Which Public Restroom Should A Transgender Child Use?

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restroom sign
... or does it even matter?

Transgender first grade student Coy Mathis has been banned from using the girls bathroom at her elementary school. Imagine telling a seven-year-old, "You can't go to the bathroom there!" If I were her parent, I would be outraged.

Of course, I'm already outraged by the bathroom pass rules prevalent in many schools. "Cross your legs, hold it in, and wait until recess to go," they tell children. It's ridiculous! And while it's not quite the same experience little Coy Mathis is facing, the bottom line is: when ya gotta go, ya gotta go! Plain and simple.

Consider this situation: Imagine you really had to use the bathroom, but for whatever reason, you didn't have access to the one assigned to your gender. Would you use the other one? Be honest. My guess is that almost every person has had to walk through the opposite sex's bathroom door at one time or another to take care of business. After all, what's the big deal? Yet, in an outrageous decision by Fountain Colorado Elementary School, little Coy, a transgender male-to-female identified child, is being told she can either use the boys restroom,  use the staff restroom or go to the nurse's restroom.

Here's why I find it so outrageous. First, it's a form of abuse and discrimination. Second, there are much better ways to use tax dollars, school administrator's time and teachers skills than to monitor where a child goes to the restroom. Third, a child's self-esteem is already fragile enough without adding "You're not good enough to use this bathroom!" And fourth, Coy's parents shouldn't have to fight this battle on top of all the other challenges that come with having a transgender child.

Excuse me for sounding unsympathetic to the socialized thoughts that little girls shouldn't see little boys' penises and little boys shouldn't gaze upon little girls' vaginas. God forbid a child actually sees the human form in its raw, natural state — naked. To me, it's these types of puritanical thoughts that have created the screwed up perspective on sexuality in our culture.

While I am sympathetic toward the idea that Coy, with a boy's body and a girl's identity, could cause some confusion among children, there are some additional factors to consider. For example: Girls restrooms only have stalls, so it's not like Coy's little willy would be on display for all to see; Coy is included in all the other normal classroom activities, identifying as a girl, except for this one thing; and Colorado has transgender discrimination laws protecting transgenders. Keep reading ...

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Rick Clemons

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Rick Clemons, The Gay Man's Life Coach & The Coming Out Coach

Rick is a straight-forward, compassionate, insightful, challenging, mentor, guide, and Certified Professional Coach who's been featured on The Ricki Lake Show, and is a highly sought after radio show personality, blogger, author, and faculty member of Sex Coach U. His loving, challenging, gentle, and inspiring approach ignites a fire in clients, helping them get through the darkest moments of life and come out the other side, kicking butt, and being authentically themselves.

Rick thrives, working with individuals, and those in their inner circle, as they embark on the journey out of the closet and beyond. He specializes in helping people build confidence, live their passion while loving their work, and live authentically. Authenticity isn't just a word he throws around lightly. It's the backbone of his practice and the manner in which he personnally strives to live each and every day of his own life.

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