As Anti-Trans Legislation Advances in Florida, Texas Trans Girl Speaks Out Before State Senate Committee

“It’s been very scary and overwhelming.”

Two more bills that would limit rights for transgender minors are now making their ways through state legislatures. 

On Wednesday, the Florida state House voted to pass HB 1475, which would ban transgender athletes from competing in girls’ and women’s scholastic sports. The bill passed by a vote of 77 to 40, with one Democrat voting for the bill alongside the full Republican delegation.

The bill would allow scholastic athletes to launch complaints about challengers whom they ‘suspect’ may be competing on teams not of their assigned birth gender, according to reports from the Tampa Bay Times. The athlete challenged would have to prove their birth gender in order to compete. How the process would work is unclear, the Times reports. Notes that the State Education Board, which has been tasked with creating the rules, is chaired by Andy Tuck, who is the father of HB 1475’s sponsor, Kaylee Tuck, a Republican representative from Lake Placid.  

Meanwhile, in Texas, a bill was heard in Senate committee this week that would criminalize parental consent for trans minors to receive gender-affirming medical treatment. The bill “would redefine child abuse to include administering, supplying or consenting to provide puberty suppression drugs, hormone replacement therapy, or surgical or medical procedures to anyone under 18 ‘for the purpose of gender transitioning or gender reassignment,” NBC Out reports

Unlike previous bills, such as one passed in Arkansas early April — which penalize doctors who provide gender-affirming care to minors — the Texas bill targets parents with potential felony charges. Parents who violate the law could face 10 years in prison and have their children removed into foster care. 

Kai Shappley, a 10-year-old trans girl, spoke before the Senate committee on Monday, offering testimony against the bill. “Texas legislators have been attacking me since I was pre-K,” Shappley said in her testimony. “I am in fourth grade now. When it comes to bills that target trans youth I immediately feel angry. It’s been very scary and overwhelming.”

 She continued, asking legislators to “Please just listen to me. Hear me. Try to educate yourselves. Try to understand everybody.”

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