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Three detransitioned young adults called in to a California school board meeting, using their personal experiences with “gender affirming care” to object to the district’s adoption of policies that support transgender ideology.
On Tuesday, Chloe Cole, Abel Garcia, and Cat Cattinson phoned into the Conejo Valley Unified School District’s (CVUSD) Board of Education meeting during their public comments session to voice their dissent about the ideology that caused to them to believe they were transgender and pursue medical transition. Although they were only allowed two minutes to speak due to time constraints, each was met with roaring applause from the audience in attendance.
A couple of days ago, @OfficialAbelG, @catcattinson, and @ChoooCole spoke back to back at a @ConejoValleyUSD school board meeting to voice our concerns about their policies that allow confused children to come to harm. WATCH BELOW pic.twitter.com/3FN86Za45w
— Detrans United (@Detrans_United) October 13, 2022
“I’m calling because I’m concerned about the messaging directed at kids by the school surrounding gender identity ideology,” said Cat Cattinson, a 30-year-old molecular biologist and detransitioned woman who believed she was a boy after being introduced to gender ideology at 13 years old. “I began identifying as the opposite sex, a man, and [that belief] negatively affected me for the next fifteen years,” said Cattinson.
Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) in Southern California has drawn media attention in recent months for their adoption of policies that reinforce the belief that whether someone is a man, boy, woman, or girl has nothing to do with one’s biology, but instead is determined by one’s subjective and undefinable “gender identity.” Parents have taken to school board meetings to voice their frustrations, some of which have gone viral on social media.
“Puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries are irreversible,” said Cattinson. “By affirming a child’s cross-sex identification, they are encouraged to reject their biological sex, seeking drugs and surgeries that destroy the function of healthy body parts. I think that instead, we need to tell kids they don’t need to change themselves to be themselves.”
Cattinson has said in previous interviews that she obtained her prescription for testosterone from Planned Parenthood after just a 30-minute phone call.
“Finally, I wanted to add there is a serious lack of quality research that any of these interventions improve mental health or prevent suicide in the long term,” said Cattinson. A recent analysis found that the claims promoted by activist researchers about the mental health benefits of “gender affirming” medical treatments for trans-identifying youth are false and misleading.
Abel Garcia, a 25-year-old male who medically transitioned when he was 19, called in to voice his concerns for the young students subjected to the same ideology that led him to believe he was a woman.
“I am here speaking up against the school board on the push that they are doing right now towards children with the transgender ideology,” said Garcia.
“I cannot expect a child — a high school, middle, or elementary [aged] child — to understand the full extent of the damage that will be done to their bodies, if an adult like myself wasn’t able to,” said Garcia, who went as far as to obtain breast implants at 21 years old.
Eighteen-year-old detransitioner Chloe Cole phoned in to tell the story of how gender ideology caused her to reject her female body, setting her down the path toward medical interventions with permanent consequences.
“I would get comments on my body both from peers and adults, some of which were sexual in nature,” Cole said of entering puberty. “I hated growing into a woman. I didn’t identify at all with the women around me. I decided that I wanted to become a boy and I chose a new name for myself: Leo.”
Cole’s story documents how she was introduced to gender ideology at 11 years old, which led to her self-identification as a transgender boy at 12 years old. Cole was prescribed puberty blockers and testosterone at 13, and received a double mastectomy surgery to remove her breasts at 15, all at the behest of “gender affirming” medical professionals who she says emotionally blackmailed her parents into giving their consent. Only one year later, at 16, she realized she had made an irreversible mistake.
“I had only about six months time between my initial referral and my actual surgery,” said Cole of her bilateral mastectomy. “Very quickly, I was given what I wanted, but it was far from what I needed. Two years later, I am still suffering from major complications.”
Cole ended her call by telling the school board that what happened to her could happen to other children if they continue to be “exposed to developmentally inappropriate and confusing content and ideas from a young age.”
Cole warned the school board that children should not be treated like adults and presumed to have the mental faculties for proper long term decision making.
“You are placing children in direct harm,” said Cole. “Children deserve better.”
The detransitioners’ surprise call-ins were met with overwhelming support and applause. However, one CVUSD trustee was not swayed.
“CA state law requires schools to support and affirm our transgender students. As a trustee, I will support and affirm our transgender students — not only because it’s the law, but because it is the right thing to do,” said Lisa Powell, a candidate running for a position on the CVUSD school board.
The three detransitioners recently formed a support network called Detrans United, the first advocacy group of its kind “created by detransitioners, for detransitioners.” According to the website, their goals include helping to “connect detransitioners with each other, mental health professionals, medical malpractice lawyers, and others who can provide support.”
Their first effort as a group was to write a letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland in response to a letter sent the previous week from the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, and Children’s Hospital Association, who urged Garland to investigate and prosecute “high-profile” individuals they claimed were spreading “disinformation” about the “gender affirming” medical model they endorse.
When asked if the group planned to coordinate more calls to school board meetings, Cole said there were plenty more to come. “Next time with many, many more detransitioners would be preferable!” Cole told The Daily Wire.
No one knows exactly how many detransitioners there are, but many have speculated their numbers are growing exponentially. If the subreddit for detransitioners is any indication, it has now surpassed 40,000 members.