A Missouri man has captured the attention of internet users across the nation following a sobering speech he delivered in defense of his daughter and countless other trans youth across his state.
On March 3, Brandon Boulware, a Kansas City attorney, appeared before Missouri lawmakers during a hearing on House Joint Resolution 53, a piece of legislation that would ban transgender high school athletes from playing girls' sports, Fox 2 Now reported.
Boulware appeared, first and foremost, as a father of four children, one of whom is a trans girl.
Appealing to the skepticism of Missouri lawmakers who support the ban, Boulware began the speech by reflecting on his past mindset.
"One thing I often here when transgender issues are discussed is 'I don't get it. I don't understand.' And I would expect some of you to have said that and feel the same way."
"I didn't get it either. For years I didn't get it."
"For years, I would not let my daughter wear girl clothes, I did not let my daughter play with girl toys. I forced my daughter to wear boy clothes and get short haircuts and play on boys' sports teams."
He then articulated the hard truth about his own motivations.
"Why did I do this?...truth be told I did it to protect myself. I wanted to avoid those inevitable questions as to why my child did not look and act like a boy."Boulware continued by explaining that his child was "miserable, with "no confidence, no friends, no laughter."
MUST WATCH: Brandon Boulware, the father of a transgender daughter, testifies during a hearing asking Missouri lawm… https://t.co/KZj4CAY8F8— ACLU (@ACLU) 1615825547.0
But, as he continued, he changed his tune in a single moment. According to Boulware, it occurred to him when his daughter, while wearing a dress, asked if he'd allow her to play with the neighbors if she went inside and put on boys clothes.
"My daughter was equating being good with being someone else," he observed. "I was teaching her to deny who she is. On that day, my wife and I stopped silencing our child's spirit."
Boulware closed by asking lawmakers to vote against the legislation. He asked them to "let [these youth] have their childhoods. Let them be who they are."
The clip of Boulware's testimony was eventually shared by the American Civil Liberites Union (ACLU) official twitter account. That launched the testimony to the eyes and ears of thousands on the internet.
@ACLU this is a similar journey that we’ve been through with our daughter. Different forks in the road, but guided… https://t.co/2UbbFgLhKm— rjb (@rjb) 1615905144.0
Missouri's House Resolution 53 is one of similar pieces of legislation already proposed in over 20 other states across the US.