School Stages Protest Over Transgender Teen Using Girls' Bathroom

transgender teen use girls bathroomIf you're a transgender teen who is biologically a boy but feels like a girl, which bathroom should you use? That's the question people are asking at Hillsboro High School in Missouri, where over 100 students walked out to protest a transgender teen's use of the girls' bathroom


Lila Perry, a 17-year-old senior, started identifying as a girl back in February. For the beginning of school this year, officials had given her permission to use the girls' bathroom as well as the girls' locker room to change for gym class.

Only some of the girls at school weren't too happy about that, claiming Lila's presence made them uncomfortable.

And many parents weren't comfortable with it either, which is why they flooded a recent school board meeting that had to be moved to a bigger room to accommodate the crowd. Some suggested that Lila should have her own separate bathroom, but Lila isn't into it.

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"I wasn't hurting anyone and I didn't want to feel segregated out," Lila explained. "I didn't want to be in the gender-neutral bathroom. I am girl, I shouldn't be pushed off to another bathroom."

My take? This is tough. Although this kid may be "biologically" still a boy, if in her mind she is a girl, then I do tend to think that's what matters, and she should be allowed to use the girls' bathroom.

If the rest of the girls are uncomfortable, I'm not sure that's a valid reason to ban her. I'm sure there was a point when having black people in "white" bathrooms made white people uncomfortable; that doesn't mean we should just cave to it.

Bottom line is, change takes time -- and while acceptance of transgendered people has come a long way, we've still got a lot more to go, particularly for transgender kids. In high school, it's hard to be different, and brave for teens like Lily to come forward. We should welcome her with open arms, even into her bathroom of choice.

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