Actress & Trans Rights Activist
Kai Shappley (Her/She) is an accomplished young actress, author, public speaker, and activist. Currently in fifth grade (and going on Elle Woods according to her mother, Kimberly), Kai loves her family, her friends, her chickens, her dog, her cat, and, of course, everything Dolly Parton. She has a wide variety of aspirations for the future ranging from owning more cats than her mother currently allows to being elected President in 2048.
Kai is transgender and has been under attack from the Texas legislature since she was in kindergarten. Her testimonies before legislative committees considering legislative ideas designed to bully transgender kids have repeatedly gone viral. She has also won numerous awards, including being a finalist for Time Magazine’s Kid of the Year in 2021. She previously had a role on the Netflix series The Babysitters Club and a documentary about her journey, Trans in America: Texas Strong, won an Emmy for Outstanding Short Documentary. The full-length documentary that chronicles her story, Mama Bears, premiered at SXSW in 2022. Her first book, a middle school novel about a tween girl living her life to the fullest centering on the richness and breadth of trans experience is slated for spring 2023 publication by Harper Collins. Kai has been interviewed regularly by national media including Vice, The Today Show, Teen Vogue, and Good Housekeeping. Her recent open letter to “Adults in Charge” was published in Elle Magazine on March 8, 2022.