A proud mother of a trans kid has bravely spoken out against an anti-trans bill in Texas, despite fearing her son “will be taken away from” her for her testimony.
Amber Briggle told the Texas state affairs committee she was “terrified” to speak to them because she is the parent of a trans child. She said she is “afraid that by speaking here today my words will be used against me”, and her “sweet son, whom I love more than life itself, will be taken away from me” should a new anti-trans law pass in Texas.
Briggle said she had a “million better things to do” than debate her son’s “private medical care” before politicians, adding the anti-trans bills are a “huge waste of time and tax dollars”.
She told the committee that, when her son was four-years-old, he asked her if “scientists could turn him into a boy”. Briggle said she “didn’t understand then that he was trans”.
“I only knew that he wasn’t like most girls his age and that something inside him was hurting,” Briggle said. “Like many of you, I thought he was asking for surgery, and I freaked out.”
She continued: “But after doing research, I came to understand that gender-affirmation surgery isn’t done on minors and that there is a whole array of medical options available for transgender youth including hormone blockers which are 100 per cent reversible, are not new and are clinically proven to save the lives of the trans children taking them.”
Briggle said her son, who is now 13-years-old, is the “most popular boy” in his grade and is loved by his family, friends, church and community. But she said this is only possible because “he has parents who affirm him and provide him the support he needs”.
“Taking that support away from him or worse taking him away from his family because we broke the law to provide that support will have devastating and heartbreaking consequences,” Briggle said.
She argued that Texas Senate Bill 1646 – an anti-trans healthcare bill currently being debated in Texas – is a “huge government overreach”, a “parent’s rights to care for their children in the best way they see fit” and a “death sentence to transgender children across the state who will be denied life-saving care”.
Briggle ended her powerful speech by promising senators that if the senators vote to pass the anti-tran bill into law she will be contacting them to remind them of the consequences of their actions.
She said: “If these bills become law that is child abuse and I promise I will call every one of you every single time a transgender child dies from suicide to remind you that their lives could have been saved, but you chose not to.”
Texas SB 1646, which is sponsored by 12 Republican state senators, would define the parents of trans kids who consent to their gender-affirming treatments as “child abusers”.
The bill states a person will be considered guilty of child abuse by “consenting to or assisting in the administering or supplying of, a puberty suppression prescription drug or cross-sex hormone to a child, other than an intersex child, for the purpose of gender transitioning or gender reassignment”.
This would also include any person who performs or consents to “the performance of surgery or another medical procedure on a child, other than an intersex child, for the purpose of gender transitioning or gender reassignment”.
If the bill were to pass into law, parents, who consent to gender-affirming care or treatment for their trans children, could jail time, fines and removal of the child.