In this Feb. 25, 2013, photo, Coy Mathis sits with a book at her home in Fountain, Colo. Coy has been diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder. Biologically, Coy, 6, is a boy, but to her parents, three sisters and brother, family members and the world, Coy is a transgender girl. (Photo: AP)
DENVER (TheBlaze/AP) -- A 6-year-old transgender child will be able to return to school after winning the right to use the girls' bathroom, despite being born a boy.
The New York-based Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, which filed the complaint on behalf of parents Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, announced the ruling in favor of Coy Mathis on Sunday. Lawyers plan to explain the ruling Monday.
The group claimed the first-grader was discriminated against by Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain, near Colorado Springs, after the school allegedly said Coy either had to use the bathroom in the teachers' lounge or the nurse's office after winter break.
Coy's parents feared that going along would open the child up for bullying and chose to homeschool for the rest of the school year as the complaint was considered.
"All we ever wanted was for Coy's school to treat her the same as other little girls," Kathryn Mathis said. "We are extremely happy that she now will be treated equally."
The Mathises said Coy, a triplet, showed an early preference for things associated with girls. At 5 months, she took a pink blanket meant for her sister Lily. Later, she showed little interest in toy cars and boy clothes with pictures of sports, monsters and dinosaurs on them. She refused to leave the house if she had to wear boy clothes and became depressed and withdrawn, telling her parents at one point that she wanted to get "fixed" by doctor.
They said they later learned the child had gender identity disorder - a condition in which someone identifies as the opposite gender. The Mathises said they decided to help Coy live as a girl and the child subsequently came out of her shell.
"This is the first ruling in the nation holding that transgender students must be allowed to use bathrooms that match who they are, and the most comprehensive ruling ever supporting the rights of transgender people to access bathrooms without harassment or discrimination," the group said in a news release.
A representative of the group, Michael Silverman added for the Denver Post: "This ruling sends a loud and clear message that transgender students may not be targeted for discrimination and that they must be treated equally in school...It is a victory for Coy and a triumph for fairness."
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