". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


U. of Utah Profs Cancel Classes for ‘Healing Circles’ after Visit from Detransitioner Chloe Cole

December 5, 2023

If you’re concerned about higher education going down the drain, your fears are not unfounded.

On Thursday, the Young America’s Foundation (YAF) hosted an event at the University of Utah featuring detransitioner Chloe Cole, who, at age 13, was put on puberty blockers, received a double mastectomy at 15, and began her detransitioning process at 16. After much regret, Cole has made it her mission to inform as many as possible of the dangers of transitioning through her own experience, which she described as “an incredibly painful one.”

During her speech, Cole urged, “We must keep fighting to rid the country of this practice of manipulating, utilizing, mutilating, and sterilizing children. We must address how to otherwise care for these kids who are struggling with pain and trauma.” However, her testimony consistently faces backlash, and the University of Utah joined the ranks of those triggered by Cole’s story.

“This week, our campus is hosting a presentation by a prominent anti-trans activist,” a professor wrote in an email obtained by YAF. “We are expecting significant protest this week around the event, starting as early as tomorrow due to transphobic events planned. … I wanted to make sure no one feels pressured to come to campus this week due to one of our class meetings, especially if you do not feel safe,” the professor concluded.

Additionally, the LGBTQ Resource Center hosted “healing circles,” although few details have been disclosed as to what that means exactly. According to the National Institutes of Health, “Healing circles are often called hocokah in the Lakota language, which means a sacred circle and is also the word for altar. The hocokah consists of people who sit together in a talking circle, in prayer, in ceremony.” This, of course, carries with it a fairly spiritual connotation.

Then again, a website with the name Healing Circles Global has defined it as “groups of peers who support one another through deep listening and compassion.” In this case, it deals with filtering ideas and experiences through the progressive lens of race, culture, and identity.

Another mystery is whether these “healing circles” were, in fact, utilized. Professors gave students an opportunity to stay home and attend class remotely for those whose classes weren’t canceled completely. However, students still showed up on campus. Otherwise, how would they be able to protest?

Anyone hoping for a civil debate on campus would have been disappointed. Throughout the event, students pranced around the small room yelling, “Say it loud, say it clear, trans people are welcome here!” Along with, of course, profanity and the suggestion that Cole kill herself. 

Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council, mapped out the heart of the issue well. She told The Washington Stand, “When the Biden administration insists on illegally canceling student loan debt, forcing taxpayers to foot the bill instead, I hope people remember incidents like this.”

She continued, “Rather than confronting information and learning, students at the University of Utah are protected from ideas and even people who challenge conventional thinking. The fact that ‘conventional thinking’ means agreeing that someone can be born in the wrong body is also a huge problem, and one that is not unique to the University of Utah.” In Kilgannon’s opinion, “Detransitioners like Chloe Cole who bravely share their painful experiences with so called ‘gender affirming care’ should be embraced and thanked — not the subject of ‘healing circles.’”

For those concerned about the state of higher education, perhaps you’ll agree with Kilgannon, who concluded, “Utah taxpayers might want to reconsider the funding for a publicly funded university that is ‘protecting’ students from people and ideas.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.