Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
Coy Mathis, a transgender 6-year-old who identifies as a female but was born a male, has won a decision by the Colorado Civil Rights Division that will enable her to use the girls’ bathroom at school. Mathis’ parents filed their complaint in February after Eagleside Elementary School rescinded the child’s permission to use the girls’ bathroom. More from NBC News:
By not allowing Coy to use the girls’ restroom, the school “creates an environment rife with harassment,” Steven Chavez, the division director, wrote in the decision.
The school district, about 15 miles south of Colorado Springs, Colo., also showed “a lack of understanding of the complexity of transgender issues” by referring to Coy as a male or using quotes around “her” throughout the litigation, Chavez wrote.
The school district could not be reached for comment on the ruling Sunday.
Coy was born a male, but began at an early age to identify as a girl through toys and dress and started calling herself a girl between the ages of 4 and 6, according to the summary of the division’s ruling.
Image: Girls’ bathroom, via Shutterstock
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Thursday, February 28th, 2013
A first-grade Colorado child who was born a boy but identifies as a girl is the subject of a discrimination complaint filed by the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. Last December, Eagleside Elementary School decided that first-grader Coy Mathis was no longer allowed to use the girl’s bathroom, prompting the complaint. More from CNN:
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Mother Kathryn Mathis said she and her husband were shocked.
“We were very confused because everything was going so well, and they had been so accepting, and all of a sudden it changed and it was very confusing and very upsetting because we knew that, by doing that, she was going to go back to being unhappy,” she told CNN. “It was going to set her up for a lot of bad things.”
Coy was born with male sex organs but has identified as female since she could express herself, her mother said. The child had attended classes during her kindergarten year with no problems and no complaints from anyone at the school, Mathis told reporters at the Colorado Capitol in Denver, where she was flanked by her husband, Jeremy, and four other children.
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
At age 2, a girl named Kathryn told her parents, “I am a boy.” The Washington Post has published an in-depth look at Kathryn’s story, and how her family has come to accept that their child is transgender:
“I am a boy” became a constant theme in struggles over clothing, bathing, swimming, eating, playing, breathing.
Jean and Stephen gave up trying to force Kathryn to wear the frilly dresses that Grandma kept sending. Kathryn wanted nothing to do with her big sister Moyin’s glittery, sparkly pink approach to the world. (Moyin attends school with my son, which is how I came to know the family. The Washington Post is using the family’s middle names to protect their identity beyond their community, where their situation already is widely known.)
Kathryn didn’t even want to be around other little girls, let alone acknowledge that she biologically is one.
Click here to read the whole story.
Image: Child riding a skateboard, via Shutterstock.
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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012
A study published this week in the journal Pediatrics has found high rates of sexual and physical abuse among children who have behaviors that deviate from gender norms, leading to increased risk of PTSD as adults.
CNN.com reports that the study did not track transgendered kids, who believe they were born in the wrong physical bodies, but rather kids who exhibit gender nonconforming behaviors like boys wearing nail polish or girls wearing boys’ clothing:
Gender nonconforming behavior occurs in one out of 10 children, according to the study. A vast majority of these kids do not need medical interventions, because the behavior tends to fade as they grow older.
In the study published Monday, nearly 9,000 respondents were asked to recall their childhood experiences before age 11, including favorite toys, games, roles they took while playing, media characters they imitated or admired, and feelings of femininity and masculinity. When they reached adulthood, the participants were surveyed again — this time about whether they experienced physical, sexual, or emotional abuse and were screened for PTSD.
The results showed “very clear patterns,” said S. Bryn Austin, one of the study’s authors. “The young people who as children were most nonconforming were much more likely to report mistreatment or abuse, within the family, by people outside the family. They were targeted for abuse.”
There should be extra precautions taken to protect them, she said.
“We are concerned about the health and risk of abuse and harassment targeting children who behave in a way, or express their gender in a way that’s not typical,” said Austin, an associate professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard School of Public Health. “We know there’s a lot of bias about how girls and boys are supposed to behave.”
Image: Little girl playing with a truck, via Shutterstock.
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Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
A 7-year-old Denver boy who dresses and behaves like a girl is making news by attempting to join the Girl Scouts. And after a brief scuffle, he may be on his way to doing so.
Bobby Montoya has been identifying as a girl since around age 2, his mother told Colorado station 9 News. “We just let him dress how he wants, as long as he’s happy,” she said. But Montoya has faced bullying in school, and when he recently tried to join a local Girl Scout troop, he was turned away by a troop leader who said he wasn’t allowed to join because he has “boy parts.”
[Bobby's Mom Felisha] Archuleta told 9NEWS when she brought Bobby to register, a troop leader told her Bobby couldn’t join.
“I said, ‘Well, what’s the big deal?’ She said ‘It doesn’t matter how he looks, he has boy parts, he can’t be in Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts don’t allow that [and] I don’t want to be in trouble by parents or my supervisor,’” Archuleta told 9NEWS.
“It was like somebody told me I can’t like girl stuff, and I have to change my name to something else,” Bobby said.
Subsequently, the Girl Scouts of Colorado released a statement stating that it is an “inclusive organization” that welcomes kids like Bobby. The statement reads, in part:
If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout. Our requests for support of transgender kids have grown, and Girl Scouts of Colorado is working to best support these children, their families and the volunteers who serve them. In this case, an associate delivering our program was not aware of our approach.
(image via: http://www.globalexplorers.org/)
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