Letter: An open letter to Utah’s transgender kids

Hey. Just wanted to write quickly to check in. The world is a little polarized right now, and I am just so sorry that something so fundamental as your identity has been dragged into the crosshairs. It isn’t fair, and it isn’t OK.

I work with a lot of kids just like you on a daily basis and I want you to know that despite what the decisions of a political majority might make it feel like, you are wonderful and there are a lot of people (even adults) who have your back! You didn’t ask to feel like a stranger in your own body. You didn’t ask to experience the conflict that consumes you. I know you fight every day to feel “normal.” I know you fight every day to help those people around you understand what you are feeling.

It must feel incredibly frustrating to work so hard to help people like your parents understand your struggle only to have others tell them they can’t help you make the decisions that might bring you the peace and comfort you deserve.

I’m just so sorry. I feel so frustrated too. One of the favorite parts of my job is working with kids like you to help them and their parents make important decisions about how to reconcile the body you were born with and the truth of your soul. I feel honored to be a part of those interactions and it hurts a lot to be told that those carefully constructed decisions involving you, your family, and many really smart professionals have been overruled by people who have no business interfering.

This isn’t about me though, sorry. I just really want to make sure you are OK. It is alright if you aren’t. You probably have figured out by now that life can be pretty crappy.

I just hope that if you are really struggling, that you will do two things for me.

First, remember that you are loved. Life without you around would be absolutely devastating for more people in your life than you could possibly imagine.

Second, please talk to someone about how you are feeling. Let them know what you need. Allow yourself to be loved by those around you.

Finally, I need a favor. I need you to look around and find the other kids out there that are struggling just like you. Find them, talk to them. Tell them they are loved. We adults need you kids to keep fighting. Don’t give up. You have the capacity to build a whole new future and world that is so much more loving and kind than what you are stuck with right now.

You are too young to get this reference, but a pretty great band once said “Ignorance has taken over. Yo, [you] gotta take the power back!” I believe that things will get better. It will take time, but they will. I believe that because I spend a lot time with the people that will make it happen. I have seen the power of youth, and it is pretty awesome. Thank you for being you.


Jeremy Kendrick, Salt Lake City

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