Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Flushing down bigotry

By Amy Price




First grader Coy Mathis sits at home now while she thumbs through her schoolbooks and scribbles on her coloring sheets. She was told last December that she is no longer allowed to use the girls’ restroom at her former school.

According to an article last month on, male-to-female transgender student Coy Mathis has been barred by officials from using the girls’ bathroom at her Colorado school. Coy has been living as a female since kindergarten, and while in kindergarten, was allowed to use the women’s facilities. But in December, school officials told her parents, Jeremy and Kathryn Mathis, Coy must only use the gender-neutral bathroom or the boys’.

Coy was born male but identifies as female and has even legally changed her gender on her passport and state-issued identification, according to the article. During a press conference, Coy’s mother Kathryn said Coy has displayed feminine behavior and suffered with severe depression since she was a toddler. Coy’s doctor recommended she start living as a female, which virtually wiped away Coy’s battle with depression.

The decision to ban Coy from using the girls’ bathroom has made Coy, and others in similar situations, targets for bullying, violence and discrimination. As of press-date, the article has generated more than 17,000 comments from online readers. I was disgusted by many of the hateful remarks people posted about Coy’s transition, but I think a different perspective on the situation needs to be addressed. The question should not be, “Should Coy and other transgender children be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as?” But this case should ask the question, “Why aren’t all bathrooms gender-neutral?”

Last time I checked, both genders use the restroom for the same basic reasons – to relieve their bowels and to urinate. No matter what other reason a person might have to use the bathroom, as far as I know, all can be accomplished within a stall in either gender’s bathroom. I strongly feel that allowing everyone to use the same facility would cut down on the discrimination genderqueer and transgender individuals face.

Former Brookhaven College student Adrianna Thompson is a male-to-female transgender who agrees with me. Thompson said she can recall one situation in which she was fired because of a bathroom issue. She blamed the termination on women in her office who called the human resources department and claimed they felt uncomfortable with her presence in the restroom.

Thompson said, however, Brookhaven was extremely accepting and she never encountered any issues with using the women’s restroom on campus. She said Brookhaven’s welcoming demeanor existed before the Dallas County Community College District added gender identity and expression to its non-discrimination clause last spring semester.

“Nobody ever had a problem,” Thompson said. “I was accepted and embraced by everyone.”

Thompson said she can see why some people would be against unisex bathrooms, because they could attract potential predators, but the positives outweigh the negatives.

Many malls now have family restrooms, which is a move toward the right direction, but I believe more needs to happen.

I believe the idea of separate bathrooms has been tattooed in everyone’s mind, and is ultimately just another form of sexism, and invites discrimination.

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