The parents of a transgender 6-year-old are fighting against the rules in a Colorado school that banned their child from using the girls’ restroom, which is the gender she identifies with.
Coy Mathis was born as a male but, according to his parents, identifies as a female, dressing as girl, gravitating toward more traditionally female toys and expressing a wish to have female body parts.
“It was starting to be obvious to us that Coy was really uncomfortable being a boy and wanted to know when we were going to take him to the doctor so that they would give him girl parts so that his body would be a girl,” Coy’s mother, Kathryn said, during an exclusive interview with Katie Couric’s show.
The child’s father, Jeremy, explained that Coy was evaluated by a psychologist who “affirmed Coy was transgender.” At this point, Coy’s parents decided to let their son express himself as their daughter.
Coy was 4 years old when she officially was allowed to express herself as a girl.
On Couric’s show, Coy’s parents explained that her school was initially accepting of her being transgendered but later decided that she would have to use the boy’s restroom or another more private one. Her parents decided to take legal action and with the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund filed a complaint.
Watch Couric’s interview:
According to the TLDEF’s website, Eagleside Elementary School had previously allowed Coy to use the girl’s restroom but in December 2012 informed her parents of the new rule.
To Couric, Kathryn Mathis said she just wants Coy to have the same opportunities as the other children.
“By forcing Coy to use a different bathroom than all the other girls, Coy’s school is targeting her for stigma, bullying and harassment,” Michael Silverman, TLDEF’s executive director and a lawyer in the case, said according to TLDEF. “Through the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, Coloradans have made it clear that they want all Colorado children to have a fair and equal chance in school. Coy’s school has the opportunity to turn this around and teach Coy’s classmates a valuable lesson about friendship, respect and basic fairness.”
On the other hand, the Denver Post reported the lawyer for Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, William Kelly Dude, saying the school’s decision is in compliance with the anti-discrimination act:
That decision 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,” Kelly wrote in a Dec. 28 letter to Silverman.
Dude argued that the district is in compliance with the state Anti-Discrimination Act because “Coy attends class as all other students, is permitted to wear girls’ clothes and is referred to as the parents have requested,” and was allowed access to single-user restrooms used by employees or gender-neutral restrooms in the school’s health room.
As for how other states have handled the issue, CNN reported New York barring any discrimination due to gender identity, while a court in Maine decided a school district did not violate a student’s rights by banning them from the restroom their gender identity would prefer.
The Post reported further Kathryn Mathis saying at a news conference Wednesday that the family feels the restroom restriction “singles her our and stigmatizes her.”
“The school has a wonderful opportunity to teach students that differences are OK, and we should embrace their differences, instead of teaching them to discriminate against someone who is a little different,” she continued, according to the Post.
Watch Mathis speak with the press Wednesday:
- Male 11-Year-Old Put on Hormone Blockers Because ‘I’m a Girl’
- This 5-Year-Old Is Now Living as a Boy Following Her ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ Prognosis
- Report: Sex Change Treatments on the Rise Among Children & Teens
- Canadian Anti-Transgender Ad: ‘Stop Confusing Our Children’
(H/T: Daily Mail)