Walk out against transgender teen

Walk out against transgender teen

When a girl uses the girl’s bathroom, or when a boy uses the boy’s bathroom, no one bats an eye. It’s how it’s supposed to be, right? Well what if that girl or boy is transgender? Which bathroom do they chose? The one that goes with their gender identity or the one that describes them as who they are inside? Or maybe they should choose the one that goes with their genitalia, the one thing that does not match up with their gender identity. How do you chose?

Honestly, the answer should be quite simple. If you know that you’re a specific gender, meant to be a specific gender, then you chose the bathroom that goes with it. Despite your genitalia. I mean, it’s not like anyone’s going to see it or point it out while you’re peeing. It shouldn’t matter, as long as you respect the others who were born the gender that you know you are meant to be and they respect you. This isn’t exactly what happened at Hillsboro High School in Missouri.

Lila Perry is a 17 year old transgender girl who says that she started to feel like she was a girl when she was 13. She started dressing like one at the beginning of this school year by wearing skirts and a long wig. She started changing in the girl’s locker room before gym class after denying the school’s offer for a single stall changing room. “I am a girl. I am not going to be pushed away to another bathroom,” she told CNN. In little time though, it became obvious that she was not welcome. The other girls felt uncomfortable to be changing in front of someone who has male genitalia.

At a school board meeting on August 27 parents discussed the issue. Parents suggested using gender neutral bathrooms, or bathrooms that warned students that a transgender could use them. After not getting either, senior Sydney Dye decided that a peaceful protest would do the job. She helped organize a school-wide walkout that included a little over 200 students. Perry heard that the walk out would be happening and immediately dropped gym class, but Dye decided to continue on the plan.

The purpose of the walk out was not to kick out Lila, surprisingly. “The protest wasn’t out to bully Lila or call her out on anything or try to make her depressed; that wasn’t what it was meant to be. It was so the students could have a voice,” Dye told CNN. Dye then went on to say that she believes that inside Lila is a female, and she wants to be like the rest of the girls. “The only thing that bothers me is that Lila was in the girl’s locker room. Some girls already have insecurity problems getting dressed in front of other girls as it is, much less having to get dressed in front of a boy.”

The problem with this situation is not that the community isn’t accepting. They seem to be accepting enough, I mean they all call Lila by the correct pronoun. The problem with this situation is that students are not educated when it comes to the LGBTQ community. They don’t seem to fully understand what it means to be transgender, what it’s like to be trapped in a male body when you’re actually a girl or vice versa. Being barred from the girl’s/boy’s locker room just makes it harder for a transgender teen to accept that she/he is in fact a girl or boy inside. It causes a lot of emotional stress. I think that the way that the students handled the situation, with a peaceful walkout, was flawed, but not meant to cause any harm to Lila and that’s a giant step forward. If high school students can accept people in the LGBTQ community, but disagree with some things and deal with that disagreement in a peaceful way, that’s awesome. Now if only some of the adults in this country would take some notes…

Lila is using her newfound media fame for good, she wants to help fellow transgender teens through the hardships of being transgender in an environment that does not understand what it means to be transgender.