Stories Behind Bad Policy: The Need to Protect Transgender Children

Updated: Mar 4

“I’m a bold and strong, independent little lady,” Kai Shappley, an 11-year-old transgender girl from Texas, proudly proclaimed. “And I will keep fighting for as long as I need to.”

Kai Shappley, an elementary student, is fighting for her rights.


The last two years have been devastating for transgender children across the county, as a nation-wide effort to reduce the rights of transgender youth unfolds in state policies and legislation. Fourteen states are considering bans or restrictions on transition care for transgender children. The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law found that more than 45,000 are at risk of losing access to care because of the proposals.


The thoughts, feelings, and bravery of transgender children and their families can often be loss amidst the heated rhetoric around the policies.

Moonlight Foundation collected a handful of the hundreds of local stories about strong transgender children to make sure the important voices are heard.

  • Kai (Texas)

  • Maxim (Florida)

  • Elliot James (South Dakota)

  • Kris (South Dakota)

  • Seph (New York)

  • Brooke (Arkansas)

  • Gracie (California)

  • Ryland (Iowa)