UTAH (ABC4) – With the legislature holding a special session this Friday to override governor Cox’s veto to the bill banning transgender women from playing in women’s sports, both sides talking about the emotional complexities of this issue.  

LGBTQ+ activists are saying this bill is hurting trans kids and LGBTQ+ children in general, but parents in support of the bill say this is protecting their daughters’ opportunities in women’s sports, and their perspective is important too. 

House Bill 11 requiring Utah schools to designate athletic activities by gender would require athletes to play sports based on their biological sex at birth and not a separate gender identity… Which blocks transgender girls to play in female sports. 
 “When you have kids lives in your hands and everyone’s telling them messages that you they don’t belong it’s hard to see their reactions,” Amanda Darrow, Director of Youth, Family, and Education at the Utah Pride Center said. 

She said this legislation is hurting LGBTQ+ kids, regardless of their gender identity or participation in sports.  

“We’re really trying to talk to the kids and make sure they’re OK and they’re not that’s the hardest part,” Darrow said. 

But some parents in support of the bill saying this is about women’s sports more than it is about trans youth.  

“I love that we have created this space for women have this place in the space that we can compete,” Perry said. 

Mom and athlete Jess Perry says her support for the bill isn’t transphobic, it’s pro-women’s sports, adding that the emotions and feelings of the cisgender girl athletes in these sports should be considered too.  

“There are feelings on both sides of the issue and why are we just trying to appease the feelings of one while putting the feelings the others just to side,” Perry said, 

But Darrow saying this legislation is having a much bigger effect on LGBTQ+ youth than some may realize. She said they feel as if it’s erasing their identity.  

“It’s bigger than the sports, it’s about the messaging around the sports,” Darrow said. 

But Perry says high school sports are the gateway to collegiate opportunities and by preventing trans girls from playing in women’s sports, it’s giving cis girls an even playing field.  

“I want to preserve women’s sports but mostly I want to protect the unfair advantage,” Perry said.  

Regardless of perspective, for both sides, this issue is about protecting our kids.  

The Utah Pride Center is holding a rally tomorrow at 6pm at the capital to tell legislators to vote no to the override, but legislators said they have the votes to get the bill passed.