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Posted: 12:39 p.m. Monday, June 24, 2013

Transgender 1st-grade girl wins bathroom lawsuit

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By JASMINE BAILEY

Video transcript provided by Newsy.com

A six-year-old transgender Colorado girl won a civil rights lawsuit after her public school decided she could not use the girls’ bathroom.

First-grader, Coy Mathis who was born male, has identified as female since age four. Coy’s parents say they first started noticing when she was about 18-months-old. (Via KDVR)

Coy’s Mother: “Of course at the time our thought was that she was a little boy that liked girls things. And it wasn’t until she started becoming depressed and anxious that we knew there was something going on and took her to medical professionals.” (Via KMGH)

When Coy was four a psychologist confirmed she was transgender and her parents say they let her, quote: “be who she was”. Coy started kindergarten at Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain, Colorado.

Her transition into school went smoothly and she was initially allowed to use the girls’ bathroom. But then Coy’s parents got a call from the school’s principal to discuss Coy’s future. (Via Daily Mail)

Coy’s Father: “It came out that Coy was no longer going to be able to use the girls’ restroom, they were going to require her to use the boy’s room or the staff bathroom or the bathroom for the sick children.” (Via Katie)

Coy’s parents decided to withdraw her and their other children from the school and begin homeschooling. In a statement, the school district said it was focusing on the future as Coy begins to grow older and develop.

“… 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.” (Via CNN)

But when the family took the matter to court, the Colorado Civil Rights Division ruled in favor of Coy — claiming the school district violated the state’s 2008 anti-discrimination statute. (Via The New York Times)

...which states restroom access must coincide with the individual’s “gender identity, rather than their assigned gender at birth.”

“We want her to have the same opportunities as all of the other children and we want her to be able to go back to school and be treated equally without discrimination.”  (Via KKTV)

The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Mathis family and said, in a statement, the ruling is not only a big step for Coy, but also holds great meaning for the entire transgender community.

“This is the first ruling in the nation holding that transgender students must be allowed to use bathrooms that match who they are, and the most comprehensive ruling ever supporting the rights of transgender people to access bathrooms without harassment or discrimination.”

The laws protecting transgender people vary from state to state. Currently 17 states and the District of Columbia have some form of legal protection.  

- See more at Newsy

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