Missouri State Rep. Ian Mackey delivers impassioned plea for trans rights.

Missouri State Rep. Destroys GOP Lawmaker Over Anti-Trans Bill

State Rep. Ian Mackey delivers a personal, impassioned plea for trans rights.

Democratic Missouri State Rep. Ian Mackey delivered a personal and impassioned plea for transgender rights after the Missouri House approved a bill that would allow school districts to vote on banning trans student athletes from sports. The transphobic measure was tacked onto an existing bill designed to audit the state’s voter rolls and tweak election laws, but was amended by Republican State Rep. Chuck Basye, who claimed the addition was meant to “save women’s sports.” “This isn’t about hate, this is about fairness,” Basye said.

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Mackey, an openly gay Democrat representing St. Louis, excoriated Basye and his fellow Republicans. Mackey discussed his own childhood as a closeted kid saying, “I was afraid of people like you growing up and I grew up in Hickory County, Missouri, … I grew up in a school district that would vote tomorrow to put this in place.” 

He also name-checked Basye’s own gay brother, saying “Your brother wanted to tell you he was gay, didn’t he?” Mackey asked him. Basye said he did, and that his brother was worried their family would cut ties him over his sexuality. “Why would he think that?” Mackey pressed.

“I don’t know,” replied Basye, adding that his kids love their uncle and “that was never going to happen.” Mackey said, “I would have been afraid to tell you too. I would have been afraid to tell you to because of stuff like this because this is what you’re focused on. This is the legislation you want to put forward. This is what consumes your time … I was afraid of people like you growing up.”

Mackey’s speech went viral on TikTok, amassing more than 700,000 views. He wrapped up his speech by saying, “Thank God I made it out … I think every day about the kids who are still there who haven’t made out, who haven’t escaped from this kind of bigotry. Gentlemen, I’m not afraid of you anymore, because you’re gonna lose. You may win this today, but you’re going to lose.”

LGBTQ+ rights are under attack at unprecedented levels in America today. In just the first 3 months of 2022 alone, state lawmakers have presented nearly 240 bills attacking LGBTQ+ rights, with half of them targeting the transgender community. The bills range from limiting any discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in schools like Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill to making it a felony to provide gender-affirming healthcare to transgender youths and teens (see Texas) to prohibiting trans kids from playing sports or using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. These bills are cruel, transphobic, and deeply harmful to trans children and their families.

Trans lives have become political footballs for republicans eager to score points in the latest culture war. The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of Americans overwhelmingly support trans rights. A PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll found that two-thirds of Americans oppose laws that would limit transgender rights. And that includes democrats, republicans, and other political parties. Mackey is right: republicans may be winning these battles across state legislatures, but they will lose the war.

(via Springfield News-Leader, image: screencap/Raw Story)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.