When harmful anti-trans policies began passing in Texas, Violet made the near-impossible decision to leave her home state in search of a more affirming community for her gender-nonconforming child. At LA Impact 2022, Family Equality honored Violet for her bravery, which inspired the creation of Family Equality’s Path2FamilyEquality.
Meet Violet and Isa
“Once she’s figured out what’s going to make you laugh, she’s going to do it.” Author, advocate, and mama Violet Augustine beams when she describes her child, Isa. Donning glitter at the park or hosting dance parties in their living room, the sense of pride and joy that the two share is infectious. But finding a place where they could live as their authentic selves wasn’t always easy.
Learning to listen
From the moment Isa began talking, she said she was a girl. At first, Violet assumed she just wanted to be like her sisters. But by the time Isa was four, Violet decided to really affirm her. “I swear, it was like my child was reborn in front of my eyes,” Violet recalls. “The way she lit up…I didn’t realize I had just never seen her before that moment.”
In 2021 and 2022, Texas passed a bill that prohibited trans student-athletes from playing on teams that aligned with their gender identity. Governor Abbott directed child welfare agents to “investigate” parents who supported their trans youth, and Attorney General Paxton sought to prohibit parents from seeking medically necessary gender-affirming care for trans youth.
Watching all this unfold around her, Violet made the near-impossible decision to leave her home state in search of a safer place to raise Isa. Even with the financial aid provided through her GoFundMe, the decision was challenging. After all, Violet and Isa had to leave their extended family, and in doing so, lost their network of support during trying times.
Still, she says the move was worth it. “When we drove past the state line to get to New Mexico,” she says, “It felt like such a weight was lifted off of me.”
A path forward
Violet and Isa’s determination to find a path forward was the catalyst for Family Equality’s digital resource, Path2FamilyEquality. The tool, inspired by this story and countless others like it, helps families like Violet’s who are feeling abandoned by their legislators and in need of information and guidance.
“Family Equality is there on the ground trying to change policies, but also supporting people as they are living through the realities of those policy changes.”
To recognize the fierce determination, love, and bravery that Violet and Isa embody every day, Family Equality was thrilled to honor them on October 15, 2022, at LA Impact.
Dedicated to telling the stories of everyday LGBTQ families, the Ric Swezey Memorial Fund made this film possible. Make a donation to support our storytelling work here.