“I didn’t get it either. For years, I did get it.” This is what business lawyer Brandon Boulware told Missouri legislators earlier this month when he was fighting for his transgender daughter’s rights.
On March 3, Missouri lawmakers voted on House Joint Resolution 53, a bill that would require students to play sports on the team that reflects the sex on their birth certificates. This is a law that more than 20 states currently follow, Today reported.
Father Gives Passionate Speech In Front of Lawmakers on Behalf of His Transgender Daughter Pleading the to Vote Again HJR 53.
In a passionate 3-and-a-half minute-long video, Boulware, a loving father of four, admitted that when his daughter first started wearing girl’s clothes and playing with girl’s toys, he panicked because he “didn’t get it.”
As a result of that lack of understanding and panic, Boulware admitted that he forced his daughter, who was assigned male at birth, to wear boy’s clothes, to keep her hair short, and to only play with boy’s toys and on boy’s sports teams.
“I’m a lifelong Missourian, I’m a business lawyer, I’m a Christian, I’m the son of a Methodist minister, I’m a husband, and I’m a father of four kids — two boys, two girls — including a wonderful and beautiful transgender daughter,” Boulware said as he began his statement.
The proud dad admitted that March 3, the day he chose to speak in front of the legislators, was his daughter’s birthday. However, at the time, his daughter had no idea that what he was doing on her behalf and on behalf of the transgender community.
As Boulware continued, he admitted that for years he would force his daughter to conform to societal norms thinking he was protecting his child, protecting her and her siblings from getting teased. “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.”
However, as a result of his actions, Boulware’s child was “miserable.” It’s a fact that he says he cannot overstate. “No confidence, no friends, no laughter,” Boulware said, adding that his daughter was so repressed that he created a child who did not smile.
And then, one day, it clicked for Boulware. While playing outside in a dress, Boulware told his children to go inside for dinner. Initially, his daughter and one of his sons had asked to go across the street to play with the neighbor kids, but Boulware told them no.
“She asked me if she went inside and put on boy clothes, could she then go across the street and play. And it’s then that it hit me. My daughter was equating being good with being someone else. I was teaching her to deny who she is,” Boulware continued. “As parents, the one thing we cannot do, the one thing, is silence our child’s spirit.”
And it was that exact day that he and his wife stopped silencing their daughter. And as Boulware admitted, the change in his daughter’s demeanor was immediate. His daughter began to smile again.
“I need you to understand that this language if it becomes law, will have real effects on real people,” Boulware said in his plea encouraging Missouri lawmakers to vote against HJR 53.
Boulware’s daughter is currently a member of her school’s girls’ volleyball team. It’s one of the things that gives his daughter a reason to smile day in and day out.
“It will affect my daughter. It means she cannot play on the girls’ volleyball team, or dance squad, or tennis team. I ask you, please don’t take that away from my daughter or the countless others like her who are out there.”
“Let them have their childhoods,” Boulware said. “Let them be who they are.”
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