Transgender Teen Divides Missouri Town
Written by Craig Rogers, in Section Youth Trends
Transgender teen wants to use girls' locker room and restroom; the school said yes, but students are saying no.
Caitlyn Jenner made headlines this spring when she introduced herself to the nation, but for many in the small Missouri town of Hillsboro, Lila Perry will be the first transgender person they know. The teen has found herself in the middle of a controversy that has the town divided on her rights vs what they feel is best for other students. Perry says she was 13 when she realized that she was a girl, but didn't begin to dress as one until the beginning of this school year at 17.
When the school year began, the school offered Perry a single-occumpancy restroom to change in and use. Despite that, Perry insists that she should be allowed to use the female facilities. "I am a girl. I am not going to be pushed away to another bathroom," she told CNN-affiliate KPLR. Yet when students began telling their parents about the transgender teen using the female locker room and restrooms and expressing discomfort, the issue came to a new level.
Students walked out of class to protest Perry's use of the female facilities on Monday.
Because Perry maintains male anatomy, several girls saw her as a boy changing in the female locker rooms. They raised concern with faculty, parents, and whispered in the hallways about the transgender teen. Parents brought the issue up at a school board meeting on August 27th, pleading with school faculty to, as one parent put it, stop extending privileges to "confused teenagers who want to be something they are not sexually."
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