The Women’s Democratic Club of Utah stands firmly with the transgender women of Utah in our disgust over the overturn of Governor Cox’s HB 0011 veto—Student Eligibility in Interscholastic Athletics. The bill was a wrong-headed hate message of targeted discrimination from the beginning. Governor Cox’s veto letter said it best:
“When in doubt . . ., I always try to err on the side of kindness, mercy and compassion. I also try to get proximate and I am learning so much from our transgender community. They are great kids who face enormous struggles. Here are the numbers that have most impacted my decision: 75,000, 4, 1, 86 and 56.
● 75,000 high school kids participating in high school sports in Utah.
● 4 transgender kids playing high school sports in Utah.
● 1 transgender student playing girls sports.
● 86% of trans youth reporting suicidality.
● 56% of trans youth having attempted suicide1
Four kids and only one of them playing girls sports. That’s what all of this is about. Four kids who aren’t dominating or winning trophies or taking scholarships. Four kids who are just trying to find some friends and feel like they are a part of something. Four kids trying to get through each day. Rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so few. I don’t understand what they are going through or why they feel the way they do. But I want them to live.”2
Accordingly, the WDC also stands on the side kindness, mercy, and compassion, and in solidarity with our transgender community. Know that you are seen, heard, and valued by the women of this organization.
1 Austin, Ashley, Shelley L. Craig, Sandra D’Souza, and Lauren B. McInroy. 2022. “Suicidality Among Transgender Youth: Elucidating the Role of Interpersonal Risk Factors.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Vol. 37(5-6) NP2696–NP2718.