Kimberly Shappley’s son started showing signs that he identified as a girl as early as 18 months. Born Joseph Paul Shappley, Kai transitioned at just four years old. In an article in Harper’s Bazaar, Shappley talks about how she let her daughter transition and how she hasn’t regretted it.
She was raised as a Christian and a Republican who didn’t support the LGBTQ lifestyle. Kimberly says that all her beliefs were brought into question when Kai started displaying feminine characteristics. Her three other sons did everything ‘boys are supposed to do’ and even the environment of masculinity did not change Kai.
Kimberly talks about her internal struggle. “I felt like I couldn’t go against everything I’d been taught to believe, and yet I also couldn’t let Kai live in such obvious agony,” she writes.
She says that she couldn’t ignore it anymore because by the time Kai turned 3 and a half she was verbalising that she was a girl at least 6 times a day.
One day Kimberly came across a story of a transgender child, whose conservative Christian parents had been against her transitioning. The story ended with her committing suicide. After that Kimberly tried hard to reconcile the Christian part of her with her desire to let Kai be a girl. She found online groups of similar mothers and found a new meaning in the Bible.
At 4 Kai transitioned. Her birthday gift was her first dress. Her daughter is now 6, but her journey towards being accepted is far from over. Kimberly’s friends and family have criticised her for letting Kai transition. She now surrounds herself with transgender men and women who are leaders in the community.
“There’s never been a moment of doubt or regret after making the choice to let Kai transition. I’ve learned too much about identity and faith in loving my beautiful daughter exactly the way she is,” Kimberly writes.
Pic Credit: Daily Mail