A video of a father defending his transgender daughter’s rights in front of lawmakers has gone viral on social media.
Brandon Boulware testified on March 3 in front of a House committee to try to convince lawmakers not to pass House Joint Resolution 53.
The bill seeks to amend the state constitution to force students to play on the sports team that matches the sex listed on their birth certificate, with several other similar bills aimed at restricting the lives of trans kids sweeping their way across state legislatures.
Boulware’s trans girl child spent years being made to wear male clothes, cut her hair short, and play on boys’ sports teams.
He said his child was “miserable” as a result, “absolutely miserable”, and had “no confidence, no friends, no laughter”.
“I can honestly say this: I had a child who did not smile.”
It wasn’t until one day, when Boulware found his daughter wearing her sister’s dress, that his attitude changed. He had forbidden her from playing with a neighbour’s kids—so she asked him if she could play if she changed into boys’ clothes. That question, Boulware said, made him realise that he was in the wrong.
“My daughter was equating being good with being someone else. I was teaching her to deny who she is,” Boulware said. “As a parent, the one thing we cannot do, the one thing, is silence our child’s spirit. And so on that day, my wife and I stopped silencing our child’s spirit.”
Watch the video in full below:
MUST WATCH: Brandon Boulware, the father of a transgender daughter, testifies during a hearing asking Missouri lawmakers to stop discriminating against trans youth. pic.twitter.com/bTuSoyE1nW— ACLU (@ACLU) March 15, 2021