PHOTOS: Transgender 6-Year-Old Is Accepted By Everyone But Her School Board


The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund has filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division on behalf of a 6-year-old who has been barred from using the girls’ bathrooms at her elementary school.

Coy Mathis (above), a transgender first-grader at Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain, Colorado, has used the girls’ room for over a year. But in December, the school district told Mathis’ parents she would have to use the boy’s room after winter break.

Alternately, they were told, she could use a staff restroom or the bathroom in the nurse’s office.

Mathis, who appeared on Katie this week, has presented as female since she was 18 months old, and has been accepted as a girl by classmates and teachers since she started at Eagleside. She is currently being home-schooled until the issue is resolved.

“We want Coy to return to school to be with her teachers, her friends, and her siblings, but we are afraid to send her back until we know that the school is going to treat her fairly,” said Coy’s mom, Kathryn Mathis. “She is still just six years old, and we do not want one of our daughter’s earliest experiences to be our community telling her she’s not good enough.”

Michael Silverman, TLDEF’s executive director, says the school “has the opportunity to turn this around and teach Coy’s classmates a valuable lesson about friendship, respect and basic fairness.”

Below is a slideshow featuring Coy and the Mathis family. You can donate to help protect the rights of transgender children.


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  • Dehreeus

    She’s so cute! Shame on the school board.

  • Dixie Rect

    Oy Vey.

  • morgan riggs

    What a beautiful family! That they embrace her as she is and didnt force her to conform, speaks volumes about the sort of people her parents are. Shame shame SHAME on that school board! It sounds as thought they need to go back to kindergarten to learn how to get along with others.

  • femonanon

    Can you imagine how many other children would walk this path if there were no hyper-socialized stereotypes of what it meant to be a “boy” or a “girl”. My wish for the future is that a child like this would be considered a boy. Why is it that the feminine qualities have to be linked to being a “female” only? This is simply a lovely child being who they are.This kind of situation is only going to become more common as we become more accepting (not “tolerant’). I just hope there aren’t too many tears and “boo-boo’s” that the children will have to go through in the process.
    To the parents: YOU ROCK.
    p.s. is the pink more of a Valentine’s day color or will she be rockin’ a nice lime green for St. Patty’s Day? ” :-)

  • Thedrdonna

    @femonanon: Well, there’s gender identity and there’s gender presentation. There are people who are ok with moving outside the rigid gender roles society imposes (metrosexuals and butch women, for instance), without desiring to transition. And for other people, that isn’t what they’re looking for. As a trans woman, I would prefer to be pretty butch, as long as I am female bodied. That becomes a bit more complicated when I need to evaluate my presentation so that people won’t ID me as trans, because being obviously trans generally leads to society crapping all over you. I think trans folk would certainly have it easier if we didn’t have those rigid gender roles, and if there wasn’t pressure to fit into them one way or the other, but the complete removal of that pressure would not prevent people from being trans. For me, personally, it’s about my body and the shape it has (or doesn’t, as the case may be). I care much less about clothing or affect.

  • femonanon

    ditto…”boy” body, in shape, female, hey..ya, know the clothes that fit my body happen to be in the men’s section…that’s where they put them and that’s where I find them :-) “Sir” and “Madam” happen about 50/50 for me
    agree about the trans stuff

  • femonanon

    btw…my point was more along the lines of “why is it trans”…why can’t it “just be”?

  • femonanon

    also, btw….Doctor?

  • Thedrdonna

    Heh, I’m not a real doctor, it’s a reference to an episode of Dr. Who

  • erikwm

    @femonanon: There is a distinct difference between gender non-conformity and gender identity. A lot of gays and lesbians are gender non-conformists, but don’t desire gender reassignment. An individual is transgender when their inward gender identity is opposite their physical genitalia. Our innate sense of gender is not a conscious choice and differs from gender non-conformity arising from sexual orientation.

    Likely for this child, the desire is to physically and mentally be a girl, not simply be a boy who likes feminine clothing. So while you might think in a perfect world this child would be considered a boy, if the child is transgender, that’s not going to satisfy the child. The child will want to be considered a girl.

    That’s the difference.

  • femonanon

    I’m not sure what makes you think that I don’t understand or grasp the difference…sorry if that was misunderstood… my point….still… is why can’t she (he) just “be”……what she is….and not be labeled? How about just a boy…that is feminine, likes “female” things, whatever that is and dresses and thinks in a feminine way? Would it destroy us (OR him)to refer to him as a boy? I would like to think that in the future it could be this way. :-)
    It will have to come to this at some time in the future…we are adding waaay too many descriptive labels as it is. I AM a non-conformist with a desire to have top surgery and would NEVER want bottom surgery, I am VERY happy in that department. I have always had a “boy” build (that’s what they call it) Of course I wear boy’s and men’s clothing, that’s what FITS me, AND I have a very cool ultra-short haircut because I have no desire to mess with my hair for longer than 5 to 10 minutes and never bought into or cared what was told to me as to what is “attractive” or “appropriate” for a female. I have dated “straight” men, “straight” women, bisexual men, bisexual women, “gay” men, lesbians and a transman. I’m guessing (this year), I am LABELED as “pan”. Yet I cannot stand that label.
    Does anyone at all that is reading this feel me?
    I just want it all to go AWAY….each individual is who they are…….these labels are going to get out of control and they are already confusing the hell out of the pre-teens and teens that are questioning.

  • Dana

    Femonanon because she isn’t a boy. She is a girl. It is really that simple. She (he) is really offensive. I am not sure if you intended that, though.

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