Mother fights for her 5-year-old trans kid to use a gender-appropriate bathroom
The mother of a 5-year-old trans girl in Texas is fighting for her daughter to have the right to be allowed to use a gender-appropriate bathroom.
Kimberly Shappley is fighting for her daughter, Kai Shappley, to be allowed to use the correct facilities, before the 5-year-old even starts kindergarten.
She has taken her fight to the Pearland Independent School District.
“I went to the campus and approached the school district to try and work with them,” she told ABC News.
“I wanted to make sure Kai wouldn’t be discriminated against and be able to use the girl’s bathroom, but it soon became very apparent that the superintendent has a very strong, prejudiced stance against the LGBTQ community.”
But the District’s superintendent Dr John Kelly released a statement saying he thought the directive by the Obama administration to allow trans kids to use gender-appropriate facilities was “one more example of unconstitutional interference and social engineering by the federal government.”
Dr Kelly went on to compare trans bathroom use to “legalising paedophilia and polygamy”.
“Unless we return to the Biblical basis on which our nation’s laws were established, we are in serious trouble – and cannot expect God’s continued favor,” the superintendent said to the Pearland Journal.
But Shappley says she is concerned that her daughter will be discriminated against if she requests to use female bathrooms.
She said Dr Kelly’s words were “hurtful” but that she “used to be one of them”.
“I am a devout and conservative Christian and an ordained minister,” but said her views had changed after she spent time trying to force Kai to be a boy.
“I knew my kid was different before the age of 2… My child was very feminine, flamboyant and dramatic. No matter how I tried to punish, reshape or discipline her, she continued being very feminine.”
But she came around when Kai began “adamantly saying and verbalising she was a girl.”
The Obama administration intervened on LGBT rights after a string of laws attempted to roll back LGBT discrimination protections, purportedly to stop trans people from going to the bathroom.
The federal government wrote to every school in the US to advise them that they are obliged not to discriminate against trans people.
However, that hasn’t gone down well with hard-right Republicans – with GOP politicians in Oklahoma attempting to impeach Obama.
Back in May, Texas and ten other states sued the Obama Administration following the ruling, in an attempt to block the historic guidance.
The US Justice Department sued the state of North Carolina earlier this year, asking a federal court to rule that the state’s anti-trans HB2 law violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The Department said the state should stop enforcing HB2.
The Attorney General Loretta Lynch also threatened to withhold federal funding to the University of North Carolina system, which could be as much as $4.8 billion.
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In response, Governor McCrory filed his own desperate lawsuit against the federal government.
In it, he named Ms Lynch, the head of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Vanita Gupta and the Justice Department.
“We’re taking the Obama admin to court,” he wrote.
“They’re bypassing Congress, attempting to rewrite law & policies for the whole country, not just NC.
“Our lawsuit seeks to ensure that NC continues to receive federal funding until the courts clarify federal law & resolve this national issue.”
“These leaders are showing the nation what it means to stand up for all students, ensuring that our transgender youth are affirmed and respected in one of the places they should feel most safe – their schools,” said Sarah Warbelow, HRC Legal Director. “No student should have to live in fear of being who they are, and we thank the tireless advocates working to guarantee a future full of opportunity for all young people.”