A bill making its way through the Texas Legislature would prohibit transgender children from taking hormones or puberty-suppressing drugs or from undergoing any gender-affirming medical procedures. But that’s not all. Such interventions would be characterized under the law as “child abuse.”
During a Monday hearing on the bill, a transgender girl name Kai Shappley sought to set Texas straight and asked legislators to reconsider their support for the bill.
SHAPPLEY: “Hello, my name is Kai Shappley. I love ballet, math, science, and geology. I spend my free time with my cat, chickens, FaceTiming my friends, and dreaming of when I will finally meet Dolly Parton. I do not like spending my free time asking adults to make good choices. I’ve been having to explain myself since I was 3 or 4 years old. Texas legislators have been attacking me since pre-K. I’m in fourth grade now. When it comes to bills that target trans youth, I immediately feel angry. It’s been very scary and overwhelming. It makes me sad that some politicians use trans kids like me to get votes from people who hate me just because I exist. God made me, God loves me for who I am, and God does not make mistakes. You should be careful how you treat the least of these. Please, listen to me, hear me, try to educate yourselves, try to understand everybody. My mom has been giving everything she has to stand up for me. With 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. Bullying is bad. Please stop. Don’t make bad choices. It’s never too late to turn it around. And I want to say ‘thank you’ to those of you who are sticking up for kids like me. By the time I am in college, you’ll be celebrated in the history books.”
Shappley’s testimony was echoed by Doctors for Change, a Houston advocacy group that sent a letter to the Legislature in advance of Monday’s hearing.
KVUE-TV, Austin, Texas:
“We care for Texans of all ages, including transgender and non-binary children, youth, and adults and we are appalled by the blatant intention of SB 1646 to characterize the provision of our compassionate, evidence-based care as ‘child abuse’ and to levy criminal penalties against providers who are putting the health and well-being of patients first,” the letter said.
This cynical attack on trans youth is disgraceful but, you know, Texas gonna Texas. Again, they have much bigger problems than kids growing up happy and healthy and comfortable in their own skin. But that’s the Republican Party these days. Why repair your energy infrastructure when it’s so much easier—and politically beneficial—to bully kids and their parents?
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