Family with transgender child has no case

The Prairie Opinion. Art by Chris Brockman.

The Prairie Opinion. Art by Chris Brockman.

There are so many changes going on in America these days. Many have to do with a certain group of people who are part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender community. Many states are legalizing gay marriage, an issue that has been prominent since the 90s. With all of these changes happening in some states, but not in others, it has made it more difficult for both sides.

One of the groups of the LGBT community, the transgender group, is making headlines. A family in Colorado is suing their child’s elementary school for not continuing to let their 6 year old daughter use the girl’s bathroom. The underlying part of it all is that their daughter is actually a boy who identifies as a girl. Coy Mathis’ mother, Kathryn Mathis, said in an interview with CNN that Coy has identified as female since she could express herself. She said Coy had attended Eagleside Elementary throughout kindergarten with no problems and the school had been very understanding, but in December she got a call from the school saying Coy could no longer use the girl’s facilities. A discrimination complaint has been filed against the school district by a transgender rights group.

There are so many problems with this story. How can a 6 year old already have decided that he wanted to be a girl? Even if the child had already been acting like a girl, that doesn’t specifically mean he wants to be a girl. Children explore. Boys may play with dolls and girls with toy guns, but they should have the opportunity to make those choices themselves. Those who do grow up to be transgender and identify as the opposite sex from which they were born, often decide in their pre-teen days, or early teenage years. They have had to experience things that made them make the ultimate decision to be what sex they most identify with. However, a child as young as six had to have had someone pressing the idea onto them—the parents.

This was probably a difficult decision for the school board to make. On the one hand, they do not want to seem like they are discriminating against Transgender people and on the other hand, what about the other children who attend that school? It is all normal and not a big deal to use the restroom amongst the opposite sex when in kindergarten, but what about when they get older? The Mathis’ expected the school to continue to let Coy use the girl’s restroom all throughout school, but this would make other children who attend the school, and their parents, uncomfortable. It would also be very hard on Coy as she enters middle and high school. Everyone knows that’s when kids are the cruelest and if being a boy who looks like a girl is tough, being “that kid” who caused all the commotion will be even more burdensome.

Though young Coy may have eventually decided to identify as a female anyways, she should have been able to make the decision herself, instead of being pushed into it by her parents. She never really had the chance to make her own decision about what sex she wanted to be. Her parents dressed her in girl’s clothes and did her hair like a girl, so to Coy, she was always a girl. She never got a chance to explore her options. Who knows if she will always want to identify as a girl and what if she changes her mind? Life has already been hard for this young person and it will only continue to get more difficult with all of the publicity this story has accumulated. The school should not be sued because they were protecting other children’s rights by ensuring that they would not feel uncomfortable using the restroom at school.

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