DEAR ABBY: My 9-year-old daughter, "Kennedy," plays volleyball. One of the assistant coaches is a transgender woman. I had known about the coach before Kennedy started playing. Although I'm OK with a transgender person coaching my child (I feel their gender identity is absolutely none of my business), my husband is not. He wants our daughter to quit a sport she loves so she won't be "exposed" to something he doesn't agree with. He is not transphobic, just very conservative, and he doesn't want Kennedy growing up around it.
We're trying to steer her in the right direction with our Christian beliefs, which include loving and accepting everyone. The coach doesn't broadcast the fact that she's transgender; my daughter learned about it from a teammate. There is no other volleyball team in the area. How can I convince my husband to let her stay with a sport and team she loves? -- SPORTY MOM IN THE SOUTH
DEAR MOM: Actually, your husband IS transphobic and possibly homophobic as well. He may think that by forbidding Kennedy from participating in volleyball, he is protecting her. However, what he fails to understand is that children are already aware. Her friend certainly is.
As Kennedy grows older, she is going to meet many people who are "different" -- different races, religions and sexual orientations. As a good Christian, she should accept and love them for who they are. She should not be punished by being forced to drop an activity she loves.
P.S. Has your husband actually met the assistant coach? Perhaps he should approach her at a practice and introduce himself, so he can get to know her as a fellow human being.