologist to dismiss the central idea of gender ideology. Cattinson added: “Humans cannot change sex. It’s impossible and trying to appear as the opposite sex comes with significant health risks such as infertility, osteoporosis and many more as well. Puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries are irreversible. There is a serious lack of quality research that any of these interventions improve mental health or prevent suicide in the long term.” Like Cole, Cattinson’s remarks drew a round of applause.
Abel Garcia, a male detransitioner, also addressed the board to speak out against “the push that they are doing right now to our children with the transgender ideology.” Garcia stressed that “we cannot expect children as young as they are right now to believe that they can change their sex with cross-sex hormones and irreversible surgeries.” Garcia detailed how he had breast implants at age 21. Implying that he did not have the maturity to make such a decision, the detransitioner told the board: “I cannot expect a child to understand the full extent of damages that will be done to their bodies if an adult like myself wasn’t able to.” At the previous school board meeting, a mother slammed the Conejo Valley Unified School District for its response to a seventh-grade boy masturbating in class. She attributed his inappropriate behaviour to the school district’s sex education curriculum.
“It does not take an expert to figure out what happens to a 13-year-old boy when he’s staring at mostly naked girls wearing underwear to school and being exposed to concepts like oral and anal sex in seventh grade,” she said. “They let children write the dress code. The Teen Talk comprehensive sexed is not age-appropriate and neither are supported by parents and teachers who have spoken out adamantly against this.” in what appeared to be a veiled reference to the remarks at the board meeting regarding the in-class masturbation that took place in May, District officials suggested that “these fictitious narratives are being wrongly used to politicize incidents involving our students.” The Conejo Valley Unified School District crafted a fact sheet, which was last updated on October 14, to respond to parental concerns about the sex education curriculum. It states that parents can opt out of the curriculum if they so choose.
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