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.
DEAR ABBY: I had a hard time during the COVID pandemic. I’m a stress eater but got that under control years ago. However, over the last year, I’ve been having issues with stress drinking. I sneak many shots of whisky or vodka. I’m lucky it has only been at midday and no driving was involved, but I have had a few blackouts. My husband of 35-plus years (we’re both retired) has no inkling I have this problem. In the past he has said he can control it, so I can, too. He feels the same about our weight. I walk four miles and work out every day and eat healthy, but I can’t lose weight. He can, at the drop of a hat. I need advice. — HURTING RETIREE IN CALIFORNIA DEAR RETIREE: First it was food, now it’s alcohol. If you want to conquer your compulsive behavior, it’s important that you figure out what’s causing the stress that’s triggering it. Because your husband can control his appetites does not automatically mean that you are able to. It may take help from your doctor or a licensed therapist to conquer your tendency toward addiction. Once you quit sneaking those shots of booze on a daily basis, I suspect you will notice a marked change in your weight.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.