Kai & Kimberly: A Texas Family’s Fight

Eleven year-old Kai Shappley has had a tough time just being a kid. Her whole life, the state of Texas, where she lives, has been policing what bathrooms she can use, what name she can go by—and a myriad of other basic personal freedoms afforded to kids who are not transgender, like Kai. 

Last April, a new directive from Texas Governor Greg Abbott asserts that gender-affirming care provided to minors is tantamount to child abuse. And now Kai—and countless other trans kids in Texas—is in danger of being taken from her family. 

For the past six years, VICE News correspondent Gianna Toboni has been spending time in Texas with Kai and her mother, Kimberly Shappley, documenting the family as they weave in and out of the state’s crosshairs. 

This week’s episode was produced by Sam Greenspan and Steph Brown, in collaboration with Gianna Toboni, Nicole Bozorgmir, and Hendrik Hinzel.

VICE News Reports is hosted by Arielle Duhaime-Ross, and is produced by Ashley Cleek, Sam Eagan, Stephanie Kariuki, Sophie Kazis, Jen Kinney, Adreanna Rodriguez, and Adriana Tapia. Sound design and music composition by Pran Bandi, Steve Bone, Kyle Murdock, and Evan Sutton. Operations support by Ashley Vega. 


VNR’s executive producer is Adizah Eghan. Janet Lee is Senior Production Manager for VICE Audio. And Kate Osborn is VP of Vice Audio. 

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