My Daughter Is the Trans Girl Playing Sports Everyone Is So Worried About

As the country battles over whether or not trans kids can play sports on teams of their own gender, my own transgender child just started playing ball. It’s merely a local recreational little league, a team of girls playing on the boy’s baseball coach pitch league because there weren’t enough girls to make a softball league. And none of the girls wanted to play on the boys’ teams.

After many swings and misses last night, my daughter was still all smiles. She loved learning how to play first base, and even though it was only the first game of the season, she asked me to sign her up for more baseball. After the game, a slew of little girls zoomed around us, high on adrenaline and sugar from the cupcakes we brought for the team. My daughter ran around with them, just one of the girls with her long hair flying in the breeze. After a pandemic and year of homeschool, it did my heart good to see her having fun with friends.

But if you read the paper, or go on social media, it’s easy to find people who think my child doesn’t belong on a girls’ team. They would say she belongs on a boys’ team (or in a boy’s bathroom) — and those people have clearly never seen my daughter because she’d for sure get kicked out of a men’s room — for being a girl. The truth is we have all been in bathroom with trans people. WE all know trans people, it’s just a matter of whether they felt safe enough to tell us.

What I’ve learned in the past few years is that gender is not about body parts; it’s how brains are wired. And no one can see that, we only know it for ourselves.

My transgender daughter is a girl. She isn’t faking and it isn’t pretend. Everyone from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the American Psychological Association agree that supporting trans kids for who they tell you they are is literally critical to their mental health.

But not everyone knows that. I didn’t used to know either.

Last night, at our very first game, I heard a mom speaking to her extended family sitting with them on the bleachers.

“That one over there is really a boy,” she said, pointing to my child.

The family members reacted in horror, as if they were told my child is an ax murderer. People have gotten bolder with their ignorance and hatred. Also, they didn’t realize I was standing literally beside them. They stopped talking entirely when I made my presence known.

My daughter is a girl. There are no but ’s. She is human and real and her existence or her identity are not up for debate. **

As the deliberations continue in legislatures across the country over whether or not my child should play sports, support and misinformation fills the media and social networks. Meanwhile, my little girl is oblivious to how much of the world wants to have a say in her fate. She merely wants to learn how to hit the ball over the fence, and she loves to play catch with her team. She only knows she wants to play ball with other little girls.

I have to remind myself that there is more support and love out there than there is hatred and bigotry. In reality, we are blessed to have a community and schools and friends that are so very supportive of our child.

It’s just that the haters are so loud. They are so loud that it’s become a literal national debate on whether my 7-year-old daughter gets to play ball.

And if you make her play with boys, she will quit. Because she isn’t a boy. She’s a girl. And she deserves to play some ball like everyone else.

**(Please do not come here to argue or reason based on my child’s body parts. It makes me very worried about you being a pedophile. My child’s private parts should not be anyone’s concern at all. I also question how they relate to anyone’s relationship with my child. (They don’t.) So, mind your business. Unless it’d be cool if I asked about you or your child’s genitals? But I’m guessing that’s a hard no. So, do unto others, friends.)

Truth-teller. Writer. Photographer. Banjo/guitar/ukulele player. Mom to four kids, one is transgender. Married to my favorite person. www.michellerothwrites.com

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