Brendan O’Neill Brendan O’Neill

The truth about ‘gender-affirming care’

Chloe Cole, a 'detransitioner', who regrets undergoing surgery to remove her breasts (Credit: Getty images)

‘My breasts were taken away from me (and) the tissue was incinerated.’ Every word of destransitioner Chloe Cole’s testimony to the US Congress was harrowing. But it was her calm, frank description of a doctor’s destruction of her breasts when she was just 15 years old that haunts the mind. Such a sinister violation of the bodily integrity of a teenage girl should rankle the conscience of modern America.

‘Before I was able to legally drive’, she said, they ‘amputated’ my breasts. They were ‘perfectly healthy’, she told a panel of shocked politicians, but still they were cut off and burned, like trash: ‘I had a huge part of my future womanhood taken from me.’

She gave her testimony on her 19th birthday, two weeks ago. Her ‘treatment’ for gender dysphoria started when she was 12. First she was put on puberty-blocking drugs, then she was given testosterone injections. It was at the ripe age of 15 that she was subjected to a double mastectomy.

All of these extreme infringements were carried out before she had reached the age of majority. Six years before she was legally allowed to buy alcohol. In 21st-century America a teen cannot purchase a six-pack of beer but she can apparently agree to be mutilated on the operating table.

It was at the ripe age of 15 that she was subjected to a double mastectomy

Cole’s brave testimony made waves. It even turned Andrew Neil into a ‘Terf’, or trans exclusionary radical feminist. He said he had to fight back tears as he watched her speak. This is ‘barbaric’, he said.

Most will agree. But not all. Some cry not tears of anguish over these unnecessary amputations, but tears of joy. ‘Gender-affirming care’, they call it, which is surely one of the most grotesque euphemisms of our time, as if cutting up a healthy kid’s body could ever be ‘care’.

Indeed, around the same time Cole was valiantly describing the shocking removal of her breasts, we had the Costa Coffee controversy, where it was revealed that a Costa Express van had been emblazoned with a mural showing a ‘trans man’ with prominent scars under her nipples where her breasts had been removed.

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