10-year-old trans girl brilliantly calls out Texas lawmakers for attacking her since 'pre-K'
via Texas State Senate and The ACLU

There has been a tidal wave of anti-trans legislation proposed over the past few months in the U.S. At least 17 states are now considering restricting anyone under the age of 18 from transition-related care.

Texas is currently debating two anti-trans bills. Once would criminalize parents for allowing their children to receive gender-affirming treatments. Another would criminalize healthcare professionals who administer them.

For a state that prides itself on promoting personal freedom, these bills go out of their way to punish medical professionals and parents for making deeply personal choices. Shouldn't doctors and parents have the right to make medical decisions for children without the state's involvement?


At a hearing for the legislation, one of the bill's lead sponsors, Republican State Senator Charles Perry, said he felt obliged to protect children "who have not reached the maturity to understand what is being proposed nor the impact on them in perpetuity."

10-year-old Kai Shappley, a transgender girl, testified at the hearing and delivered a polite, but blistering rebuttal to conservative lawmakers.

Kai is best known for her role on Netflix's "The Baby-Sitters Club." She was also the subject of an Emmy-winning short film by the ACLU, "Trans in America: Texas Strong."

Her performance at the hearing showed that legislation like this was hurtful to children who are already dealing with major challenges. "I do not like spending my free time asking adults to make good choices," Shappley told lawmakers. "I've been having to explain myself since I was 3 or 4 years old. Texas legislators have been attacking me since pre-K. I am in fourth grade now."

"It makes me sad that some politicians use trans kids like me to get votes from people who hate me just because I exist," she said.

She also responded to Perry who gave a religious reason for his anti-trans legislation. "God made me. God loves me for who I am, and God does not make mistakes," Shappley responded.

She also urged lawmakers to educate themselves on the topic and reminded them that "bullying is bad."

Kai gave some historical context to the hearing by reminding lawmakers they are clearly on the wrong side of history. "I want to say thank you to those of you who are sticking up for kids like me," she said. "By the time I'm in college, you will be celebrated in the history books."

After her testimony, she was greeted by a warm round of applause.

It's a shame to see a 10-year-old girl appear at a hearing to affirm her basic rights to a group of people who clearly have no idea what she and other children like her go through. But her appearance does put a real, human face to this legislation and shows the world who these lawmakers are demonizing.

Kai Shappley shouldn't have to do what she does, but it's truly incredible to see someone so young, poised, and credible have the confidence at such a young age to speak truth to power.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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Philanthropists Mark and Kimbra Walter, who fund the refuge for rare species, say they are "thrilled to give these elephants a place to wander and explore."

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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