JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Legislators met in the Missouri capital on March 3 to discuss whether voters should decide whether transgender students should play sports on teams that reflect their gender on their birth certificates.
Brandon Boulware, a Kansas City father, testimony has been viewed a million times after speaking before the Missouri House Emergency Committee.
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Boulware spoke about his experience with his transgender daughter. At first he said he did not accept it, but now he sees how this resolution could affect their chances to exercise.
The ACLU posted a video of Boulware’s statements on social media on Monday. It quickly went viral, receiving more than 6 million views on Twitter and more than 300,000 views on the organization’s Instagram.
“My name is Brandon Boulware and the Chairman. I will go asap. I am a lifelong Missourian. I am a business lawyer. I am a christian. I am the son of a Methodist minister. I am a husband. I have four children, two boys and two girls, including a wonderful and beautiful transgender daughter.
Today is her birthday. I made up my mind to be here. She doesn’t know. She thinks I’m at work.
One thing I hear a lot when discussing transgender topics is that I don’t understand them. I do not understand. I would expect some of you to have said that and think the same way.
I didn’t understand it for years either. I wouldn’t let my daughter wear girls’ clothes. I didn’t let them play with girls’ toys. I forced my daughter to wear boys ‘clothes, get short hairstyles, and play on boys’ sports teams.
Why did i do this To protect my child. I didn’t want my daughter or her siblings to be teased. To be honest, I did it to protect myself too. I wanted to avoid those inevitable questions about why my child didn’t look and act like a boy.
My child was unhappy. I can’t exaggerate that she was utterly miserable. Especially in school. No trust, no friends, no laughter. I’ll say this honestly, I had a child who didn’t smile. We did that for years. We did this against the advice of teachers, therapists and other experts.
I remember the day everything changed for me. I came home from work and my daughter and her brother were on the lawn. She had put on one of her older sister’s play clothes and they wanted to go across the street and play with the neighbour’s children.
It was time for dinner. I said, “Come in.” She asked if she could go across the street. I said no.’ She asked me if she would go in and put on boys clothes, then could she go across the street and play.
Then it struck me that my daughter equated being good and being someone else. I taught her to deny who she is. As parents, we cannot silence our child’s mind. And so that day my wife and I stopped silencing our child’s mind. The moment we allowed my daughter to be who she is, let her hair grow out, wear the clothes she wanted to wear, she was a different child.
I mean it was instant. It was a total transformation. I now have a confident, smiling, happy daughter. She plays on a girl’s volleyball team. She has friendships. She is a child.
I came here today as a parent to share my story. You need to understand that when this language becomes law, it will have real effects on real people. It will affect my daughter. It means that she cannot play on the girl’s volleyball team, dance group, or tennis team. Please do not take this away from my daughter or any of the myriad others like you who are out there. Let them have their childhood. Let them be who they are. I ask you to vote against this legislation. “
Copy of Brandon Boulware’s testimony
The Missouri State High School Activities Association already has guidelines for transgender students who play sports. According to the manual, transgender boys (female to male) can participate in boys and co-ed teams, but transgender girls (male to female) cannot participate in girls’ teams.
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The manual goes on to state that a transgender boy who has received hormone treatment may be able to compete on a boys ‘team, but is no longer eligible to play on a girls’ team. For transgender girls, hormone treatment means that they can continue to play on a boys ‘team, but not on a girls’ team.
If the resolution is passed by both houses and signed by the governor, the voters’ decision will be on the ballot in 2022.
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