Brandon Boulware, a Christian and the son of a Methodist minister, once forced his transgender daughter to wear her hair short so she’d look like a boy. Now he’s fighting a resolution that he believes discriminates against transgender students, and his speech has gone viral.
Boulware implored the Missouri state legislature to reject House Joint Resolution 53. Otherwise known as HJR53, the bill would prevent transgender girls like Boulware’s daughter from participating in sports teams that don’t reflect their biological sex.
Brandon Boulware Viral Speech
The video of Boulware’s speech has gone viral. In it, he tells legislators that he made his daughter cut her hair short, play with “boy” toys, and wear boy clothes. He says he did that to protect her from being teased, but he confessed that he also did it for himself, so that he wouldn’t have to answer uncomfortable questions from other adults.
“One thing I often hear when transgender issues are discussed is, ‘I don’t get it – I don’t understand,’” Boulware says. “I didn’t get it either. For years, I didn’t get it.”
In the video, Boulware, who came to the hearing on his daughter’s birthday, tells legislators that the way he treated his daughter made her “absolutely miserable.” He says she had a particularly difficult time at school where she had no friends. Boulware’s daughter lost all her confidence. And she never laughed.
Then one day Boulware came home from work and found his daughter playing in a dress. She wanted to go play with the neighbor’s kids, but Boulware said no. His daughter offered to remove the dress and put on boy clothes if she could just go out and play a little longer.
“It was then that it hit me. My daughter was equating being good with being someone else,” Boulware says in the video. “I was teaching her to deny who she is. As a parent, the one thing we cannot do is silence our child’s spirit. So on that day, my wife and I stopped silencing our child’s spirit. The moment we allowed my daughter to be who she is, to grow her hair, to wear the clothes she wanted to wear, she was a different child. It was immediate. It was a total transformation.”
She also joined the girls’ volleyball team. But if HJR53 passes, she’ll no longer be allowed to play.
“It will affect my daughter. It will mean that she cannot play on the girls’ volleyball team, or dance squad, or tennis team,” Boulware said. “I ask you: Please don’t take that away from my daughter or the countless others like her that are out there. Let them have their childhoods. Let them be who they are. I ask you to vote against this legislation.”
The sponsor of the resolution is Republican state Rep. Chuck Basye. Basye and his supporters say it would be unfair to include transgender girls on sports teams where they would have an unfair physical advantage over cisgender girls.
But according to doctors and scientists, that argument is wildly invalid. All factors considered, whether it’s medical, environmental or otherwise, the facts do not support a competitive advantage for transgender athletes.
Three-time NBA champion Dwayne Wade, father of a transgender daughter himself, took to Instagram to express his support for Brandon Boulware, as well as his frustration with discrimination against transgender children.
“I vote AGAINST this legislation! I don’t know Brandon Boulware at all but I do know we have something real in common,” Wade wrote. “Here’s the one thing we can’t do “ SILENCE OUR CHILD’S SPIRIT” Thank you for using your platform and sharing your family’s story! “Our kids are more than bedrooms, bathrooms and locker rooms”
Brandon Boulware Speech — Sources