A man from Missouri appeared before the state’s lawmakers to reject a bill that would ban his transgender daughter from playing sports with other girls in school. The father in a heartfelt plea, gave a moving speech before the Missouri State Legislature which is now capturing global attention. A video where Brandon Boulware is testifying at a recent hearing has gone viral across social networking sites.
Earlier this month, Boulware spoke at a hearing in the Missouri House of Representatives Emergency Issues Committee, he pleaded to lawmakers to prevent the bill which assigns school athletic teams based on biological sex. The business lawyer said that there should be no discrimination against trans youth and his daughter should not be blocked from being a part of girls’ sports teams.
Boulware, who introduced himself as a lifelong Missourian, told how for years, he and his wife forced their kid to “wear boy clothes, get short haircuts and play on boys’ sports teams” against the advice of teachers and therapists. A Christian and a son of a Methodist minister, he confessed before making his case that he himself initially failed to understand the individuals who identify themselves as transgender.
Father to four children, “including a wonderful and beautiful transgender daughter”, Boulware shared an anecdote about the day he discovered his daughter in a dress. When he refused to let his daughter play with the neighbour’s kid, she asked him if his mindset would change if she put on “boy clothes”. It was then that he realised and understood his daughter was comparing being good with being someone else. In his speech, he said, “As a parent, the one thing we cannot do, the one thing, is silence our child’s spirit. Let them have their childhoods, let them be who they are. I ask you to vote against this legislation,”
The video of the father from Kansas City testifying in front of the state lawmakers has gone viral since American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation social media handle posted it online first. Netizens were moved by his impassioned speech and many pointed out how heartbreaking it is for a parent to see their kid in pain and feel helpless. Boulware’s speech video has been viewed more than 5 million times on Twitter and shared tons of thousands of times.
Boulware, along with parents, coaches, doctors, and student athletes have united to highlight that trans individuals belong everywhere.