Coy Mathis, born a male triplet, has behaved like a girl since she was 18 months old. When her brother Max was consumed with dinosaurs, she was playing with Barbie dolls. By 4, she was telling her mother that something was wrong with her body. Since being enrolled at Eagle Elementary School in Fountain, Colorado, the 6-year-old has presented as female and wearing girls' clothing. Her classmates and teachers have used female pronouns to refer to her, and she has used the girls' bathrooms.
But since December, school officials have told her parents she can no longer use the female facilities and ordered her to use the boys' or nurse's bathroom. "We want Coy to have the same educational opportunities as every other Colorado student," said Kathryn Mathis, Coy's mother. "Her school should not be singling her out for mistreatment just because she is transgender."
Coy's parents worry that the school's policy is setting their child up for stigma and bullying. Now Jeremy and Kathryn Mathis, with the help of the Transgender Legal and Defense Education Fund (TLDEF), have filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division on behalf of Coy, alleging that the school has violated her rights. Since Christmas vacation, Coy has been homeschooled.
"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. She is still just 6-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," said Kathryn Mathis.