G. John Avoli, chairman of the K – 12 education subcommittee in the Virginia legislature, muted an activist testifying against a bill Monday when she spoke for longer than the allotted time.
The interaction between Avoli and the advocate, Heather, occurred during a committee hearing on Sage’s Law, a Virginia bill which would require school officials to notify parents if a student is exhibiting gender dysphoria, and also clarifies that the definition of child abuse does not include so-called “misgendering.” The bill is named after Sage, a teenager who was separated from her parents by the state and brutally raped and sex-trafficked after the school decided her parents were “misgendering” her. (RELATED: Scotland Backtracks On Transgender Prison Policy Following Rape Concerns)
The activist, Heather, was directed by Avoli to state whether she supported the bill.
“Really quick, I did just want to address some miscommunication or mis, I guess, incorrect information. I did wanna say that 91% of sexual assault is committed by cis men, so if you’re worried about — .”
Avoli, who had been attempting to interrupt Heather throughout her sentence muted her at this point.
“So if you’re worried about that you actually—” Heather interjected, unmuting herself, but was muted again.
Heather then continued to talk with her microphone muted. Avoli sighed, “ok” and proceeded to the other individuals offering testimony.
Earlier in the day, Sage’s mother had testified that teachers had kept her daughter’s gender identity secret, and even withheld custody, keeping Sage in a male children’s home where she was repeatedly assaulted and given drugs.