By Mirembe Martina
6-year-old Coy Mathis was a transgender as early as 18 months old. Her parents say she started moving towards girls things like clothes and toys. At four years old, she asked her parents when they were ‘going to fix her up’ so that she can be a girl.
Her being transgender meant so much to her that her parents decided to help their daughter. She started dressing as a female, lining up with the other girls and using the girls’ bathroom, something that changed Coy’s life. “The change in Coy after she transitioned at school was just amazing,” Kathryn Mathis, Coy’s mother said. “The anxiety went away, the depression went away. She became happy.”
However, in December, Kathryn and Jeremy received a phone call from the principal of Eagleside Elementary School where Coy studies. The Principal told them that the school reversed its position on allowing Coy to use the girls’ restroom and as an alternative, Coy would be allowed to use the bathroom in the nurse’s office or the one reserved for teachers something which her parents were not pleased about.
Coy’s mother said the move would “set her up for harassment and bullying”.
The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination against transgender students in public schools and Coy’s parents have now filed a formal discrimination complaint with the aid of a lawyer. “The more you talk about something, the more awareness and acceptance there is,” Kathryn said. “We’re really just trying to make it known what the school has done and make them accountable.”
They filed the complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division and will be investigated. “The school is really missing out on something big,” Kathryn who is a photographer and certified nurse’s assistant, said. “They could be taking the opportunity to teach all of the students that everybody is different and that we should embrace our differences and we should respect everybody. Instead they’re creating this divided environment where they’re showing all these children that a child is different and we’re going to treat them poorly because of it.”
Kathryn and Jeremy, a full-time student and disabled veteran, have four other children, including a set of triplets. Coy is one of the triplets.