Transgender First-Grader Banned From Girls Bathroom

Picture: Kurt Lowenstein Educational Center Outreach Team

Kathryn DeHoyos writes at the Good Men Project:

On Wednesday, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund announced that it had filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division against Eagleside Elementary School and the Fountain-Fort Carson School District on behalf of Coy Mathis, a transgender first-grader who, up until December, was using the girls’ restroom at school. Coy was born with male genitalia, but according to her mother Kathryn Mathis “has identified as female since she could express herself.” Kathryn told CNN that she and her husband were “shocked” when they received a phone call in December to inform them that Coy could, “use the boys’ bathroom, gender-neutral faculty bathrooms or the nurse’s bathroom, but not the girls’ facilities.” She said, “We were very confused because everything was going so well, and they had been so accepting, and all of a sudden it changed and it was very confusing and very upsetting because we knew that, by doing that, [Coy] was going to go back to being unhappy. It was going to set her up for a lot of bad things.”

All throughout Coy’s kindergarten year she had identified as a girl and used the girls’ bathroom with “no problems and no complaints from anyone at the school.” In fact, both her state-issued ID and her passport list her as female. The school district however does not. The districts attorney, W. Kelly Dude said in a statement,

[The district] took into account not only Coy, but other students in the building, their parents and the future impact a boy with male genitals using a girls’ bathroom would have as Coy grew older. However, I’m certain you can appreciate that, as Coy grows older and his male genitals develop along with the rest of his body, at least some parents and students are likely to become uncomfortable with his continued use of the girls’ restroom … The district firmly believes it has acted reasonably and fairly with respect to this issue. However, the district believes the appropriate and proper forum for discussing the issues identified in the charge is through the Division of Civil Rights process. The district is preparing a response to the charge which it will submit to the division. Therefore, the district will not comment further on this matter out of respect for the process which the parents have initiated.

Dude also points out that the Fountain-Fort Carson School District has not violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. He said, “Coy attends class as all other students, is permitted to wear girls’ clothes and is referred to as the parents have requested.” He also adds that there is currently no legislation in the state of Colorado that requires public schools to allow transgender students “to use restrooms intended for the gender with which they identify.”

The Mathis’ have pulled Coy out of Eagleside and are currently homeschooling her. They were concerned about the attention this would bring and worried that it would make her a target for bullying. Kathryn said, “In the end, we just want what is the best for Coy. We want her to be able to go back to school and be treated equally without discrimination and harassment.” According to Michael Silverman, the attorney from the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund who is representing Coy, this will be the first case that challenges a “restroom restriction” under Colorado’s anti-discrimination act.

, , , ,

49 Responses to Transgender First-Grader Banned From Girls Bathroom

  1. pop March 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    I am not sure how it is for every school, but don’t most Girls bathrooms only have WC’s you have your own private cubical to hide in. It really is time for mix gender bathrooms, i mean come on!

    • Kevin Leonard March 4, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

      at least until they’re old enough to start having sex,
      which apparently happens about the age of ten, these days

  2. abouthadit March 4, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Stupid parents.

  3. abouthadit March 4, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Stupid parents.

    • Andrew March 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

      Trenchant.

  4. edrazeeba March 4, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    Sooooo glad my parents didn’t dress me up as a girl and send me off to public school when I went through that “I want to be exactly like my big sister”-phase as a 6-year-old.

    • Chaorder Gradient March 4, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

      When did it become not-okay to say No to a child?

      • Kevin Leonard March 4, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

        My parents’ “No’s” to me in “helping” me shape my life, with the exception of the pragmatic issues (physical safety, money) were the most damaging things to my lasting happiness and current contentment with who I am.

        • Chaorder Gradient March 4, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

          I’m sure different yet equally bad situations can arise from an overabundance of “yes’s” as well. Just gotta have the foresight to know what are good and bad “no’s” and “yes’s”

          • Kevin Leonard March 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

            I’m fairly inclined to feel that the individuals have the best sense of their identity, even if they do not fully understand the repercussions of living with that identity in society, no matter if it is in reference to gender, sexual preference, philosophical outlook …

          • Kevin Leonard March 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

            I’m fairly inclined to feel that the individuals have the best sense of their identity, even if they do not fully understand the repercussions of living with that identity in society, no matter if it is in reference to gender, sexual preference, philosophical outlook …

          • echar March 4, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

            Forensic Psychologist, Richard Walter answers your question in this video

            Conversations: Richard Walter and The Murder Room

            http://youtu.be/Gp1l34qNGtg?t=25m18s

            I set it to start at 25m 18s for context, he answers it around 27 minutes. I recommend watching it all.

          • echar March 4, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

            Forensic Psychologist, Richard Walter answers your question in this video

            Conversations: Richard Walter and The Murder Room

            http://youtu.be/Gp1l34qNGtg?t=25m18s

            I set it to start at 25m 18s for context, he answers it around 27 minutes. I recommend watching it all.

          • Chaorder Gradient March 5, 2013 at 12:49 am #

            as always, a much more eloquent way of stating my idea comes out.
            thanks, this is interesting stuff.

          • echar March 5, 2013 at 5:18 am #

            You are welcome. I saw the video one night about a year ago, and your statement helped recall it from my memory. Thank you.

        • edrazeeba March 4, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

          I like to think I’m responsible for my own happiness.

        • Kathy Bernhardt McLain March 29, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

          Seriously? You, as a full-grown human being, are still blaming your parents for your happiness and contentment? Am I reading this correctly? If so, grow up and take responsibility for yourself!

          • Andrew March 29, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

            Growing up and taking responsibility is the answer, but it’s nowhere near as simple as making a decision to do so.

          • Kevin Leonard April 9, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

            5 points awarded to your Rush-to-Judgement card.

  5. edrazeeba March 4, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    Sooooo glad my parents didn’t dress me up as a girl and send me off to public school when I went through that “I want to be exactly like my big sister”-phase as a 6-year-old.

  6. Mike Lewinski March 4, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    I wonder how this school district would handle a child with intersex anatomy. Would they be required to use the nurse’s restroom? Nothing like a little “separate but equal” to make sure they “know their place”.

  7. Mike Lewinski March 4, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    I wonder how this school district would handle a child with intersex anatomy. Would they be required to use the nurse’s restroom? Nothing like a little “separate but equal” to make sure they “know their place”.

    • Chaorder Gradient March 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

      I have always found it a little odd that we equate purely psychological sex identity issues and people with intersex anatomy. Although i’m sure there’s some overlap in some cases, can we really equate the two extreme sides of it? I guess no one ever gets past the “there’s something strange there” and files them all in the same bin.

      • Mike Lewinski March 4, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

        It wasn’t my intention to equate them.

        I do consider the possibility that at least some transgender people may be tetragametic chimeras, and that their brains are the organs that survived from the other, opposite gender twin. We don’t really have a good test for this. I can’t imagine how you get a brain DNA sample in a non-intrusive way for the purpose of verifying the sex identity of that organ.

        I guess that’s a complicated way of saying that psychological issues are at least occasionally rooted in biology, as opposed to say, culture.

  8. F0XF1R3 March 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    I think this is actually a good thing. As the article says, there is no law protecting this behavior. Now its going to court and they will have the opportunity to make a law to allow this. It might make life harder for this one child but it will help many more down the line to go ahead and solve the problem now.

  9. VaudeVillain March 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    “Coy attends class as all other students, is permitted to wear girls’ clothes and is referred to as the parents have requested.” – Kelly Dude

    “[The district] took into account not only Coy, but other students in the building, their parents and the future impact a boy with male genitals using a girls’ bathroom would have as Coy grew older. However, I’m certain you can appreciate that, as Coy grows older and his male genitals develop along with the rest of his body, at least some parents and students are likely to become uncomfortable with his continued use of the girls’ restroom …” – Kelly Dude

    Except, of course, for the 3 times he specifically used the male pronoun and the 1 time he specifically called referred to Coy as a “boy” in just the quoted section of his official statement. That is not counting the times he referred to Coy’s genitals as male, which is technically accurate, just the times at which he directly contradicted Coy’s gender. Other than that, I’m sure the district has been entirely respectful of Coy’s female identity, no doubt about it…

    • Kevin Leonard March 4, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      Agreed, I think the school district has the best intentions, but they are confused. And it is a confusing issue, no doubt. And they do have to think of the others in the school, and what, indeed, is going to happen when the child is old enough and may start to want to play sports… which team? showering situation in gym? etc.? I’m glad I do not sit on that school board.

    • Kevin Leonard March 4, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      Agreed, I think the school district has the best intentions, but they are confused. And it is a confusing issue, no doubt. And they do have to think of the others in the school, and what, indeed, is going to happen when the child is old enough and may start to want to play sports… which team? showering situation in gym? etc.? I’m glad I do not sit on that school board.

      • VaudeVillain March 4, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

        I believe you missed my point: regardless of the district’s intentions, their words are inconsistent. They claim Coy is being addressed and treated as female per the family’s request, yet the official statement explicitly, repeatedly and consistently does exactly the opposite.

        As for being a confusing issue… yeah, I guess it can be a little complicated at times. I also think most of that complication is less the result of inevitable facts so much as adults’ absurd dedication to gender and sex-based segregation. I’ve had decent luck with simply addressing people as they wish to be addressed and treating them as who and what they claim to be.

        • Kevin Leonard March 5, 2013 at 12:20 am #

          No, I don’t think I did. I completely understand addressing a person by their gender identity. I think the school board likely does that for the child and the parents in the presence of the child, but really have no clue about why they should be doing that. I’m trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, regardless of the apparent fact that they are ignorant.

        • Kevin Leonard March 5, 2013 at 12:20 am #

          No, I don’t think I did. I completely understand addressing a person by their gender identity. I think the school board likely does that for the child and the parents in the presence of the child, but really have no clue about why they should be doing that. I’m trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, regardless of the apparent fact that they are ignorant.

  10. equip March 5, 2013 at 1:57 am #

    I suppose the math is coy sometimes when trying to figure out what’s going on in the brain organ.

  11. justagirl March 5, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    I think the parents need to stop pussifying that child with some home schooling. Pretty much every kid has to deal with bullys and this particular kid will probably have to deal with being bullied his/her(?) entire life. I think the girls room is probably the safest place for the child as girls are less likely to cause physically harm, especially in the future. I think some support groups for transgenders would be helpful, too. It’s not rocket surgery, this child has special needs. They should move to a transgender friendly town like Ann Arbor for the best possible upbringing and parent/child support.

    • Guest March 5, 2013 at 10:36 am #

      amen

    • lazy_friend March 7, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

      Eh, I would use the gender neutral bathroom until the whole gender issue is dealt with in a mass scale. I always wanted my own bathroom anyway, less germs. Home schooling is fine, I was for the most part. Feeling loved by your parents is more important than feeling loved by the rest of the world at a young age IMO. Dealing with bullying is not as simple as fighting back,plus making everyone else uncomfortable lacks subtlety and respect for the sexual identity others choose as well. “Pussifying” would be letting the child get his/her ass kicked, which can be deadly (besides the kid does want to be identified as a female) . Getting beat up when one does not wish to fight or is not fit to compete or fight back is way more traumatic than showing concern and taking an isolated, defensive stance such as in home schooling (reason for weight classes in pro fighting). People should be scared of violence and back away from it, instead of adding more violence to the situation with an aggressive crude stance (that’s so macho anyway). Violence is “Sport” in society, where there is no place for it, we reserve a place for that in the sporting fields, venues and gyms; unless you want to risk criminal charges. We are social creatures and we feel confident when we have backup, instead of feeling like a fish out of water, being forced to deal with everything on our own, that just creates psychological/emotional damage and releases major stress hormones which can be detrimental to ones physical health if expose to for an extended period of time. “Fitting in” takes accepting ones self completely by being honest with yourself, as well as being realistic and accepting the consequences of our choices and what reactions they may induce in others. Moving might be a good idea but other challenges will certainly arise, like finances, especially in an economically depressed state like Michigan. What if the child changes it’s mind as it ages and wants to be a boy again? All the girls he shared a bathroom with would feel violated. I was a very feminine child and now I am as macho as can be. Once testosterone gets a boost in puberty, things may change. To be a “successful” non conformist, one has to be truly original and at the same time, sensitive to the people around them and their traditions; instead of trying to cram ideologies and lifestyles down peoples metaphorical throats. Clothes do not make the woman or a man. The feminist movement is slowly but steadily molding society to be better geared towards females anyway, which is fine in my book, as having things the easy way is not really “manly”, but I don’t blame the kid for wanting to cash in on the new paradigm by taking the identity of a girl, the child will probably lead a more interesting life than I do by going the against the grain anyway, regardless of the challenges in the beginning. Females are less likely to hurt the kid physically but when it comes to mental and emotional harassment, females are second to none and that type of pain hurts for years and sometimes a life time.

    • lazy_friend March 8, 2013 at 4:11 am #

      In the kids defense after watching interviews on youtubes, she seems like a cool loving little child and I would not make such a big deal about it out of compassion. When it comes to peoples sexuality, I just tend to let sleeping dogs lie as I have plenty to worry about that is much more pressing.

    • lazy_friend March 8, 2013 at 4:11 am #

      In the kids defense after watching interviews on youtubes, she seems like a cool loving little child and I would not make such a big deal about it out of compassion. When it comes to peoples sexuality, I just tend to let sleeping dogs lie as I have plenty to worry about that is much more pressing.

  12. Ittabena March 5, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    What the story didn’t tell you is that this young man has been very naughty. He has been using his “gift” to hustle the girls out of their milk money each day through contests to piss for distance and for accuracy. This had to be stopped!

    Okay, I feel guilty, but I had to do it.

    Too many… straight lines… Must… make… joke…

  13. ⚔ForeverAeon⚔ March 5, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Look up the mom on twitter

  14. howiebledsoe March 5, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    I don’t see how this kid qualifies as “transgender.” It’s a little boy who wears girls clothing and identifies with girls. That makes her a transvestite.

  15. jnana March 6, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    that’s why we need to just ban gender once and for all and have everyone take hormone therapy. maybe start by adulterating tap water. gender just causes too many problems.

  16. Emily P. Smith March 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    I don’t understand all the frue frue. It’s simple. The child is a boy with male genatalia. He should use the boy’s bathroom. His pschology is for a psychologist, not the school. End of story.

    • Andrew March 6, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

      Perhaps it’s you who’s simple.

  17. Rick March 21, 2013 at 3:09 am #

    When children say they do not like greens, parents do not start feeding them ice cream for breakfast. If a boy wants to be a girl, parents do not rush to put tiaras and butterflies in his hair. Stupid parents are spoiling the poor boy’s future. Is he old enough to understand what being a boy or a girl mean or is it that the cyborgs have taken over while we were sleeping?

Leave a Reply