Transgender girl at center of Pearland ISD bathroom battle stars in new hit Netflix series

HOUSTON – In 2016, a transgender student at the center of a Pearland school bathroom battle, made national headlines. Now, Kai Shappley is using her voice as an actress on Netflix’s newest hit series, “The Babysitter’s Club.”

She was just about to start kindergarten when Pearland Independent School District leaders decided Kai had to use the boy’s bathroom.

Her mother fought for her daughter's right to be affirmed for who she was, but in 2018, the family decided to move to Austin.

"It was just the safest little place that we could move to for Kai to have equal opportunities as all of her peers," said her mother, Kimberly Shappley.

Kai’s story made national headlines and became the subject of an Emmy-award winning documentary, “Trans in America: Texas Strong.”

Last August, Hollywood came calling.

“I got a Facebook message from someone in LA that there was a spot for a trans girl on The Babysitter’s Club and they asked if she wanted to play the part of Bailey,” Kimberly recalled.

Kai jumped at the chance and had just one week to learn her lines and get a passport so she could travel to Vancouver, Canada for filming.


About the Author: