Missouri Teenagers Protest a Transgender Student’s Use of the Girls’ Bathroom

Sep 2, 2015

Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, via Associated Press

By Karen Workman

A transgender high school student in Missouri is facing backlash from her peers after requesting to use the girls’ bathrooms and locker room.

More than 100 students at Hillsboro High School, about an hour south of St Louis, walked out of class on Monday in protest.

“I’m hoping this dies down,” said Lila Perry, the 17-year-old who began identifying as a girl publicly in February. “I don’t want my entire senior year to be like this.”

Ms. Perry, who began feeling “more like a girl than a boy” when she was 13, said school officials gave her permission to use the girls’ facilities as the new school year began.

The district’s superintendent, Aaron D. Cornman, issued a statement saying the district “accepts all students no matter race, nationality/ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.”

The student protest came on the heels of a school board meeting on Thursday attended by so many parents it had to be moved to a bigger location.

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11 comments on “Missouri Teenagers Protest a Transgender Student’s Use of the Girls’ Bathroom

  • Perhaps the issue could be resolved by creating toilets labelled as being for use by a third gender. Either that or they could abolish the distinction entirely and create unisex toilets (and changing rooms?).

    Some people obviously feel unhappy that a person they identify as being biologically male (or at least as being insufficiently female) uses a facility specifically set aside for biological females and their concerns shouldn’t necessarily be dismissed out of hand as mere prejudice.

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  • Transgender and transsexual (and I appreciate there is a difference) issues are a closed book to me.

    I found this site.

    If anyone knows of some less well known resources I would be most grateful for a lead.

    Perhaps I should add that, related to the original story, many of us have remained too ignorant on this subject for too long.


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  • In the University where I work, all buildings have gents, ladies, and individual unisex/disabled wash-rooms. In any case, ladies toilets (unlike gents’ urinals), have individual cubicles, so I don’t really see a problem of privacy.

    These issues should be dealt with in a sensitive manner, so I see, characteristically, Faux News + are making a sensational major public feature of it!

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  • 4
    Stouticus says:

    their concerns shouldn’t necessarily be dismissed out of hand as mere prejudice.

    Maybe not as mere prejudice, but their concerns should definitely be dismissed as baseless, uninformed fear. And if you think there is no bigotry behind this, you’re sadly mistaken.

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  • In my high school, we had an extremely effeminate, lispy talking, hand flapping boy whom I never outright asked but I presume he was homosexual. He often wore clothing that was metrosexual, cardigans with a popped collar, sweater vests, stylish shoes, and the like that could actually have been women’s clothing (since some fashion trends in this era were a bit gender-bending, anyway). Hung out with girls mostly, making the girl talk, volunteered as an assistant for a couple of the girls sports teams. He used men’s bathrooms without any problem. It’s odd but I don’t remember anyone ever giving him too much trouble. Little jokes when he wasn’t around, sure, but no bullying in person. He was actually quite popular. This was NOT a diverse city school in a progressive neighborhood, it was smack in cis hetero farm country; football, wrestling, 4×4 trucks, corn stalks, deer hunting, and Jesus. 28 years ago! Granted, it was a Northern state not like South Carolina, Alabama, or something.

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  • Some people

    …hearing about a female student who encountered an “intact male” in the girl’s locker room“.

    If this was the prompt, then yes, a legitimate concern for a girl expecting privacy from males in said locker room.

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  • I’ve been away from this site for a long time. Did you all miss me?
    Here’s my usual razor sharp analysis: depends on the context. Sounds like this person was not well-liked, possibly an asshole. If he / she were nicer they may not have revolted the way they did. That was a real demonstration. Maybe there were other factors involved. Trans-gender people can be inappropriate or lewd – just like anyone else. Let’s not forget that.
    It’s all about context.
    Ideally, however, I think a transgender person should be permitted in the bathroom that corresponds (for lack of a better word) to the sex that he or she feels he is (or she is.—Ugh.—We need a neuter pronoun, other than “it”).
    A third bathroom is not the answer. It might be a temporary solution – for cases like this one.

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  • P.S. Unisex won’t do it. People like Jenner, all of the trans gender people, are in fact women –or men. That is what they want people to understand. That is how they see themselves. I am not trans gender or gay but if I was a trans gender person I would want to use the lady’s room. I would not be anything in between. I would be a woman (“Danielle”).
    I am trying to understand this phenomenon. We all should try.
    (Another fine point by moi.)

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  • Welcome back, Dan! I did miss you!

    Regardless of how transgenders see themselves, if their anatomy still has the original parts, that is what others will see sans clothes. As Alan pointed out, a bathroom isn’t so much a problem since there are stalls, but a locker room doesn’t usually have that luxury. The issue becomes one of accommodation. How far does the rest of a civil society bend to make room for a relatively recent gender phenomenon?

    Off topic: I read The Iceman Cometh–twice! Great play!

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  • Thanks, Vicki.

    I see what you mean about locker rooms and bending. (No pun intended – I guess.) I should have read the OP more carefully.

    Off topic: glad you liked Iceman. If you want to laugh now, read Molière.

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