Iraq War veteran shares hopes for his trans kid in moving video: ‘Every child deserves to be loved’

A US combat veteran has spoken out in support of both his trans child and the fight to protect their rights.

Iraq War veteran Eric Childs, from South Carolina, said in a video that he believes his time in the military “was a defence of freedom”, which includes transgender rights.

He made the speech on behalf of the Gender Research Advisory Council and Education (Grace), a trans-led, not-for-profit organisation fighting for equality in the US.

In the clip, shared on Thursday (15 April), Childs said his goals while serving were defending “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

He went on to say: “I wanted that for my children one day. I love my kids, I’d fight tooth and nail for my kids.”

South Carolina has some of the most vehement anti-LGBTQ+ laws of any US state.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which has been tracking anti-LGBTQ+ bills from state to state since the beginning of the year, estimates that at least 31 such bills have already been introduced. Even more were either introduced or approved in 2023.

“If you love your child, I need you to step back and love them enough to believe them when they tell you who they are,” Childs said. “Love them at all costs, beyond everything.”

Not content to simply let lawmakers impose anti-trans policies on the transgender people of South Carolina, Childs spoke during an open session on 10 January after the state introduced a gender-affirming care ban for under-18s.

“I find this bill to be an egregious overreach by our government,” he said. “The American dream is for all people, not just those [who] attend church with, or are closely related to, our state’s legislators.

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is for everyone no matter how they choose to live, how folks enjoy their liberty, or pursue their happiness.”

Grace’s founder and president, Alaina Kupec, who is also a veteran, and transgender, said: “It is my sincere hope that this video makes its way through lesser-reached networks and serves as an example of the power of a father’s love and shows the breadth of unwavering and bipartisan support for transgender issues.”