(CNN)For over half an hour on a March afternoon, Arkansas legislators, activists and pediatricians outlined reasons why they considered gender-affirming health care dangerous, arguing in support of a bill that would ban transgender minors from accessing that care.
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Brandi Evans had two minutes to testify against it.
The mother from Bauxite had listened as proponents of the bill claimed transgender teens like her son are too young to receive hormone therapies, which can help trans boys develop sex characteristics that may reduce their gender dysphoria. At one point, the representative who introduced the bill likened gender confirmation surgery, a treatment that is not part of the standard care for transgender minors, to genital mutilation.
When it was her turn to appear before the House committee, Evans spoke quickly but stoically, hardly pausing between sentences to make sure she got out every word. She opened with a statement meant to startle.
"If this bill is passed, it could kill my son," she said.
In a few words, she told legislators how her 14-year-old son Andrew had lived with severe depression before he started testosterone treatments. She kept next to her a stack of articles printed from academic journals that she said proved how harmful it can be to deny trans youth gender-affirming care. She didn't once look up at the lawmakers in front of her until she pleaded with them to vote against the bill, for the sake of her son and other trans kids in Arkansas.
"He is now able to live a happy and normal life as his authentic self," she told lawmakers. "You will be taking that away from him, and it will cause him his imminent death."