A Missouri man’s moving plea before the state’s lawmakers to stop discriminating against trans youth has left many netizens feeling emotional. The man, Brandon Boulware, a father of a transgender girl, testified at a recent hearing in the state to reject bill that would designate school athletic teams based on ‘biological sex’.
Boulware introduced himself as a lifelong Missourian, business lawyer, Christian, son of a Methodist minister, husband and father to four children, “including a wonderful and beautiful transgender daughter.” Before making his case, he admitted that he had initially failed to understand those who identify themselves as transgender. He went on to say that he would not let his daughter play with “girl” toys or wear “girl” clothes.
“Why did I do this? To protect my child. I did not want my daughter or her siblings to get teased,” Boulware said.
Boulware also shared a story about the day he spotted his daughter in a dress and his daughter’s reply when he refused to let her play with the neighbour’s kids. His daughter, he said, asked him if he would change his mind if she put on “boy clothes” . “It was then that it hit me. My daughter was equating being good with being someone else,” he said.
The video of the dad from Kansas City testifying in front of the Missouri House of Representatives emergency issues committee has gone viral after American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation shared it recently.
Pleading before the lawmakers to support trans children, the father said: “As a parent, the one thing we cannot do, the one thing, is silence our child’s spirit.” If passed, House Joint Resolution 53 (HJR 53) bill, would require students to play sports on the team that reflects the sex on their birth certificates. “Let them have their childhoods, let them be who they are. I ask you to vote against this legislation,” he added.
Boulware, along with fellow parents, coaches, doctors, and student athletes have joined forces to highlight that trans people belong everywhere.
People on social media were moved by his powerful speech that many remarked how heartbreaking it is for a parent to see their child in pain and feel helpless.
— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) March 17, 2021
He emphasizes his daughter’s “spirit” and even the most religiously orthodox must recognize that’s what this is about: the spirit, the soul of a child, and letting gender match it, rather than crushing spirit to match gender. This is true spirituality: https://t.co/yTZ1Tnqrwe
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) March 15, 2021
Reposting this video because it’s very important in helping understand transgender. ❤️ https://t.co/qg3RuNv3Pf
— themocollins (@THEMOCOLLINS) March 16, 2021
There’s a whole industry set up to stroke the parental embarrassment this man used to feel towards his trans daughter.
When you read the articles, websites, crowdfunders, lawsuits, and books attempting to justify forcing your child into their birth sex role, that is the sell. https://t.co/kpdPedFu9i
— Katelyn Burns (@transscribe) March 16, 2021
We fear the unknown but sometimes the good in man comes out to pursue truth and understanding. https://t.co/41aEIzCAI2
— Eddie Aguirre (@CoachEd_e) March 18, 2021
Wow. Everyone should watch this. Whether you understand transgender or not. Tears still running down my face from both the pain & the love this father shares. https://t.co/fNSCakov4d
— Margaret Dawson (@seattledawson) March 17, 2021
Gratitude .this made me cry ,we need more parents who love their children for who they are
— ✌🏼rosanna arquette (@RoArquette) March 15, 2021
This is so sweet, i watched it twice 😭💕 Such a beautiful thing to see parents own up to their mistakes and to notice and reflect on the fact that his daughter was miserable, and to rectify the situation. Good dad, good growth, and fantastic parenting!! 💞
— 🏳️⚧️ 🏳️🌈Noodle 🐶👽 | BLM! (@Noodle_6424) March 17, 2021
This is so beautiful. And also so tragic. How sad that any parent has to beg lawmakers to allow their child to be who they really are.
— Daniel D. Veniez (@danveniez) March 15, 2021
I always said if a child of mine told me they were LGBTQ I would be overjoyed.
Not in the fact that they were LGBTQ, that wouldn’t matter either way. But that they were comfortable enough to not feel they had to hide or deny it. They’d get full support, no question.
— Anu (@TheAnuhart) March 15, 2021Advertisement
People supporting the bill argued that having transgender athletes on teams would mean they would have an unfair physical advantage over their peers. Republican state representative Chuck Basye, the sponsor of the bill, said the bill is intended to support cisgender girls in their athletic careers.
“Women or young girls, ladies in that matter, after they work hard in a competitive sport and then lose that opportunity to go on to the next level to get a college scholarship,” Basye said to local TV station KTVI.