A mother in Texas is fighting for her five-year-old transgender daughter’s right to use the girls’ bathroom when she begins kindergarten in the fall.
Kim Shappley, the mother of Kai, 5, went before the Pearland School District Tuesday night to plead her case for her daughter to use the female restrooms available at the school.
“Please understand I’m not fighting about [the] bathroom – I’m fighting about her life, I’m fighting about her well-being, I’m fighting for her happiness, I’m fighting for her future,” Shappley told the school board officials.
Kai, whose birth name is Joseph, was born anatomically a male but has been publicly living as a female for two years.
In an interview with the Texas Observer, Shappley said Kai had always said she was a female.
“Kai started telling us at age three “I’m a girl,”’ Shappley told the Observer.
She went on to say the more she tried to ignore the fact that her son identified as a female, the more behavioural issues she saw Kai develop – even “begging the Lord to just let her die.”
That’s when Shappley decided to do some research about the topic and realized she had to be a mom and support her child.
Shappley told the Observer she went to Walmart – something that took her four tries to do – and bought female princess underwear for Kai and put them in her drawer.
According to the Inquisitr, Texas law states that children have to use the bathrooms corresponding to the gender provided on their birth certificate, or in other words: the gender they were assigned at birth.
The Obama administration had released transgender guidelines for public schools to allow students to use the restroom that they identify with.
However, many political leaders are telling school boards to ignore the memo, some even citing safety concerns, according to The Dallas Morning News.
The local newspaper also wrote the first court date to discuss the transgender bathroom controversy will take place on Friday.
In the meantime, Shappley said she just wants her daughter to be happy and be able to identify as a female in every aspect possible.
“Every single person who has a degree, who has studied [transgender topics] says it is wrong for anyone to tell my child she cannot [use] the facility that aligns with her gender that she identifies with,” Shappley also told the school board.
The school board issued a statement that said as of now, any parent who declares their child as transgender “must go to the bathroom for the sex indicated on their birth certificate.”
The note also read in part: “Such students have also been allowed to use a private bathroom (such as in the nurse’s station) if they are so inclined. All Pearland ISD kindergarten classrooms have a private, gender-neutral bathroom within the classroom for student use.”
Shappley said she’s not sure what the school district will do next as she continues to fight for Kai’s right.
Kai is expected to begin school in two weeks.