SALT LAKE CITY — Hundreds gathered at the steps of the Utah Capitol building Thursday night to protest the legislative session set to overturn the governor’s veto of a transgender sports bill.
House Bill 11 would ban transgender students from participating in middle and high school sports.
At Thursday’s rally, allies and members of Utah’s LGBTQ+ community waved their flags and comforted one another, uncertain of what Friday’s legislative session will bring.
“This isn’t about points on a scoreboard or a college scholarship,” said Chelsie Acosta, a Salt Lake City educator.
“If there’s even one person or four people in the U.S. that’s too many people who are being excluded,” said Nico, a transgender junior high student.
According to Governor Spencer Cox, out of 75-thousand students participating in Utah school sports, only four are transgender.
There’s talk that major events like the NBA All-Star Game could move if state lawmakers make the stance to stop trans students from sports.
“If they’re going to sit here and attack our marginalized community, let them know there’s pain that goes with it because we want our kids and we won’t stand for that,” said Sue Robbins with the Equality Utah Transgender Advisory Council.
Thursday’s event featured speakers ranging from community leaders to educators to mental health experts and trans high school students.
“We are showing trans kids no matter what happens, no matter what legislature does tomorrow, we are here,” said one speaker.