If you pay attention to LGBT issues in general and trans issues in specific, it would be hard to have missed the story of Coy Mathis's fight to use the girls' bathroom at her elementary school. On Sunday, the Colorado Civil Rights Division found that an unnecessarily hostile situation was created by the Fountain-Fort Carson School District when they refused to allow Coy to use the girls' restroom. She had been homeschooled while waiting for a decision to be made.
W. Kelly Dude (isn't that just the greatest name ever for someone stating a really shitty legal argument for discrimination against trans children?), the lawyer for Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, told CNN that the school "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 restroom." Not done, Mr. Dude (I love that!), went on to misgender Coy repeatedly with delightful comments such as:
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.
Steven Chavez, the Director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division, however, was having none of it. Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain "creates an environment rife with harassment," he wrote in the decision.
Like many transgender individuals following this story, I firmly believe that the Colorado Civil Rights Division has really created a strong precedent for equality with the language in this decision. Coy transitioned at four years old, and integrated into her elementary school as a girl. Her Colorado ID says F. Her passport says F. There simply isn't any good argument against her using the girls' restroom, and the division decision makes that crystal clear. As Coy grows older, and she finds herself in adolescent situations, there may need to be some re-evaluation. How the Mathis family will approach the issue of genitalia in the future is their decision, not ours (And certainly not Mr. Dude's!), although I suspect it is a decision that will be made sooner rather than later even in comparison to many transitioners who are considered "young" now (those of us in our teens or twenties). I am truly certain, however, and I say this as a school teacher as well as a trans woman, that what genitalia Coy has now is absolutely irrelevant. Especially as it pertains to a bathroom with individually doored stalls!
This comes on the heels of the Social Security Administration's policy change, and right before the Supreme Court of the United States makes its rulings on California's Proposition 8 and the federal government's Defense of Marriage Act.
I'd be tempted to start applauding, but then I remember that shitty anti-abortion bill in my home state of Texas, and instead I'm giving America a "so-so" hand gesture this lovely Monday.
(Photo by ABC News)