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Christian dad fights for trans daughter's rights in powerful speech: 'We can't silence our children's spirits'

Brandon Boulware, an attorney, pleaded with the Missouri state lawmakers to vote against the bill banning trans girls from playing on girls' sports teams.

Christian dad fights for trans daughter's rights in powerful speech: 'We can't silence our children's spirits'
Image source: YouTube/ACLU

As many states across America are moving to ban trans girls from playing on girls' sports teams, a devout Christian father, who has a trans daughter, made an impassioned plea to vote against the ban. Brandon Boulware narrated his own journey as a father in accepting his daughter for who she is and urged Missouri state lawmakers to not ban his daughter from playing on the girls' sports teams. The House Joint Resolution 53 is a bill that would mandate students to play sports on the team as per their sex assigned at birth, reported NBC News. This would ban trans girls from playing on the girls' sports teams. Boulware, who's an attorney, appealed to lawmakers on March 3. 



The video of Boulware's speech is garnering praise, even more so because it comes from a really personal level. Boulware appealed to the conservatives and Republicans, by saying that he is also a devout Christian, and also the son of a Methodist minister. Boulware opened up about how he struggled to accept his trans daughter for who she is and often forced her t dress in "boy" clothes and play with "boy" toys. “One thing I often hear when transgender issues are discussed is, ‘I don’t get it — I don’t understand,’” said Boulware, drawing from his own experience. “I didn’t get it either. For years, I didn’t get it.”


Boulware was honest and admitted that he was also selfishly protecting himself as well by not letting his daughter realize her true self. “Why did I do this? To protect my child,” said Boulware. “I did not want my daughter or her siblings to get teased. And truth be told, I did it to protect myself as well. I wanted to avoid those inevitable questions as to why my child did not look and act like a boy.”


The attorney said suppressing her daughter's identity made her miserable. “I cannot overstate that. She was absolutely miserable,” said Boulware. “Especially at school. No confidence, no friends, no laughter.” He went on to add that it had been a while since she smiled. He then narrated an incident that helped to accept his daughter for who she is. He had returned from work and found his daughter wearing a dress and playing with her older sister. “They wanted to go across the street and play with the neighbors' kids,” Boulware recalled. He said no. In a bid to change his mind, his daughter offered to change into boy clothes. She had asked if she could stay out a bit longer if she dressed as he pleased, in a boy's dress. “It was then that it hit me. My daughter was equating being good with being someone else,” said Boulware.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 23: Hundreds protest a Trump administration announcement this week that rescinds an Obama-era order allowing transgender students to use school bathrooms matching their gender identities, at the Stonewall Inn on February 23, 2017 in New York City. Activists and members of the transgender community gathered outside the historic LGTB bar to denounce the new policy. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)


“I was teaching her to deny who she is. As a parent, the one thing we cannot do is silence our child’s spirit. So on that day, my wife and I stopped silencing our child’s spirit. The moment we allowed my daughter to be who she is, to grow her hair, to wear the clothes she wanted to wear, she was a different child. It was immediate. It was a total transformation,” said Boulware. He added that his daughter is now “confident, smiling, and happy." 


Boulware’s daughter plays on the girls' volleyball team and he reminded the Missouri state lawmakers that voting for the ban would affect her, among many others. “I ask you please don’t take that away from my daughter or the countless others like her who are out there,” said the attorney. “Let them have their childhoods. Let them be who they are.” Boulware's speech also resonated with NBA star Dwyane Wade, who is the father of a 12-year-old trans daughter, Zaya. "I don't know Brandon Boulware at all but I do know we have something real in common. Our kids are more than bedrooms, bathrooms, and locker rooms," wrote Wade.

If you're trans and are being subjected to abuse, or need any help, please reach out to TRANS LIFELINE at 877-330-6366.

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