Colorado | Discrimination | News | Transgender

Major Transgender Civil Rights Victory in Colorado as State Rules for 6-Year-Old in School Bathroom Case


In February, we reported on first-grader Coy Mathis, who was 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 lived as a girl since age 4.

Now, transgender advocates are hailing a ruling by the state's civil rights division that could have a dramatic impact on future cases, the NYT reports:

In a sharply worded ruling, the division concluded that the Fountain-Fort Carson School District needlessly created a situation in which the student, Coy Mathis, would be subject to harassment when it barred her from the girls’ bathroom even though she clearly identified as female.

Telling Coy “that she must disregard her identity while performing one of the most essential human functions constitutes severe and pervasive treatment, and creates an environment that is objectively and subjectively hostile, intimidating or offensive,” Steven Chavez, the division director, wrote in the decision.

More on the ruling:

 It noted that while Coy’s birth certificate stated she was male — an argument made by the school district — more recent medical and legal documents identified her as female.

It was clear, the state said, that Coy had completely integrated into society as a girl — wearing girls’ clothing, standing in the girls’ line at school and choosing to play with girls.

But the state’s ruling went even further, saying that evolving research on transgender development showed that “compartmentalizing a child as a boy or a girl solely based on their visible anatomy, is a simplistic approach to a difficult and complex issue.”

Depriving Coy of the acceptance that students need to succeed in school, Mr. Chavez wrote, “creates a barrier where none should exist, and entirely disregards the charging party’s gender identity.”

A news report on Coy Mathis, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I'm amazed that science was allowed in a courtroom. Good for cute-as-a-button Coy and transgendered children everywhere.

    Posted by: yuninv | Jun 24, 2013 11:15:01 AM

  2. Progress! And truly wonderful parents.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 24, 2013 11:29:11 AM

  3. The parents of the child are the only ones to blame. No way an 18-month old child could determine he was not a boy.

    Posted by: AG | Jun 24, 2013 11:30:55 AM

  4. AG - stop being angry that this young girl's parents are more progressive and understanding and knowledgeable than, perhaps, your own.

    I know that for many who still don't find acceptance and comfort in being Gay seeing parents love and support a trans child is a source of bitter jealousy - but you should be thrilled by this.

    it shows the culture of ignorance and fear is coming to an end.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 24, 2013 11:39:08 AM

  5. The boy's parents may be loving in their insane way but they are the source of their child's gender confusion. The child never had a chance to grow up as a boy. There are no 18-month-old trans kids, there are only 18-month-old parents abuse victims, who will suffer for the rest of their lives.

    Posted by: AG | Jun 24, 2013 11:49:32 AM

  6. you're saying more about your own family life than about this young girl's.

    the child isn't confused. you seem to be, however.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 24, 2013 11:52:57 AM

  7. "There are no 18-month-old trans kids." How brain dead stupid are you. All trans adults were kids at one point, so yes there are 18-month old trans kids.

    Posted by: Not that Rob | Jun 24, 2013 11:54:51 AM

  8. AG: Really? It doesn't exactly take a lot to realize something as significant as your gender, especially if you're being raised in an environment as open and progressive as this child is. Gender is very narrowly defined for children anyways, one look at a toy catalogue or any children's show could show you as much. It doesn't take trans kids long to figure out something's not right.

    Posted by: JMC | Jun 24, 2013 11:57:01 AM

  9. AG, I seriously hope you're straight, because if you're gay or lesbian, then you've clearly learned nothing whatsoever from all the people who have fought and died in the gay rights struggle for your rights. Throwing transgender people under the bus from the position you now occupy is beyond reprehensible. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Posted by: Michael Rowe | Jun 24, 2013 12:00:25 PM

  10. Isn't it interesting that self-styled academics have declared that "gender" is a "social construct" but the same people then turn around and declare that being transgendered is hardwired rather than a messed up accommodation to social expectation?

    Posted by: David Hearne | Jun 24, 2013 12:00:53 PM

  11. Gender performance is a social construct. Gender IS hardwired. And people used to use that "messed up accommodation to social expectation" argument to deny rights to gays and lesbians.

    Posted by: Michael Rowe | Jun 24, 2013 12:03:12 PM

  12. Not really, hearne. Because unlike you, we understand the differences between Gender and Sex, and talk to our Trans brothers and sisters to understand the specifics of having a gender and a body that are in "conflict" (for lack of a better word.)

    i love your posts. they reveal how stupid Your Side is :)

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 24, 2013 12:05:10 PM

  13. David Hearne: It's crazy how badly you misunderstand the bare basics of gender studies lol educate yourself, your comment is embarrassing

    Posted by: JMC | Jun 24, 2013 12:07:00 PM

  14. @David Hearne

    You are conflating gender role stereotypes which are a completely social construct with someone's actual gender which is an immutable trait whether a person is cisgender or transgender.

    Posted by: Jeff | Jun 24, 2013 12:07:50 PM

  15. @Michael - well, that's why the troll-commenters are so angry. Those who aren't accepted as gay, and by accepted I do include them accepting THEMSELVES as gay, seem to be very angry when transgendered/transitioning people are accepted.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 24, 2013 12:07:56 PM

  16. " All trans adults were kids at one point, so yes there are 18-month old trans kids."

    Of course all trans adults were kids at some point. That's not the point. The point is that at such an early age a child cannot possibly make an informed decision to reject his biological gender. The individual has to be much more mature to decide on something so important.

    Posted by: AG | Jun 24, 2013 12:21:23 PM

  17. Gender studies? Are there anything to them but the punchline of a joke?

    Posted by: AG | Jun 24, 2013 12:24:12 PM

  18. lol okay I think we've fed the troll enough you guys, he's getting silly now

    Posted by: JMC | Jun 24, 2013 12:30:20 PM

  19. @JMC - I think he's upset that even though he's adult his parents don't think he's mature enough to decide to be gay yet :D

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 24, 2013 12:38:09 PM

  20. Unless incredibly precocious, I don't see how an 18 mo. child can affirm any gender identity. If you've not dealt with toddlers, 18 mo. is about the age when vocalizing single words begins, more commonly seen in females than males, who begin at about 20-22 mos. It's not even an age when parents make significant gender normative reactions. 18 mo. old children of both sexes are treated about the same. However, keeping small children out of bathrooms for either sex is a bit silly since they don't really understand the issues and pose no threat.

    Could the story be misleading? Probably.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 24, 2013 12:45:30 PM

  21. Gender Studies has about as much cred as Afrocentrism.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Jun 24, 2013 12:47:14 PM

  22. @AG re: "Are there anything to them but the punchline of a joke?" That's very apropos considering it's coming from someone who's a joke. The things that you said about transgender people are the same things that have been said about gay people. When I came out at the age of 16 my father - who up until that point told everyone how smart and mature I was - told me that I was "confused" and that I "couldn't possibly know" what I was. He was as wrong then as you are now.

    Posted by: Gigi | Jun 24, 2013 1:02:22 PM

  23. "Gender Studies has about as much cred as Afrocentrism"

    And both may have more cred than a White supremacist's view of history.

    You know like, maybe the cherry tree shoulda' fell on little Georgie

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 24, 2013 1:02:51 PM

  24. Hearne, you're an idiot, and a racist one at that. Either educate yourself or troll somewhere else.

    Posted by: Michael Rowe | Jun 24, 2013 1:21:38 PM

  25. I mean, Gender Studies does have as much credibility as Afrocentrism in that they're both indisputably legitimate lol

    Posted by: JMC | Jun 24, 2013 2:02:42 PM

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