The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion The real objective of sports in school

Placeholder while article actions load

Thank you, Monica Hesse, for your June 14 Style column, “We’re missing the point of school sports.” My daughter is the “transgender girl who desperately needs teammates.” Before 2020, when the pandemic hit, she played on the boys’ ultimate Frisbee team, consistent with the sex she was assigned at birth. She came out as trans during the pandemic.

After school sports resumed, she tearfully confided that she wasn’t a boy and didn’t belong on the boys’ team anymore; but she also feared that the girls’ team wouldn’t accept her. After conversations with coaches and parents, we were thrilled when she was not only allowed to play on the girls’ team but also was welcomed enthusiastically … and not because she was the biggest, fastest or most skilled; she’s not. She’s just a girl who desperately needed a team.

Ms. Hesse’s observation that the purpose of high school sports is “to embrace physical fitness, receive a sense of community, hone self-discipline and learn how to work hard, cooperate on a team and win and lose gracefully” was on full display recently at the High School National Invite for the top ultimate Frisbee teams in the country. My daughter’s team made it to nationals … and lost to many teams of mostly cisgender girls, finishing in 11th place. But they won the tournament’s Spirit Award.

Suzan Charlton, Arlington