Colorado | Discrimination | Education | News | Transgender

Colorado School Bars 6-Year-Old Trans Girl from Using Girl's Restroom; Parents File Civil Rights Complaint: VIDEO


First-grader Coy Mathis has been barred from using the girls' bathroom at her Colorado school because she is transgender. She has male genitalia but has identified as a girl since 18 months and living as a girl since age 4, Salon reports:

But the school doesn’t see her that way. W. Kelly Dude, an attorney for the Fountain-Fort Carson School District, said the school’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.” Adding, “However, I’m certain you can appreciate that as Coy grows older and his male genitals develop along with the rest of his body, at least some parents and students are likely to become uncomfortable with his continued use of the girls’ restroom.”

The letter goes on to allege that Mathis’ presence in the women’s bathroom would be “psychologically damaging” later in life, and so the school chose to address the matter now.

The Mathis family has filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, the first claim to test the state’s Anti-Discrimination Act, which includes protections based on gender identity.

Watch several news reports and an interview with Coy's parents, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Since 18 months? I freely admit that I do not fully understand transgendered issues, but that seems a little odd to me.

    Posted by: yuninv | Feb 28, 2013 7:57:10 AM

  2. Do these people not have the operation anymore? They all seem to be running around with intact penises these days.

    Posted by: niles | Feb 28, 2013 8:08:54 AM

  3. The amount of ignorance in the preceding two comments is painful.

    Posted by: mike8787 | Feb 28, 2013 8:17:43 AM

  4. What's with the fixation on genitalia with these people? If the kid presents as female, it's not going to make a difference what her genitals look like (in terms of bathroom use) as she gets older. I highly doubt she's going to be standing in the middle of the room with her junk out, pissing in the sink.

    Last time I checked (granted, it's been a while since I've been in one) ladies' rooms are full of stalls. You know, so you don't have to see other people on the toilet...

    Posted by: Rich F. | Feb 28, 2013 8:23:28 AM

  5. Lots of thoughts on this story, but only this comment: Fountain-Fort Carson is in the very, very conservative Colorado Springs area, lots of military and lots of evangelical Christians, including the HQ of Focus on the Family. I'm sure the general conservative climate in the area has nothing to do with this situation.

    Posted by: jpeckjr | Feb 28, 2013 8:27:21 AM

  6. Gender identity disorder can change as a child grows. Society - which includes parents - feel compelled to push children into one set of traits that they can label as male or female. Any chance of being the unique version that is you probably gets lost pretty quickly. At 6 does the restroom really have to be girls or boys?

    Posted by: Markt | Feb 28, 2013 8:35:05 AM

  7. Mike8787,

    I admitted my ignorance, and in order to correct that was asking questions. There is no person on this earth who knows everything, and without questions, we receive no answers.

    So, instead of stating the obvious which I had already stated, why don't you give me the information I have requested so that I can better understand this situation.


    Posted by: yuninv | Feb 28, 2013 8:46:46 AM

  8. Mike seriously needs to stop wagging his bony finger at people. I also wonder about the strength of one's gender identity when they are just out of diapers. Your name-calling is unwarranted and ignorant.

    Posted by: Joey Y | Feb 28, 2013 9:09:04 AM

  9. Mike seriously needs to stop wagging his bony finger at people. I also wonder about the strength of one's gender identity when they are just out of diapers. Your name-calling is unwarranted and ignorant.

    Posted by: Joey Y | Feb 28, 2013 9:09:05 AM

  10. Another article I read on this stated that the school offered either a private or a gender neutral bathroom for her to use. They're not forcing her to use the boys' bathroom. That seems to me to be a reasonable accommodation.

    Posted by: Greg | Feb 28, 2013 9:11:08 AM

  11. If a 6-year-old child is NOT transgenedered and just wants to play female dress up for a week or two, can that child use either bathroom?

    I'm being serious: I think I'm even okay with straight children experimenting with gender roles, as long as the community is a liberal one.

    Posted by: wil | Feb 28, 2013 9:20:07 AM

  12. There were on Katie there is video of her saying she is a girl when she is eighteen months old,crying when she is forced to wear boys clothes.In the video when she is dressed like a boy at age about three she looks sad,depressed.Her eyes look dead.At about four she is allowed to live as a girl.I teared up looking at the smile the joy in her eyes.The school wants her to use the Staff bathroom.A child with in other special need isn't forced to use Staff bathroom.

    Posted by: Kim | Feb 28, 2013 9:42:26 AM

  13. 1) Mike responded to a comment that started with "Do these people...", so yeah MIKE is the one with the problem, he was in no way provoked or anything.

    2) This is interesting, all parties can claim emotional distress by the situation. IE that can't be used in any way when arguing.

    3) I am 100% that other than a few times when I felt like it and at the Dr's office, my childhood genitals didn't come into play during my school life.

    Posted by: Fensox | Feb 28, 2013 9:57:14 AM

  14. They offered to let him/her use the unisex bathroom in the nurses office. Case Closed and shame on the parents for turning a boy into a girl.... Shame should be taken away.

    Posted by: Jerry | Feb 28, 2013 10:10:42 AM

  15. I'm sorry but how does a baby even know if it's male or female?

    Posted by: Will | Feb 28, 2013 10:46:22 AM

  16. Using an alternate bathroom isn't really an accommodation, it's deeply othering and it singles out a child as being less-than or not worthy of using a normal restroom.

    And kids generally start really understanding their gender identity around the age of 3, per the latest research. When you see a trans kid, that is as a result of a decent amount of time they have spent insisting that they are the opposite gender. They've met wih plenty of psychologists, and I have a feeling that the adults in their life (parents, doctors, etc.) have a much better idea of what they're going through than some strangers on the Internet.

    Finally: gender identity is immutable, like sexuality. Thus, while you can't force a trans kid to be cisgendered (just like you can't force a gay person to be straight), you also can't force a cis kid to be trans.

    Posted by: TheDrDonna | Feb 28, 2013 11:27:57 AM

  17. I find it quite suspect that "she started asking when we were going to take her to the doctor to get her body fixed."

    Really? I don't find it surprising that a male child could decide that he's a girl. Let's face it, girl clothes are prettier, Mommy is prettier than Daddy, and who wouldn't want to wear a tutu or a party dress instead of a little boy suit, tie, and clunky shoes?

    But how did this child get the idea that his body was incorrect and that a doctor would fix it? Sorry Charlie, but I find these parents to be highly suspect. And if they start to give this child hormones at some point, I will consider them criminal.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 28, 2013 11:33:30 AM

  18. @Hearne, clothing does not equate to a body. I think that the fact that she asked about fixing her body, and not wearing "pretty clothes", is more of an indicator of how this isn't about gender presentation, it's about being in the wrong body. And regarding how you feel about the parents, that's your problem, not theirs, and the legal system would be 100% on their side (because that's where all the evidence and scientific fact is).

    Posted by: TheDrDonna | Feb 28, 2013 11:38:59 AM

  19. Doctors have diagnosed her as TG this is not a child playing dress up.How would you feel if a kid said he was Gay and the school said he had to use the shower in nurses office because the other boys are not comfortable being nude in front of a openly Gay classmate? Separate but equal is not equal

    Posted by: Kim | Feb 28, 2013 11:42:50 AM

  20. You'll have to forgive the projected anger from the Resident Troll posters. Understand they're gay males who have found no love and acceptance from their own communities, families and homes. Thus, when they read a story about some transgendered person who, as a child, has been welcomed and accepted by their parents, it inspires nothing but bitter jealousy and rage. They weren't accepted as gay, and therefore they're furious that this young girl is accepted and loved in an open and intelligently compassionate way, by parents who are letting her be, and FIND, herself. Societal expectations be damned.

    That's what's inspiring the angry troll posts. This, more than anything else, should be moving us - these are parents that want the best for their child, not what's best in the eyes of "neighbours".

    bless 'em. we should all be so lucky.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 28, 2013 11:50:40 AM

  21. While I find these parents suspect, the fact that they chose to homeschool their child is admirable and something I recommend that all parents do.

    The school has to make decisions based the best interests of all the students and in consideration of future situations and accusations of disparate treatment. Regardless of what the trannies believe they know, the objective truth is that Coy is a male. If you allow one male child to use the girls room, then you have to allow all male children to use the girls room.

    Not everything is "the same" for boys and girls. These are not simply social affects we are dealing with. Little boys probably don't care if a girl uses the boys room. Little boys tend to be less fragile than little girls. Many little girls are quite fragile and do care if there is a boy in the rest room.

    Having said all of that, I have little patience with adults who are overly concern by who uses which restroom. Having worked in a couple of large gay nightclubs where the bathrooms inevitably end up being unisex, I can assure anyone who has not had this experience that men are better behaved in bathrooms where women come and go.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 28, 2013 11:56:12 AM

  22. Although I've seen women who are much better at standing while urinating than I am. I tend to spill urine all over my jeans, every time, unless I'm sitting down with my knees together. With genitals as small as mine it's impossible to use any grip in order to aim properly. Just sort of spills everywhere. In fact, I did learn how to pee upright from watching a youtube video of a woman peeing while standing.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 28, 2013 12:01:16 PM

  23. Thedrdonna -

    Understand this: I have no problem with someone considering himself transgendered and presenting anyway he chooses. I take issue with the "wrong body" aspect of this self diagnosis, and it is self diagnosis. You don't medicate and cut into a healthy body because the person inside of it thinks he's opposite from his biological sex.

    From a psychological aspect, if you need the surgery to feel right, then you should be disqualified from getting the surgery. If you do the work to become comfortable in your body as you are, then you probably wouldn't still want the surgery but if you do then treat it like any other cosmetic procedure.

    It is ethical to use drugs and cosmetic surgeries to correct defective bodies of minors. It is not ethical to give drugs and cut into healthy bodies due to a psychiatric condition.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 28, 2013 12:02:40 PM

  24. This is a very sad and bizarre story. The parents should be ashamed of themselves for using a young child like this.

    Anybody who thinks everybody, even most people, will be cool with a very young boy dressing and behaving like a girl and demanding to use the girls restroom is delusional. And if you think this young boys problems won't get exponentially worse in middle and high school, you're even more delusional.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 28, 2013 12:07:08 PM

  25. Oh David, you've really revealed yourself as a bigot here. Transphobia and misogyny in a neat little package ("trannies"? Really?).

    Besides some lumps of flesh that actually don't mean anything yet, there are no real differences between boys and girls before puberty occurs. Puberty itself is what causes sexual differentiation, and also is the point at which sex really enters the equation, and any child who manages to come out as trans before puberty gets its hooks into them will be able to take hormone blockers, or cross sex hormones, so that they develop fully into the opposite gender.

    Posted by: TheDrDonna | Feb 28, 2013 12:09:21 PM

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