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A father emotionally defends his transgender son against Missouri lawmakers

Rabbi Daniel Bogard Central Reform Congregation rebukes Missouri bill transgender people bathrooms please just wash your hands
footage via threads @therecount

"It's actually surprisingly easy to be a parent to a trans kid," Rabbi Daniel Bogard told Missouri legislators. "The only hard part we have experienced is you all."

As the Missouri state legislature convened to discuss a plethora of anti-LGBTQ+ bills, the parent of one transgender child issued a desperate plea for the government to "just leave us alone."

Rabbi Daniel Bogard spoke out during public comment Wednesday against the wave of legislation, focusing in on a bill that would prevent transgender people from using the bathrooms that align with their gender identity. Bogard, whose 10-year-old son is trans, lamented the fact that he must "fight so that [his son] can go and poop at school without being bothered."

"It's actually surprisingly easy to be a parent to a trans kid," he said, in a video posted on Threads by The Recount. "The hard part — I mean it — the only hard part we have experienced is you all. The only hard part of having a trans kid is this sense that my government just won't leave us alone. That we have to come back here again and again and fight just for his basic human dignity."

Bogard said that he realized the heart of the ongoing anti-trans panic when speaking with his son. He explained that he still instructs his son to use the women's bathroom in public, because "men's restrooms are gross," and his son's reason for refusing opened his eyes.

"He said, 'Dad, I don't want to go there because I don't want everyone to know what my private parts look like,'" Bogard recalled. "And it just has stuck with me how much of this is about feeling like folks have some right to know what children's privates look like. If kids are going into the bathroom and seeing each other's genitals there, that's a problem."

Missouri currently has 28 anti-LGBTQ+ bills advancing, all of which were first read this year, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Over 285 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced across the United States in the first few weeks of 2024 alone.

"My kid trying to go to the bathroom in school with dignity is not the issue," Bogard continued. "But it is bills like this that will drive my family from this state. I am desperately fighting to stay ... And I feel like I’m drowning because it happens again and again and again that we have to come here and fight for just the basic dignity of our kids.”

He concluded: “I am begging you just to leave us alone.”
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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.