A TikTok video of a Democratic politician from Missouri confronting a Republican state lawmaker during a debate over whether school districts should be allowed to ban trans athletes from youth sports has gone viral.
Ian Mackey, who is gay, said the anti-trans bill would alienate LGBTQ students, and made him recall the lack of acceptance he experienced during his teenage years.
Mr Mackey asked GOP state lawmaker Chuck Basye, who proposed the bill, about why his brother had been afraid to come out as gay to his family.
“I would have been afraid to tell you too,” Mr Mackey said, in comments reported by The Advocate.
“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.”
A TikTok of the heated exchange posted to MSNBC’s account had been viewed 925,000 times in less than 24 hours.
Mr Mackey went on to say that as a child, he had known “nice people” like his Republican colleague who actively pursued policies that denied rights to the LGBTQ community.
“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,” Mr Mackey said.
“Because you’re gonna lose. You may win this today, but you’re going to lose.”
The bill was originally drafted to audit Missouri’s voter tolls, and had the anti-trans legislation added as an amendment.
Mr Basye said the bill was intended to “save women’s sports”.
“This isn’t about hate, this is about fairness,” he said.
The bill passed 98 votes to 40 after a spirited three-hour debate, the Springfield News-Leader reported.
State lawmakers across the US have proposed more than 200 anti-LGBTQ laws already in 2022, most of them targeting trans people, according to advocacy group Freedom for All Americans.
Nearly all of the 50 state legislatures are considering some form of anti-trans legislation.