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Colorado

Six-year-old transgender girl ordered to use boys’ restrooms at school

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

FOUNTAIN, Colo. — A transgender advocacy group on Tuesday announced it has filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division on behalf of a 6-year-old girl who has been barred from using the girls’ restrooms at her elementary school.

According to the complaint filed by the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), Coy Mathis, a first-grader at Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain, Colo., was labeled male at birth, but has always known that she is a girl, and has expressed this since she was 18 months old.

Coy Mathis
Family photo, courtesy Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund

Since kindergarten, Coy has worn girls’ clothing to school, and her classmates and teachers have used female pronouns to refer to her and she has used the girls’ bathrooms, just like any other girl in her school.

But since December, school officials have told Coy’s parents that she can no longer use the female facilities and ordered Coy to use the boys’ or nurse’s restroom.

Despite efforts to get the Fountain-Fort Carson School District to reconsider its decision, it has refused to do so, a decision the TLDEF sais violates the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination against transgender students in public schools.

Coy’s parents have since removed her from school and are home schooling her until the complaint is resolved.

“We want Coy to have the same educational opportunities as every other Colorado student,” said Kathryn Mathis, Coy’s mother. “Her school should not be singling her out for mistreatment just because she is transgender.”

“By forcing Coy to use a different bathroom than all the other girls, Coy’s school is targeting her for stigma, bullying and harassment,” said Michael Silverman, TLDEF’s executive director, and one of Coy’s lawyers.

“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,” he added. “Coy’s school has the opportunity to turn this around and teach Coy’s classmates a valuable lesson about friendship, respect and basic fairness.”

A letter from the school’s lawyers said, “The district’s 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.”

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55 more reader comments:

  1. How horrid!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:15am
  2. Thanks for posting! You should see some of the uneducated comments a local station’s (WQAD) reporting of this is getting on facebook!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:15am
  3. Yeesh biology speaking yeah it’s a guy, but come on she wasn’t trained to be a girl you, nimrod!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:16am
  4. Those school officials are monsters.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:16am
  5. wow. some people are such pansies. let the girl do what she wants, this is gonna screw her up in the head later in life. people are SO friggen delicate nowadays, its embarrassing.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:18am
  6. sad and disturbing for school officials to do this to a child. She is going to be picked on and tortured. How is this even right?? Seeing her in a girls restroom is where she fits in. Going into a boys bathroom will only make not only her uncomfortable but the boys as well!! Sick and ignorant

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:19am
  7. Especially in the girls bathrooms everyone does their business in the stalls.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:20am
  8. Ordered? She’s friggin 6! For gosh sakes.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:21am
  9. “Hi Coy!” …. To the school “officials”, start taking care of your students not battling them.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:22am
  10. Why is there a transgender 6 year old?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:22am
  11. That’s so messed up. Kids are cruel and all they’re going to see is a girl in the boy’s room

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:23am
  12. With all that we know due to advances in science, why are we still so ignorant on this subject? The school acts as if she is going to decide one day she doesn’t want to be a girl anymore, and that she’s going to feel some sort of emotional distress from living her life as a girl. When in reality, that is almost never the case. There is biology involved; gender identity is far more complex than just “what’s in your pants”. I can’t wait to see the day where we are more understanding of that as a whole society.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:23am
  13. Fuck them!!! ugh.. poor baby..

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:23am
  14. My question is, why is there a 6 year old being labeled as transgendered. Kids don’t even understand that stuff yet. Children should just be allowed to be who they are without having to feel these girl/boy social differences so strongly.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:26am
  15. With a note from her psychiatrist they have to make accommodations available to her ( gender neutral bathroom / unisex )..They also have to be sympathetic to the other children in her class as well….Sooo sorry, this child is a pioneer.. lost in a wilderness of ignorance

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:26am
  16. Biology speaking: no she really probably isn’t a guy. She might have the parts down there, but there is FAR MORE to biology than anatomy. Neurochemistry is a thing, you know.

    Why are there stupid people on an LGBT page? >.<

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:27am
  17. Historically we havent undersood why women should vote, wear pants, buy property….educating ourselves enough to undo past misconceptions should never end! We should keep on learning from others! Theyre teachers for a reason!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:28am
  18. umm… Maybe i’m one of those gay people.. But she wasnt labeled a boy a birth, She was born a boy. If s/he wants to be a girl, then she can go ahead and do that…. When she’s on her own.. As a parent, its their job to ensure that the child grow up, to be able to fully understand life.. and Please, don’t give me that shit that “Oh she knows she was meant to be a girl!” Cause lets be fucking honest.. Kids don’t know shit. They have to grow and decide. I’m all for it if she want to get the process, but lets be serious

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:28am
  19. because saying troll , any transsexual will be able to tell you WE KNOW WHO WE ARE. Up until recently the barbarism of being raised in the closet was culturally enforced. Society is finally growing up and evolving. This kid is one of the fortunate new generation free to be themselves.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:29am
  20. A 6 year old transgender.. How?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:30am
  21. Fuck you Micah. Seriously. Fuck you. If she wants to be a girl at six, fucking let her discover ON HER FUCKING OWN. NOBODY has the fucking right to tell her what she is and what she is not, especially a complete and total stranger who’s clearly fucking transphobic.
    “Kids don’t know shit”, huh? Well, I hope you never meet my niece, because she is the single most mature and intelligent 7 year old I know, and if she decided to dress like a boy, act like a boy and play with boys toys, I’d let her, and I’d support her 100% of the way.
    Take your transphobic ageist bullshit somewhere else.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:31am
  22. …BAD ADULT !! :-(

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:31am
  23. I knew when I was six. Didn’t know the name for it. Didn’t know why or what, just knew. Boy stuff made no sense to me whatsoever. But unlike this girl, I got beaten for it. She deserves respect. The “ordering” happening to her now will cause damage. Period.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:32am
  24. @Charla. Actually most children know they’re Gay, Straight, Bi, Or Transgender by the age of 8.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:32am
  25. All these terrible comments about her age and gender. You people make me sick! Someone doesn’t just decide they want to be another gender one day out of the blue! Just like you didn’t decide out of the blue you were homosexual. The T is just as important as all the other letters in “LGBTQ” so treat them with just as much respect as you demand as well.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:33am
  26. “girl boy male female ” Really ? haven’t we evolved beyond these labels

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:37am
  27. How do you mean how? It’s not about genitalia. Genitals have no say in gender. There are so many different scientifically proven sexes out there anyway that we shouldn’t be shocked. It’s not all XX, XY. There is so much more beyond that and we need to accept the beauty of people outside the binary.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:37am
  28. @Micah. You’re an idiot to your own cause.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:39am
  29. poor little tike…frig people are so brain dead some days. if the child feels like a girl, dresses like one, is one in her heart of hearts then let her be and that means up to and using the girls bathroom.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:39am
  30. Some people don’t understand that gender and sexuality are not mutually exclusive. We live in a society where gender roles and identification are one of the first things presented to us. Pink and blue… dolls with diapers to toy trains…I absolutely believe a 6 year old is capable of identifying her gender.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:40am
  31. risdous

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:41am
  32. It took me a while to know I was transgender for sure but I had a feeling I was, even without knowing the words to describe it.

    I hope this girl will be given the same rights to use a bathroom that makes her comfortable as everyone else. We all deserve as much.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:43am
  33. FFS people, I knew what I was when I was six. Just because you didn’t it doesn’t mean shit. I’ve always been a boy, and I grew into a man, too. Just because my birth certificate has an F on it, and I look female, also doesn’t mean shit.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:48am
  34. bless her heart, leave her the hell alone, she has enough challenges ahead without being bullied by teachers about the damn bathroom. Jeesh!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:49am
  35. A 6 year-old can be trangender (transgendered? if someone can let me know what the proper word is in this context that’d be great) because of this: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20032-transsexual-differences-caught-on-brain-scan.html

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:49am
  36. At 18 months knowing your sex is hard to believe….not sure about that.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:49am
  37. And I’d give anything to turn back time and get hormone blockers and T. I’ll never be happy in my body, and I will be fighting suicidal urges til I die of old age; it’s just the cards for me. Even with hormones and surgeries now, it’s pointless. Leave the fucking kid alone; someone should grow up happy.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:52am
  38. I was getting pissed at being put in dresses as soon as I could think. That woulda been about two. Just STFU all you phobic assholes. Sick of you!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:54am
  39. sex, sexual orientation, and gender are not the same thing.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:55am
  40. Regardless of what age she is we need to think about this as a story about transgenders in general not just her. I am 30 years old and i have been useing the public bathrooms in every state in the usa and i have NEVER seen anyone elses genitalia and i never thought i would you go in to a stall what the hell does it matter what sex u are no one would even see u. again 30 yrs old and i have never walked in to a bathroom and went OMG A PENIS!!! or vaginia

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:57am
  41. It’s amazing how immature adults can be.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 12:04pm
  42. i am transgendered , let me ask this to the trolls WHY DO YOU THINK SOMEONE WOULD CHOSE TO LOSE FAMILY FRIENDS AND MANY OTHER THINGS YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT WE FEEL NOR DO YOU KNOW THE BATTLES WE FACE ON A DAILY BASIS… TOO MANY IGNORANT PEOPLE THIS LIL GIRL AS WELL AS ALL OTHER CHILDREN WHO GO THROUGH THIS BATTLE EACH DAY HAVE MORE COURAGE IN THEIR BIG TOE THEN YOU DO IN YOUR WHOLE BODIES HOW DARE YOU BASH A CHILD !!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 12:17pm
  43. This is sad :(

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 12:32pm
  44. “Why is she being labeled a transgender 6 year old? kids dont even understand that stuff yet”

    Yes they do. They know blue is for boys, pink is for girls. Boys get boy toys, girls get girl toys. Boys get boy clothes, girls get girl clothes. Concepts of gender is forced on them from day one. Gender identity has NOTHING to do with sexual orientation/identity that becomes self aware after changes in puberty. They are entirely separate. Children are just as susceptible to experience dysphoria regarding these strict social mandates as anyone else, if not more so.

    If you have ever gone through gender counseling with a professional, the first thing they look at is your behavior when you were a child. Gender is one of the very first things they come to understand and be aware of themselves as early as they are able to speak and make meaning of words.

    Before you throw your two cents into the topic, please, by all means, do some actual research. Take a class or two, something.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 12:34pm
  45. This is bullshit. I hope they sue the fuck out of that school.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 1:09pm
  46. That’s a bunch of crap.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 1:14pm
  47. poor baby,,,this isnt even a free country for our babies anymore,,leave the little girl alone,,shes obviously been through enough in her lifetime

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 1:14pm
  48. My heart aches for this child and her family. Her parents are to be commended for trying to let her be herself and to help make these childhood years less stressful. Even as a straight child in the 60′s, bathroom times could be so uncomfortable. My children were harassed in bathrooms. And they were straight. Things are better for my grandchildren. There are more unisex bathrooms all around the building. And there is a zero tolerance for name calling and bullying. There is hope for our transgender family and friends. And letting a child BE who they know they ARE from the early years is a great gift to them. It’s going to get better.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 1:30pm
  49. I thought this was theonion at first… sad.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 1:40pm
  50. this is why everyone should use the same washrooms all the time forever

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 1:52pm
  51. i hope they leave her alone before they REALLY mess her up.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 2:43pm
  52. um shes six. shes not raging with hormones. she just wants to go pee in a stall. let her use the girls bathroom. most small children go there anyway as they tend to be less shady.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 3:02pm
  53. Just becuase you can’t imagine it for yourself does not make it any less real for the child. The kid knows who she is just as surely as you know who you are. Why can’t you accept that asnd let her be who she is instead of trying to force her to conform to your idea of who she should be.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 3:22pm
  54. this is a very sad day for me… this is the same school district where i graduated HS from in 1977 :’(

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 5:45pm
  55. Alot of these type behaviors are from misinformed people , with fear and misunderstanding , the only way to win over this crap is to take the time to understand , this little girl needs to hold her head up high and look at them as they are .

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 5:52pm