|Kai Shappley at age 5 with her mom|
Jesus said to his disciples, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble.”
At age 3 Joseph Shappley began telling her mom that she was a girl.
“From my earliest memories of my child, my child’s been very feminine,” says Kim Shappley. “It’s just always been that way. I don’t know how else to put it. I’m a strong, spirit-filled, Bible-believing, born-again Christian. I’m a Republican.”
‘This was just not going to happen,” she told herself. “At home I had three other boys. I had a very masculine home. Nothing feminine in the home, and Kai started telling us at age 3, ‘I’m a girl.’”
I read about Kim Shappley and her daughter Kai in an article by Nyssa Kruse in the Texas Observer. Biologically, Kai was born a male and she was named Joseph.
Joseph knew at age three that she was a girl. But Kim believed that if she prayed enough and fasted enough, she could change Kai back into Joseph.
Then Kai began having behavior problems at school. Kim recalls, “If another little girl brought a toy for show and tell on Friday, my child would do everything in their power to steal that toy and lie about stealing it. And it just continued to escalate.”
Kim learned of a little boy in Oregon, a four year old, who was beaten to death by his mom because he had acted gay. She said it was something that “kind of struck me hard.” So she began reaching out to her pediatrician and to psychiatrists, “and they all pretty consistently said the same thing: ‘This is a real thing.’”
Then one night when Kai said her prayers at bedtime she started crying and she asked God to “let Joseph go home and live with Jesus.”
As Kim describes that time:
“Joseph is Kai’s male birth name. Kai was actually just begging the Lord to just let her die. Who wants to hear their toddler pray that? And then it starts clicking: 41 percent suicide rate. A 41 percent suicide rate. Why? The suicide rate is high because they don’t have the family support. They don’t have the community support and their self-esteem and their self-worth.”Kim’s faith shifted and she told herself, “I am a Bible-believing Christian. I love the Lord. But God makes no mistakes, and my child is fearfully and wonderfully made, just as the Scripture tells us.”
She says she used to listen to other mothers of transgender children say that they just wanted their child to be happy, and in her self-righteousness she would think, “It’s not about your kid being happy. You need to train your child in the ways of the Lord and be a better mom.”
Kai begged her mom to buy her panties, and Kim says it took her three or four trips to Wal-Mart before she could finally go through with it. She put the panties in Kai’s drawer and when Kai discovered the princess panties she fell on the floor hugging her new panties and sobbing to her mom, “Thank you, Mommy, thank you.”
Kim explains, “the thing is, what I saw in my child, when Kai got those panties, was this joy and this peace I had never seen in this child, and I realize it’s not about ‘I’m going to give you these to make you happy,’ it’s about my child had never truly been happy before.”
“We’ve lost a lot of very important people out of our lives and there are some thoroughly burned bridges. My sister has disowned me. I watch cousins and aunts post horrible things about transgender people, trying to rally the troops against the militant gay agenda, that Satan was using these little kids. I will say we’ve lost the majority of our family. I feel like sometimes we’re on a little island, but through this transition, my kid, within a few short weeks, we weren’t having lying anymore. We weren’t having bed-wetting any- more. We have had no nightmares in the past year. No stealing at all. That all was just erased within a few weeks of this. I have a happy, healthy, outgoing, loving, beautiful, sweet little girl who loves Jesus and loves her brothers.”Finally, Kim Shappley has some thoughts on what lawmakers and public officials could do to help transgender children:
“They could stop fueling the hate. They are making a dangerous and hostile environment for my child, for me, for our family with their hate. The bathroom deal — how did that become an issue? Transgender human beings have been using the gender-appropriate bathroom forever. Forever. And it didn’t become an issue until it was made an issue. The argument about “We can’t let this happen because it will let perverts into the bathroom” — well, hey, make a law that says perverts can’t go into the bathroom. Oh, wait, we already have that law.
“If we were to send my daughter into the men’s bathroom like lawmakers want, there we have a risk. Either she’s gonna get beaten up by people who’ve had their hatred fueled because there’s this beautiful woman in the bathroom with them, where lawmakers want her to go, or she’s gonna get raped because she’s a beautiful little woman. Let her go into the women’s bathroom. The only danger my daughter is gonna do in the women’s restroom that might be a little offensive is try to tell a woman how to fix her hair or makeup better.”
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