HomeBad Ass AsiansLawmaker tears up while sharing story about her gender nonconforming child

Lawmaker tears up while sharing story about her gender nonconforming child

U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) urged lawmakers to legislate with “love” instead of “fear”, during the House Judiciary Committee meeting about the Equality Act, reports CNN

After several GOP legislators and Republican-affiliated witnesses expressed concerns against the Equality Act, a law that would provide basic civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ individuals, Rep. Jayapal found herself discussing, for the first time, why this legislation was deeply personal — her own child belonged to this community.

“As I listened to some of you today, I was struck by this push to presume that these provisions would somehow be manipulated or used by people in ways that would hurt existing sex protections,” Jayapal said early on in her speech, reports NBC News. “It occurred to me that we are talking about fear versus love; we are talking about fear versus freedom.”

Jayapal said she “didn’t intend to” share the tearful story about the freedom her child gained once embracing their gender nonconforming identity.

“My beautiful, now 22-year-old child told me last year that they were gender nonconforming, ” Jayapal said. “Since this deeply impactful moment last year, my child’s embracing of their nonconforming gender identity and all that it has allowed, all that it allows in terms of their creativity, their brilliance, their self-expression, the only thought I wake up with every day is my child is free.”

Jayapal continues, “My child is free to be who they are, and in that freedom comes a responsibility for us as legislators to protect that freedom.”

The representative, who was the first Indian American elected to Congress and is a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus, has a history of advocating and uplifting progressive values. Jayapal unveiled new ‘Medicare-for-All’ legislation earlier this year and has been reported to be a strong mentor to Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar. 

Vedant Patel, who is the communications director for Rep. Jayapal, also confirmed with NBC News that Tuesday’s committee hearing was the first time the lawmaker had shared that story.

According to Out Magazine. if this bill presented by House Democrats passes, it would be the first federal legislation ensuring LGBTQ+ protections to pass in this congressional body.

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