This is Coy Mathis, a 6 year old transgender student at Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain, Colorado. It was last year when Coy came to her parents and explain that she did not want to wear jeans any more, started wearing dresses and tutus, and even asked her parents when they can have the doctor give her girl parts. Her parents, supporting their child, went with this transition with love.
Things seemed fine at school with Coy using the girl's bathroom at school, however that came to a stop last December in 2012. The school wrote to the Mathis family and said, "Coy was born a male and at least some parents and students are likely to become uncomfortable with his continued use of the girls’ restroom”.
So what did the family say in response? Easy...they sent a copy of the Colorado anti-discrimination law which clearly states that individuals who identify as the opposite gender MUST be allowed to use the restroom of their preference. Big surprise that the school still did not agree with this, even though it is a law, leaving Coy to be taken out of school. What happened next started a path towards a milestone in transgender rights.
The Mathis family contacted the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, who then formulated a complaint and sent it to the Colorado Division of Civil Rights. This wonderful group of individuals decided last Sunday (June 23rd) that Eagleside school discriminated against Coy and that upon Coy's return to school she can use the girl's bathroom as she pleases.
In their discrimination report of Eagleside School, the Division of Civil Rights had this to say, “Given the evolving research into the development of transgender persons, compartmentalizing a child as a boy or girl solely based on their visible anatomy is a simplistic approach to a difficult and complex issue...[Eagleside School]... deprived [Coy] of the social interaction and bonding that commonly occurs in girls’ restrooms during these formative years, i.e., talking, sharing and laughter.” Well said...well said!
Of course, the Mathis family were ecstatic and so thrilled at the fact that the state of Colorado agreed with them and Coy's mom had this to say, “Schools should not discriminate against their students, and we are thrilled that Coy can return to school and put this behind her...All we ever wanted was for Coy’s school to treat her the same as other little girls. We are extremely happy that she now will be treated equally.” Although, I don't think that anyone was as excited as Coy who is quoted as saying, "So this means that I can go to school and make friends again?".
How sweet are those words out of the mouth of a child who was pushed out of her school and discriminated against because of her gender identity?
In the perspective of transgender rights, this is the 1st ruling of its kind in the nation holding that trans students are allowed to use the bathroom that matches the gender they identify as being. This milestone in the story of transgender rights hopefully will continue through the country and provide strength to other trans students and adults who face this issue every day.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in the world who are believe that a child identity as transgender is a crime, that its a game they are playing, and that supportive parents are horrid and wicked. Trust me, I did a search on this story on some christian news pages and I was sick to my stomach reading some of the comments made. For the sake of you not throwing your computer against the wall after reading this posting, I will not tell you what I read. However, feel free to check out http://christiannews.net for some disgusting commentators...all of which are teachers. That was the worst part about reading these comments, these are teachers who are talking about this lovely 6 year old girl. To them I ask, what happened to you? What happened to you to loose all human decency, respect, and care?
Coy, you are an inspiration in our world! I hope you continue your amazing journey in life with strength and determination as you will change the lives of many around you. Finally Coy, from one person with purple hair to another, I wish I could give you a big hug because your story will give light to so many who are terrified to be who they are on the inside.