An evangelical mother in Texas has become an unlikely firebrand for transgender equality – as she fights for her daughter’s rights. Pearland, Houston mother Kim Shappley is a devout Christian and ordained minister – in one of the most anti-LGBT parts of America. Houston last year became the focal point of a transgender rights battle last year when residents voted to repeal a local LGBT rights ordinance after lobbying from religious groups. But Ms Shappley is swimming against the tide in the conservative-dominated state, for the sake of her five-year-old transgender daughter Kai – who insisted she was a girl from age 3.
The mother says she prayed her child would grow out of it, and spent months of trying to make her act like a boy. Ms Shappley recalled: “We would take the girl toys away and Kai would pull a shirt down to her waist and make it a skirt. A shirt would get tied onto her head and it would make long hair.” “I would hold Kai down, and make her get a haircut while she screamed ‘no mommy, no mommy’…. my child would pray and ask to let her go to Heaven and be with Jesus. “Kai was begging the Lord to let her die.” After seeing the extent of harm she was causing, the mother realised the error of her ways and vowed to always embrace Kai for who she is. And that’s why when Kai’s school informed her that they would treat her daughter as a male student, she vowed to fight the decision.
The proud mum is taking on Pearland Independent School District in her bid to secure equality for Kai