Gordon Monson: If you are against transgender girls competing in high school sports, please read this. I’m begging you.

As the fight over HB11 continues, a grandmother’s hope for her 6-year-old granddaughter, who “loves to jump, flip, ski, play soccer and catch balls,” stands out.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Students at West High School stage a walkout on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 to protest HB11, which bans transgender girls from participating in female school sports.

First, I appreciate almost all of the communications from readers that are received here, whether they agree or disagree with what’s been written. Second, from that daily stack, there are some messages that stand out. What follows is one of them.

It’s an email that all Utahns should read and consider as it pertains to issues of transgenderism, especially among children. The way they are treated, the opportunities they are allowed inside and outside of sports. With the writer’s permission, here is a copy of that email:

Thank you for your columns. On the legislature’s uninformed and unfeeling rejection of these fragile human beings, with the passage and override of HB11. We are transitioning back to Utah after 48 years on the East Coast, partially due to our desire to be one of the wagons circled around our wonderful, six-year-old trans granddaughter. This child, diagnosed with “early-presenting” gender dysphoria by the best experts her mother could find, declared herself as soon as she could talk. I believe that if other trans persons had been able to voice their identity earlier and received the validation and reassurance they deserve, not only would they have avoided years of anguish, but more of them would be with us today, as happy secure persons.

Thus far, she knows nothing but love and acceptance from those around her, including her teacher and school administrators. Her parents have good understanding of the medical treatment options that may be helpful to her, and hope that she will be allowed to grow up with privacy and choice in this respect. She is a charismatic, lovable child who never walks when she can run, loves to jump, flip, ski, play soccer and catch balls.

I now fear there will come a day when she will be told “no” to participating in a sport only because she is trans, and begins to perceive the hate and misunderstanding that I hear from many members of the legislature and those who vote for them.

Her parents (a physician and a teacher) are making great contributions in Utah. Her aunt and uncle, equally accomplished and contributing, live next door.

There will be difficulties wherever one lives, but I hope that by remaining here as a family, we have not placed her in a particularly poisonous culture.

Your columns and the actions of persons like Spencer Cox are reassuring. Thank you for elevating this issue and addressing it with a message of love and acceptance. I hope that you will continue to speak against this cruelty, publicly and privately. I am placing great faith in folks like you, who are in a position to remind a greater audience of the human beings behind these issues. I would be happy to speak with you if you ever desire, and my daughter and son-in-law would be happy to introduce you to our beautiful 6-year-old.

With best wishes and thanks,

Susan Taylor Hansen

Thank you, Susan.

How anyone can read this letter without feeling increased understanding and compassion for that beautiful 6-year-old, and any other kids like her, wishing nothing but good hope and equal opportunity for her, for them, absent of all leanings toward marginalization or discrimination or alienation, is beyond me.

The fact that we have so-called state leaders who cannot or will not extend that same compassion and consideration to trans kids who are trying to find acceptance as they walk their way through the early stages of life is a sad, sad thing. So-called state leaders who prioritize politics ahead of the welfare of those children, relying instead on tired arguments about the competitive unfairness of young boys transitioning into young girls so they can gain an athletic advantage is … pitiable.

We’re talking about opportunities for a small — but valued — number of kids to participate in high school sports, to belong to a team that wants them and accepts them, not so they can win championships, rather because they exist and should be included.

Read the email again, if you remain confused, and gain a greater portion of compassion and a greater appreciation for the veto Gov. Spencer Cox attempted to put in place before the legislature overrode it on a bill that never should have come forward to begin with.

The action of the legislature and the way it happened condemn it more than anything I can write here.

Gratitude that there are concerned and caring people in our state, people like Susan Taylor Hansen and her family members and their particular school administrators and teachers who get what’s most important at the center of this issue.

Join them in becoming a circling wagon.

Read and listen to what she wrote.

Let it bang around inside your head and heart before you quickly assign some worn and dusty conclusion to those people out there who are affected by the attitude of and the law passed by the so-called state leaders.

Those people out there who are affected are not them. They are us, all of us.