Conservative Christian Mother of Transgender Child Seeks Meeting With Governor Abbott

I'm a mom. A Christian. A conservative. I know Governor Abbott is on the verge of making a decision about whether to call a special session of the legislature and whether to include a "bathroom bill" in such a session. I know he has not engaged in the dangerous rhetoric against transgender people - like my six-year-old - that we have seen from other elected officials. So I have hope.

That encouraged me to submit the following letter. I would be open to hear his private questions and concerns.

Dear Governor Abbott,

I am a conservative evangelical Christian. As a Christian, I believe scripture is God ordained and God breathed. As a conservative, I believe in small and responsible government. So of course, I voted for you, as I always voted straight ticket Republican. When I cast that vote, I had no idea that my child - then just shy of four years old - was transgender. I didn’t even know what “transgender” was. But not too long after you took your oath of office, I overheard my child praying to God to let her die, rather than having to continue to live as a boy. I saved my daughter’s life by loving her. I am asking you to love her, too.

I had no idea that my life, and Kai’s life, would become so inextricably wound up in Texas politics. I was not prepared to spend the past year hearing my sweet, happy daughter demonized and attacked by leaders in this state. I am grateful that you have not engaged in those attacks.

I have heard these elected leaders insist they are not targeting my daughter. However, I have seen their social media posts, and the newsletters and statements made by their funders and backers. They are calling my daughter a “pervert.” They want her to “rot and be blown away as dust.” She is six years old. I have heard their words, especially those spoken in churches, in private meetings, and from the floor of our Texas State Capitol. Just as the crowd mentality caused the stoning death of Stephen, they are stirring the crowd into a frenzy.

Again, I am grateful to you for not engaging in these attacks on my child. I know you have dedicated your whole public life to protecting the most vulnerable children. I am asking you, as a conservative Christian mother, to please protect my child. It took me a long time to come to terms with Kai’s identity, but I know if you met her, you would immediately understand that she is a little girl who would be unsafe in the boys’ bathroom, and who would be irreparably harmed by being segregated from her peers.

I know that you have millions of constituents, but I am trying to save my child’s life. Kai and I would be honored to come to Austin to meet with you this week, as you weigh the heavy decisions in front of you. I believe that if you met her, you would see my transgender daughter the way Jesus sees her: as fearfully and wonderfully made. Please give us that chance. I will include my cell phone number below.


Kimberly Shappley
Pearland, Texas


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