Terrified 11-year-old trans girl urges Texas governor to ‘please stop’ attacking her

Kai Shappley addresses a crowd gathered at the Texas Capitol in support of the trans community

An 11-year-old trans girl asks Texas legislators to “please stop” attacking her as she fears being “taken away” from supportive mum.

Protestors gathered outside the Texas Capitol on Monday (14 March) to condemn governor Greg Abbott’s directive that called on the state’s child protective services to investigate parents of kids receiving gender-affirming medical care for “child abuse”.

A judge temporarily blocked such investigations on Friday (11 March), but LGBT+ advocates are remaining vigilant as Texas attorney general Ken Paxton has said his office will appeal the judgement.  

Kai Shappley – trans activist, a finalist for TIME’s “Kid of the Year” award and diehard Dolly Parton fan – told the crowd that she just wanted the governor to “please stop” attacking trans youth. 

“If I could sit down with the governor, I would ask him to please stop,” she said. “I would tell him you’re hurting us. Is that too much to ask? Just stop.”

Shappley continued: “I think adults should treat trans kids just like any other kid. 

“Adults are supposed to protect kids, not hurt kids and their families. 

“It makes me upset because we are the children here.”

Shappley recalled how her mum burst out in tears after she got a text saying that Texas was “trying to classify gender-affirming care as child abuse”. She said she was “upset” by the news and still fears what child welfare officials could do in the future. 

“I’m afraid that I will be taken away from my mom,” Shappley said. “That’s the worst thought of all of it.”

The young activist said she has been asking “adults to make good choices” since she spoke out against a trans bathroom ban “six years ago”. She has continued to call on lawmakers to do better as she has battled against the state’s anti-trans bills.

“Though honestly, it’s been upsetting having to explain myself over and over again to adults for so many years,” Shappley admitted. “It’s just getting annoying. I’d rather spend my time just being a kid.”

She called on people to use their gifts and talents to “help trans kids like me”, and she also cheekily asked anyone with the ability to contact Saint Dolly Parton to “tell her to call me”. 

According to Spectrum News, the protest was organised by the ACLU, Equality Texas, GLAAD and producers of a documentary titled Mama Bears

The documentary, which premiered at SXSW, follows mothers of LGBT+ children who eventually grew up as evangelical Christians and eventually become activists fighting to keep their children safe. 

Mama Bears director Daresha Kyi described how the movie was created to “address the kinds of attacks that are happening right now” as society is encountering a “battle between love and hatred”. 

“This movie is to remind all of us we have to love each other because if we don’t, we are headed to the brink of destruction,” Kyi added.