- How to stream Manchester City vs. Shakhtar Donetsk in Champions League action 6 Months Ago
- Milo Yiannopoulos threatens to crash furry convention he is barred from 6 Months Ago
- How to stream Juventus vs. Atletico Madrid in Champions League action 6 Months Ago
- How to stream Real Madrid vs. PSG in Champions League action Today 5:24 PM
- No-fly zone implemented over Area 51 ahead of Alienstock festival Today 5:16 PM
- TikTok accused of censoring content about Hong Kong protests Today 5:04 PM
- Smoke ’em, pass ’em, Week 3: At the Bakery Today 4:38 PM
- Alex Trebek says he will be undergoing chemotherapy again Today 4:27 PM
- Dan Crenshaw roasted after attacking Sanders’ call for veteran care Today 4:19 PM
- How to stream NXT for its USA network debut Today 4:12 PM
- This website will show you how AI classifies you Today 3:22 PM
- School tells Black 4-year-old to cut his hair or wear a dress Today 3:17 PM
- Lizzo called a ‘snitch’ for accusing Postmates runner of stealing food Today 2:30 PM
- Government sues Edward Snowden for breaking a non-disclosure agreement Today 2:21 PM
- How to stream Tottenham Hotspur vs. Olympiacos in the Champions League Today 1:56 PM
During a speech on the House floor on Tuesday, Rep. Ramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) shared her experience of being the mother of a gender non-conforming child.
Jayapal’s speech was a part of her call to her colleagues to support the Equality Act, a bill she co-sponsored, which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as other federal laws to make it so LGBTQ people are federally protected.
During debate of the bill on Tuesday conservative representatives like Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) tried to argue that it would “nominally protect certain individuals” while undermining religious freedom and freedom of speech.
When Jayapal spoke to the House, it wasn’t in abstractions, it was about her personal experience. “I didn’t intend to say this today,” she said, her voice choked up. “But my beautiful now 22-year-old child told me last year that they were gender-nonconforming.”
During @HouseJudiciary today, I shared why the #EqualityAct is so personal to me and my family. My child is finally free to be who they are. With that freedom comes a responsibility, for us as legislators, to legislate with love and not fear. pic.twitter.com/VfpiD9aDyY— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) April 2, 2019
“I’ve always been a civil rights activist, I’ve always fought for my constituents and my communities to have equal rights―but from a mother’s perspective,” Jayapal said, pausing to wipe her tears away. “I came to understand what their newfound freedom it is the only way I can describe what has happened to my beautiful child, what their newfound freedom to wear a dress, to rid themselves of some conformist stereotype of what they are, to be able to express who they are at their real core.”
Jayapal described her child always doing well in school but carrying with them “a heavy burden of conflict in their own being” which she could not identify until her child came out. “Since this deeply impactful moment last year, my child’s embracing of their non-conforming gender identity and all that it has allowed,” continued Jayapal, “the only thought I wake up with every day is, ‘my child is free.’”
Jayapal then put it plainly for her colleagues in the House, saying, “in that freedom comes a responsibility for us as legislators to protect their freedom.”
LGBTQ folks and allies thanked Jayapal for her support and her vulnerability.
Wow. Rep. Jayapal made the most beautiful statements on the power of her child’s own experience embracing their nonconforming gender identity. Thank you for sharing your stories, @RepJayapal. This is why we need the #EqualityAct. pic.twitter.com/R7DOqMGBCm— Tori Wenger (@ToriWenger) April 2, 2019
Thank you so much for sharing. You are showing yourself being a wonderful mother to a gifted and amazing child.— BBinPNW (@Boston_2019_) April 2, 2019
I am proud that you are my representative.#LoveWins
From one proud mom of a #trans child to another proud mom, thank you @RepJayapal for telling us about your beautiful child today. They are lucky to have you and we are lucky to have you as one of us, standing up for all trans and GNC folks. <3— Debi Jackson (@the_debijackson) April 2, 2019
Fellow legislator Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY..) also gave her support on Twitter, writing, “bravery is the courage to be vulnerable in front of the world. &Strength [sic] can be finding the power in your tears.”
- The dirty, complex, empowering history of the word ‘queer’
- Asexuality is real—and it has nothing to do with celibacy
- I’m a lesbian and a transgender woman—and those two aren’t mutually exclusive
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have written for The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, The Lingerie Addict, and Bullet Points.