Life feels impossibly heavy for parents of trans kids lately. The world has always been scary for our kids who don’t fit into the archaic boxes of the world. And a slew of new anti-trans bills is increasing our anxiety and fear. It feels more important than ever to stand up for our kids, their future, and Kai Shappley, a 10-year-old girl, is showing the world – and Texas lawmakers – that they’re not going to scare her into silence.
According to NBC, the Texas Senate committee heard a bill that would criminalize medical care for trans youth throughout the state. The bill is attempting to remove the vital care for trans kids in the medical field. This includes gender-affirming medications and procedures. This bill would also redefine child abuse to include medical care for “the purpose of gender transitioning.”
If this bill were to pass, it would make hormone replacement therapy, puberty suppression drugs, and medical or surgical procedures to anyone under 18 years old a crime. The bill includes an exception for surgical procedures for intersex children — a fraught admission in its own right, as many intersex advocates have been fighting to stop those procedures for people under 18 altogether.
Parents who violate the proposed law could end up facing two to 10 years in prison with a child abuse felony charge. And parents could have their children placed into foster care. Lawmakers are also considering legislation that would allow emergency room staff to refuse to treat trans patients and revoke practitioners’ licenses who don’t comply with the law and choose to treat their patients.
And all this heavy, scary information brings us to 10-year-old Kai Shappley. She’s a young trans girl who spoke at the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs as the two transphobic pieces of legislation were being considered.
“I do not like spending my free time asking adults to make good choices,” she told the lawmakers. “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 am in fourth grade now.”
“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 continued.
“God made me,” Kai proclaimed. “God loves me for who I am, and God does not make mistakes.”
Kai told lawmakers they need to be careful on how they treat “the least of these” and pushed for them to “understand” the perspectives of other people and to “educate” themselves on trans-rights.
This bill would impact Kai and her mom in a double whammy of sorts. Her mom is a nurse. If this anti-trans bill passes, Kai’s mom faces losing her nursing license and potential jail time for continuing to advocate for her daughter and her care.
“Bullying is bad,” Kai told the lawmakers. “Please stop.”