By David Aspinall
This transgender boy has delivered an impassioned plea to President Trump regarding his transgender bathroom policy.
Nine-year-old Luke delivered the emotional address while at home on February 27 in response to the 45th President revoking President Obama’s guidelines to public schools telling them to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.
In the minute-long-address filmed by mum Kathryn, Luke tells Trump, ‘you said you wouldn’t take away my rights, I need you to keep that promise’.
After listing the risks of banning transgender people from using the bathroom they identify with – including depression and suicide – the mature youngster declares: ‘I deserve to be treated equally, I exist’.
Kathryn said: “We were disheartened to have to tell Luke that President Trump had removed the Title IX guidelines, citing it was a State’s issue.
“He was sad and felt it was unfair, and told us that he wanted to speak out not just for himself but others like him.
“When President Obama provided the guidelines for schools to know what was expected of them, we explained to Luke how significant it was for the transgender community.
“He was excited.
“Although he uses the school nurse’s bathroom currently, he’d like to eventually use the boy’s bathroom and not feel singled out.”
According to his mum, Luke knew from the age of four that he ‘didn’t feel like a girl.’
And after getting a haircut for school photos, Luke asked to have his hair cut short and he began his transition in September 2015.
Kathryn said: “We decided to allow him to cut his hair how he wanted it, but asked why he wanted it so short.
“This is when he told us he didn’t feel right being a girl and felt like being a boy would feel better.
“The next day he asked if he could wear his brother’s clothes and asked his friends to start calling him Luke.”
Once that decision was made, a lot of research was done into being transgender including reading the book ‘I am Jazz’ by Jazz Jennings.
Kathryn said: “This is where Luke heard the word transgender for the first time and he was excited to finally have a word to describe how he felt.
“From the time he transitioned he has been happier and more confident than ever.
“He is more outgoing and social and loves to meet others like him and share their stories.”
On the whole, Luke has been supported by friends and family with his transition.
Kathryn said: “We have asked that they respect Luke’s wishes and for the most part they have.
“Outside of our family there have been some kids at school that have told him that he couldn’t transition, or told him that you must be what you are born as.
“He had an extremely supportive teacher when he transitioned in third grade and that made a world of difference.
“Most kids have been supportive and use his correct pronouns and name.”
Luke had been asked by local support groups whether he would feel comfortable speaking in front of government officials, so the video was a trial run.
Kathryn said: “He certainly isn’t shy and has no problem speaking his mind.
“We don’t understand why Donald Trump felt he had to do anything at all.
“With the rate that transgender people are murdered and abused we don’t want our son to be a part of those statistics.
“There needs to be protections under the law for all transgender people.
“The decision for Luke to speak publicly was not taken lightly, we weighed the positive and negative responses.
“We discussed all of this with Luke and he felt if he could make a difference in at least one person’s life that it would be worth it.
“He knows he has many safe places and people that will protect him.”
Luke said: “Transgender rights are human rights, and Trans people should get the same amount of kindness and respect as everyone else.
“We’re just like them.”