A transgender Texas child accused state lawmakers of bullying and “attacking me” over legislation that bans hormone suppressors and transgender surgeries to minors.
Ten-year-old Kai Shappley spoke to lawmakers this week on Texas Senate Bill 1646, which considers it ” child abuse” to prescribe hormone suppressors or perform transgender medical procedures on minors.
Video of the child reading to lawmakers from an iPhone was posted to Twitter Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
In the clip, Kai criticizes legislators for “attacking me since pre-K,” adding that “I’ve been having to explain myself since I was three or four years old.”
“I am in fourth grade now,” Kai said. “When it comes to bills that target trans youth, I immediately feel angry. It’s been very scary and overwhelming. It just — it makes me sad that some politicians use trans kids like me to get votes from people who hate me just because I exist.”
She cited a passage from the Gospel of Matthew, saying: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
“God made me, God loves me for who I am, and God does not make mistakes,” Shappley said. “You should be careful how you treat the least of these.”
Kai also said that “my mom has been giving everything she has to stand up for me,” but noted that “these new things y’all are trying to do, we both are having to advocate for each other because you are now targeting a great mom and a great nurse.”
“My mom needs her nursing license to take care of me and my siblings,” Kai added. “Bullying is bad. Please stop. Don’t make bad choices. It’s never too late to turn it around.”
“I do not like spending my free time asking adults to make good choices.”
Kai Shappley, a trans girl from Texas, testifies against the state’s proposal to ban trans youth from accessing gender-affirming care.
We are so grateful for her relentless advocacy. pic.twitter.com/3k1IHiXCmC
— ACLU (@ACLU) April 15, 2021
Kai’s mom, Kimberley Shappley, said she feared the legislation would revoke her nursing license, adding that “the proposed bills target gender-affirming healthcare providers which I am.”
“We used her own words from her interviews over the last few weeks and condensed it into her 2 minute allotment,” Kimberley Shappley said in a statement to Daily Caller. “If you have seen her documentary you will see her at 5 or 6 years old. She is intelligent and articulate.”
“Kai has socially transitioned,” the mother added. “That means she wears clothes she’s comfortable in. Surgeries and drugs are not used in kids her age.”
In a 2017 article, Kimberley recalled the moment she realized her son, “born Joseph Paul Shappley,” is “a girl.”
“I remember one night when Kai was very young, and I was tucking her into bed,” Shappley said. “Her legs were cold and, concerned, I lifted the sheets, discovering she had taken a pair of panties off a baby doll and put them on herself. It was constricting her blood circulation and if she’d slept that way overnight, it could have become very dangerous.”
“After that experience, I realized I could no longer ignore something very real about my child: My son, born Joseph Paul Shappley, is a girl,” she said.
Kimberley said the matter caused her “internal” struggles a she came from a conservative Christian family.
But “by the time Kai was 3 1/2 years old,” the mother said. “I couldn’t ignore it anymore. She was verbalizing that she was a girl at least six times a day.”
“When Kai was finally allowed to be her true self, she blossomed,” Kimberly Shappley told Good Housekeeping. “I put princess panties in her drawer and she fell to the ground, hugging those panties and sobbing, saying, ‘Thank you, Mommy, thank you.’ Within a few short weeks of letting her transition, she was no longer lying, no bed-wetting, no more nightmares. I now have a happy, healthy, outgoing, loving, beautiful, sweet little girl who loves Jesus and loves her brothers.”
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