Allow Transgender Child to Use Preferred Bathroom

Coy Mathis

Target: Superintendent of Schools, Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, Cheryl Serrano

Goal: Allow transgender students to use the bathroom that correlates with the gender they identify as.

Coy Mathis was assigned male at birth but has lived and attended school as a female since she was 3 years old. In December, Coy’s school changed its policy and said she could no longer use the girls’ bathroom and would now have to use the boys’ bathroom, a staff bathroom, or the nurse’s bathroom. Please sign this petition urging the school district to allow Coy to use the girls’ bathroom in order to prevent stigma and support her as a transgender student.

Coy Mathis began identifying as a girl around 18 months old. She liked “girl things”, expressed herself as a girl and identified herself as a girl. Coy started becoming depressed and anxious when she was made to behave, dress or appear like a boy. Her parents took her to medical professionals who informed them that Coy was transgender. According to the American Psychological Association, “Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression, or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.” With Coy’s happiness and sense of self as the priorities, her parents let her grow her hair long, wear girls’ clothing and live her life as a girl.

For the past year the first-grader at Eagleside Elementary School has used the girls’ bathroom and students and staff use female pronouns when referring to her. With the district’s new policy, Coy can no longer use the girls’ bathroom and must instead use either the boys’ bathroom, a staff bathroom or the nurse’s bathroom. The executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) says, “By forcing Coy to use a different bathroom than all the other girls, Coy’s school is targeting her for stigma, bullying and harassment.” Coy’s family fears the stigma associated with outing her as a transgender child. Coy’s mother, Kathryn Mathis, thinks sending a little girl into the boys’ bathroom sets her up for an unsafe situation. Forcing her to use the adult staff bathrooms or the nurse’s bathroom singles her out as “different” and creates an issue that the other children and Coy will want explained.

We are asking that the school district revert to the policy that protects transgender children and focuses on Coy’s education rather than where she goes to the bathroom. Please sign this petition and urge the school district to protect this child from unnecessary stigma, bullying and harassment by letting her continue her life as a 6-year-old girl.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Superintendent Serrano,

Coy Mathis is a 6-year-old first grader attending Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8. Although Coy was born male, she identifies as a female and expresses that identity with long hair, girls’ clothing and interacting with society as a “she”. For the past year Coy has used the girls’ bathroom at school without issue; however, a district policy change now prevents her from doing so. Coy must now use the boys’ bathroom, the adult staff bathrooms or the nurse’s bathroom. Please do not out Coy as a transgender student, thus creating stigma that will attract bullies and harassment. Allow Coy and other transgender students to use their preferred bathroom.

Coy Mathis has been attracted to all things “girl” since she started developing her identity at 18 months old. Her family thought their son just enjoyed girl things until she started becoming depressed and anxious when made to act or look like a boy. When her family sought professional help they were informed that Coy was transgender. According to the American Psychological Association, “Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression, or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.”

With Coy’s happiness and sense of self as their focus, her parents began treating her like a girl, referring to her with female pronouns, buying her girl’s clothing and allowing her to grow her hair long. Until now Coy has been treated like any other little girl allowing her to concentrate on school rather than her transgender status. If made to use a different bathroom than that of the other little girls you are stigmatizing her, targeting her and setting her up for harassment from other children. Forcing her to use the boys’ bathroom could become an unsafe situation and the stigmatization would make her think something is wrong with her.

Please revert back to the old policy and allow Coy and other transgender students to use the bathroom that correlates with the life they are living. Protect transgender students rather than stigmatizing them, and concentrate on their academics and safety rather than their social identity.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: kmbc via Yahoo

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