For the past year or so, Coy Mathis has dressed as a girl. She loves the color pink. She's recognized by both her family and the state of Colorado, where she lives, as a girl. But earlier this year, Coy Mathis was banned from using the girls' restroom at her school, Eagleside Elementary. Distraught and upset, her parents filed an official discrimination complain with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.
Yesterday, the Division ruled in favor of Coy in her fight against the school district. That's right: Coy won the right to use the girls' restroom.
What a victory for Coy, but more importantly, what a lesson for children everywhere. This ruling sends a loud and clear message that just like any other type of bullying, discriminating against transgender students isn't fair. Not by the administration and not by the students.
I understand the concern, but here are the facts: Coy looks and acts like a girl. She wears girls' clothes. She likes the stereotypical things that girls do. She identifies as a girl. If Coy was going to go into the boys' bathroom, it would make everyone involved feel out of place -- including the other little boys. In the girls' bathroom, Coy is able to use a stall and, hopefully, avoid making anyone else feel uncomfortable.
The most important credential in Coy's case, I believe, is her safety. The last thing Coy needed to do was to be the only student going to the special gender-neutral faculty bathrooms or the nurse's bathroom, opening up the door for teasing and bullying. Now with this ruling, Coy will be treated equally ... or so we can hope.
Now, Coy can stop being home-schooled. Now, she can go back to a place where hopefully she'll be accepted as the little girl she is. Most importantly, now Coy's case will be a benchmark decision for transgender discrimination throughout America.
Do you think the Colorado Rights Division made the right decision? Or do you think this will cause even more problems?
Image via thisreidwrites/Flickr