These were the words that a young person named Lola Smith, who has been on the earth for twelve years and identifies as non-binary, spoke to a boardroom full of politicians trying to outlaw their existence. The politicians were the Florida boards of medicine who were voting to outlaw gender-affirming care for transgender youth.
Lola begins by reminding the room and the board about the ordinary everyday experience of having an embarrassing moment that stays in your memory for the rest of your life.
"I, too, have one of those moments…but you see, the most embarrassing moment in my life is happening right now as I stand in front of a panel of strangers and publicly beg for my right to exist. Nothing is more humiliating and dehumanizing than pleading for one's existence. How did we get here? Growing up in conservative Florida, I am used to not being understood or represented, or even liked, but how did we get here? To the point where you are trying to eradicate us."
How did we get here?
I came across the video on Alejandra Caraballo's Twitter feed. Caraballo is a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic. Check out the spreadsheet and Caraballo thread tracking laws targeting transgender and gender non-conforming people.