Metro Weekly

VIDEO: Missouri Lawmaker Asks Nonbinary 14-Year-Old About Their Genitals

State Sen. Elaine Gannon made the comments during a hearing on a proposed bill to ban transgender athletes from women's sports.

Missouri State Sen. Elaine Gannon questions a nonbinary 14-year-old in March – Photo: Human Rights Campaign, via Twitter

A video posted to Twitter by the Human Rights Campaign shows a Missouri state senator asking a series of intrusive questions to a nonbinary teenager at a recent hearing on a proposed transgender sports ban.

State Sen. Elaine Gannon (R-DeSoto) is seen in the video asking questions of Avery Jackson, a 14-year-old from Kansas City, during a March 1 hearing of the Missouri Senate Education Committee to discuss the proposed transgender athlete ban.

In the video, Gannon tells Jackson, “You’re in the ladies’ room and then you realize somebody else in there doesn’t have a female’s … has a male body instead of a female’s body. I mean it just causes some issues there.”

Jackson responds, “No, it doesn’t,” before arguing that people should be able to go to the bathroom without fear or harassment. Meanwhile, a person in the background is heard remarking that women’s restrooms have individual stalls that are not exposed to the public eye.

“They probably don’t realize because you have such long hair,” Gannon says, before asking Jackson, “Are you gonna go through the procedure?” — a reference to gender confirmation surgery.

“You think we’re going around forcing our genitalia in people’s faces? We’re trying to go to the bathroom. And what you want to do is not let people do that?” Jackson replies.

In response, Gannon says that she was “seriously just curious.”

That remark elicits an angry response from Debi Jackson, Avery’s mother, who asks Gannon, “You’re asking a 14-year-old on public record about genitals and if people could see that? How would anyone know? We have been coming [to the Missouri Capitol] for seven years, trying to make people understand. And I know this is off-topic, and you didn’t mean anything by it, but that’s the point. Kids aren’t going around exposing themselves to kids wanting to play sports with their friends. That’s what this bill is. And getting wrapped up in genitals in bathrooms gets us so far away from that, and it dehumanizes our children.

“My child is so much more than genitals,” Debi Jackson continues. “And that’s what I need you to see. That’s what every family who has come in here, year after year, is begging you, demanding that you see.

“I don’t know what your genitals are,” Debi Jackson adds. “I have not made an assumption, and I’m not willing to ask that question because it’s frankly inappropriate.”

The Human Rights Campaign did not respond to a request for comment. 

Watch a video of the exchange between the Jacksons and Gannon below:

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