A transgender first grader just won a civil rights case in Colorado.
Coy Mathis was born a boy, but identifies as a girl. Mathis acts like a girl, dresses like a girl, and is referred to by teachers and friends with female pronouns. Yet, the fact that Mathis was born a boy created one small problem. Which bathroom can Mathis use?
Eagleside Elementary in Fountain, Co. would not allow her to use the girl’s bathroom. This seems like a logical move, since Mathis was born a boy. Yet, this also seems illogical because everyone treats Mathis like a girl. It’s complicated.
According to the Denver Post, the Mathis family filed a civil rights complaint in February. The Huffington Post said that the Mathis family raised the issue after school officials said she could only use the bathrooms in the teacher’s lounge or nurse’s office. Mathis’ parents were worried that there would be kids who would start bullying Coy.
The Colorado Civil Rights Division ruled in favor of Mathis on Monday saying the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 did indeed discriminate against Mathis. According to CNN, this is the first ruling of its kind. The first time that anyone has said transgendered kids must be treated fairly.
Coy’s mother Kathryn believes transgender kids should be allowed to express themselves. She told ABC News, “This is amazing because it is not just a win for Coy, but a win for every transgender child in the entire state. It’s amazing for all of them and their future. It lets them be who they are. They don’t have to spend their childhood being discriminated against.”
This is great for the Mathis family. However, I do not agree with this ruling. Let me make clear that I am not a fan of discrimination either. Personally, though, I do not believe a boy should be allowed in the girl’s bathroom no matter what the circumstance. If I was a parent, and had a daughter, I would not be comfortable with the thought of a boy sharing a bathroom with her.
According to ABC News, Mathis’ parents said that age 4, she complained that “something was wrong with her body”. In my opinion, Mathis’ parents should have told Coy she was actually a boy at that moment. Then, this situation may have possibly been avoided.
For now, it will probably not be a big deal. Mathis is only 6, and I doubt there will be any problems. On the other hand, it will get awkard in a couple years. As the school district said in a letter to Mathis’ attorney, “However, I’m certain that you can appreciate that as Coy gets 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 girl’s bathroom.”
John Bean just completed his junior at the University of Missouri, and expects to graduate in May 2014. John is a journalism major, and is also working on a business minor. He grew up near Chicago, and hopes to become a sportswriter someday. To answer everyone’s question, he prefers the White Sox over the Cubs. John is currently an intern for TheUrbanTwist.com.