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Lawmaker shares heartwarming story of her gender non-conforming child

Ella Braidwood April 3, 2019
Lawmaker Pramila Jayapal.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 12: Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) questions witnesses during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee's Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill March 12, 2019 in Washington, DC. The subcommittee members questioned corporate leaders and other experts testified about the "state of competition in the wireless market" and the possible impacts of the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint would have on consumers in rural areas, workers and the future of 5G broadband internet access. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

American lawmaker Pramila Jayapal has shared her heartwarming story of having a “beautiful” gender non-conforming child at a hearing for the Equality Act.

Democratic politician Jayapal told a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Equality Act on Tuesday (April 2) about how her child came out to her as gender non-conforming in 2018.

“My beautiful, now-22 year old child told me last year that they were gender non-conforming,” said the lawmaker.

“And over the last year, I have come to understand from a deeply personal mother’s perspective.

“I came to understand what their newfound freedom—it is the only way I can describe what has happened to my beautiful child—what their newfound freedom to wear a dress, to rid themselves of some conformist stereotype of who they are, to be able to express who they are at their real core.”

The Equality Act is a bill to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964, so that it also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity across in the US.

It is currently legal to discriminate against LGBT+ people in 30 US states due to patchy state-level protections, as efforts to pass US-wide LGBT+ civil rights laws have been stalled in Congress for decades.

Lawmaker Pramila Jayapal tells hearing about her “beautiful” gender non-conforming child

The Equality Act bill was introduced to the House of Representatives in March.

“My beautiful, now-22 year old child told me last year that they were gender non-conforming.”

—Pramila Jayapal

Jayapal continued: “Since this deeply impactful moment last year, my child’s embracing of their non-conforming gender identity and all it allows in their brilliance, their self-expression, the only thought I wake up with every day is, ‘My child is free. My child is free to be who they are.’

“And in that freedom comes a responsibility for us as legislators to protect that freedom to be who they area.”

Legislators have a “responsibility” to protect children like mine, says Pramila Jayapal

Jayapal shared a video of her speech on Twitter on Tuesday (April 2).

“During @HouseJudiciary today, I shared why the #EqualityAct is so personal to me and my family,” she wrote.

“My child is finally free to be who they are. With that freedom comes a responsibility, for us as legislators, to legislate with love and not fear.”

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