Utah citizens gathered at the Utah State Capitol to show support for transgender youth and to protest HB11. This is a bill to ban transgender athletes from participating in Utah school sports.
Gov. Spencer Cox vetoed the bill earlier this week and released a statement saying he chose to veto it to support and protect transgender athletes in Utah.
Utahns who showed up at the capitol share the same mission as Cox: They want transgender youth to be able to participate in sports and find community.
“It makes us feel better belonging with everyone and equal with everyone,” transgender supporter Ca Olsen said. “Even though it may not be big deal to you, it’s important to us.”
Utah Pride Center organized the capitol rally after Utah Legislature leaders announced a special session on March 25 to override the governor’s veto. Those at the capitol are hoping the override will be unsuccessful so that transgender youth can enjoy belonging and participate in sports.
“Everyone deserves to participate in something that they love whether that’s art or sports,” protestor Finley Thompson said.
Out of the 75,000 high school athletes in Utah, only 4 of them are transgender. Of those 4 transgender athletes, only one is a student in a girl’s sport, Cox said in his statement.
Utah Pride Center had several speakers at the rally, including transgender youth. They shared words of hope and some shared their struggles with those gathered at the capitol.
One of the speakers had all of the transgender youth at the rally sit on the steps in front of all those who supported them. The rest of the crowd gathered and surrounded the youth with hearts in the air to show their love.