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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 1, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 9
Transgender girl barred from girls' restroom
Section One
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Transgender girl barred from girls' restroom

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

When it comes to members of the Transgender community and restroom facilities, society at large just doesn't seem to get it. And although things are improving as more and more people are educated about the topic, the bitter reality is there are still those who don't think Trans people have the right to use the restroom of the gender with which they identify. More often than not, the Trans person under attack is an adult. But Seattle Gay News has learned of a story where a six-year-old Transgender girl has been discriminated against by school officials - and her parents are fighting back.

The Denver Post reports that first-grader Coy Mathis has attended Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain, Colorado, since December 2011. Parents Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis say they recently decided to home-school their daughter after school officials decided Coy could no longer use the girls' restroom as she had been doing. Instead, she would have to use either the boys' restroom, the staff restroom, or the one in the school nurse's office.

CREATING A DIVIDE
"They're creating a giant divide and that's a huge loss for the school because they have a really good opportunity for their students," Kathryn told Fox-TV station KDVR. "They're using it as a way to discriminate instead."

Coy's parents are now filing a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, according to the Post.

Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 officials say the school's leadership has done nothing illegal.

Attorney W. Kelly Dude, who represents Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, says there are no Colorado cases thus far that require public schools to permit Transgender students to use restrooms of the gender with which they identify.

'FUTURE IMPACT' WEIGHED
Dude added that in ruling that Coy wouldn't be allowed to use the girls' restroom, the school "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," according to the Post report.

"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," Dude said.

Kathryn says that Coy made her family aware of her struggles as soon as she was able to talk.

"She just kept crying and said she was scared that she was going to grow up and have a beard and a hairy chest and everybody would know she was born a boy," said her mother.

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