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Transgender with Male Genitalia Using Girls’ Bathroom Sparks Outrage at Hillsboro High School


“Lila” Perry

Students at Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro, Missouri, staged a walkout Monday to protest a transgender student who is being permitted by the school to use the facility’s women’s restrooms, despite being a biological male.  [1] Around 200 students at Hillsboro High School who feel the use of the girl’s bathroom and locker room by a student born male is not appropriate left the school for a two-hour protest. [2]  The controversy began after a transgender student, “Lila” Perry, (Perry’s birth name was not listed in any news reports.) told school administrators that she was no longer comfortable using a unisex faculty bathroom that she had been given access to.  [1] High school senior Lila Perry said she’s known she was transgender since she was 13. Last February, she decided to come out. She didn’t take gym class that semester and used the gender-neutral faculty restroom. But this year, Perry said she wanted to fit in with the rest of the girls, so she started using the girls’ bathroom and locker room. [4] The protest came following a School Board hearing last Thursday, during which parents complained that Perry was being afforded special rights that would make their children and other students uncomfortable. Some parents also expressed a fear that Perry was pretending to be a girl in order to get into the locker room.  [8] “That’s really important for many people to know and parents to know, that a person does not choose this, they really don’t. They know it very early on and are in a great deal of pain,” said Patricia Berne, a gender therapist, told KMOV. [7] During the protest, Perry was locked in the principal’s office for “her” safety.    According to reports, the overwhelming majority of those protesting opposed Perry’s use of the women’s facilities, although there were a few counter-protesters present protesting in support of Perry.  [1] Roughly 30-40 people showed support for the transgender. [7]

lilaperry1Several of those interviewed during the protest shared their concerns about a student with male genitalia being permitted to change and shower with teenage girls.  “The girls have rights, and they shouldn’t have to share a bathroom with a boy,” said Tammy Sorden, who has a son at Hillsboro High. It is fine to be different, she said, but it is not right to give Lila special treatment “while the girls just have to suck it up.” [1] Student Sophie Beel found Perry’s use of the girl’s locker room and restroom “offensive” because Perry did not go through any procedure to become a female and “putting on a dress and putting on a wig is not transgender to me.” [2] Derrick Good, a parent of two young women in the school district, told KTVI that his daughters “should have the ability to do whatever they need to do in the privacy of the bathroom without having a male in there.” Jeff Childs, another parent of students in the school, agreed with Good that Perry’s use of the girl’s facilities is unacceptable. [2] “I feel these girls have a right to their own privacy,” Childs said. “Without the privacy they have nothing.” [2] [22] Shortly after the walkout, Jeff Childs and his son Blayke held their own demonstration, driving around the parking lot with “Girls Rights Matter” painted on their Ford pickup. “This needs to stop before it goes too far,” Childs warned. [3] The conservative legal juggernaut the Alliance Defending Freedom has also gotten involved, sending a letter to the district asking it to change its decision. “Compelling students to share restrooms and locker rooms with members of the opposite sex,” the letter claims, “violates their right to bodily privacy and would not only lead to potential legal liability for the School District and its employees, but would also violate the students’ and parents’ fundamental rights.” [3]

From the 09.01.2015 edition of KFTK/Radio America’s The Dana Show:


Perry believes these claims are “pure and simple bigotry.” [2] Perry also compared his struggle to those of black Americans under Jim Crow laws by saying, “It wasn’t too long ago white people were saying, ‘I don’t feel comfortable sharing a bathroom with a black person,’ and history repeats itself.” [2]  Despite the outrage, Perry remains insistent that school officials continue to allow her access to the girl’s room.   “I wasn’t hurting anyone. I didn’t want to be in something gender-neutral,” said Perry.  “I am a girl. I am not going to be pushed away to another bathroom,”  he/she protested. Perry said harassment on social media made her afraid for her physical safety if she has to use the boys’ restroom. [10] “I’m not going to hurt their daughters. I’m not going to expose myself. I’m not a pervert; I’m a transgender woman; I’m a girl. I’m just in there to change, do my business, and that if they have any questions about being transgender, they are more than welcome to talk to me, and I’ll be happy to explain it,” Perry said.  [10] “It feels really awful that people are going to these extremes against me, not just in school but all over the Internet,” Ms. Perry added. “But I’ve also received so much support. It feels really surreal to be in the middle of all of this.” [6] Monday night, Perry dropped the gym class out of fear for his safety, but it’s unclear if the protests played a direct role in his decision. He will continue to use the girl’s bathroom. [2] The Missouri Gay-Straight Alliance Network will host a rally supporting Ms. Perry on Friday. “I think that there are a lot of folks that don’t understand the difference between sex and gender and only see Lila as her sex at birth,” said Morgan Keenan, the group’s founding director. [6]

lunacyhhs-1There were so many people who showed up to Thursday night’s school board meeting that they had to move it into the gym, something that has not happened for a regular meeting in the past. This topic was not even on the agenda, but it was clear why most parents were in attendance, judging from the thunderous applause and standing ovation after one parent spoke. [4] According to KTVI, a Hillsboro school district official has stated that the school works to promote tolerance and the district accepts all students regardless of gender or sexual orientation. [2] [22] The debate over allowing those who consider themselves transgender to use opposite-sex bathroom facilities in public schools is playing itself out despite the fact that the laws surrounding the ability of schools to refuse such an accommodation remain unclear.  “Districts that refuse to allow students to use a bathroom for the gender with which they identify could run afoul of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights,” said Kelli Hopkins of the Missouri School Boards’ Association. However, there is no law or statute in the state of Missouri that says denying a student the ability to use opposite-sex bathrooms is against the law. [1]


It’s not the first case to stir public debate about the matter. A 13-year-old transgender student at a junior high school in Utah was given permission to use the girls’ bathrooms earlier this year, prompting a parent to remove a student from the school, according to KBOI-TV. [6]

[2] David Hookstead, High School Students Protest Transgender Bathroom Use, Daily Caller, 11:35 AM 09/01/2015
[3] Rebecca Roberts, Transgender student uses girls’ locker room, causes controversy, FOX2Now, 9:54 pm, August 27, 2015
[4] Roche Madden, Trans student drops gym class, 200 protest for and against her, FOX2Now,  5:16 pm, August 31, 2015
[8] Tom Cleary , Lila Perry: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know, Heavy, September 1, 2015
[13] Over 150 Students Walk out of High School over Transgender Student’s Use of Girl’s Locker Room, The Daily Sheeple, September 1st, 2015
[14] Christiana Lilly, High School Students Protest Transgender Girl Using Locker Room, NewsMax, Tuesday, 01 Sep 2015 01:54 PM
[20] Nicole Rojas, Missouri students protest transgender teen’s use of female bathroom, International Business Times, September 2, 2015 04:15 BST
[22] Joe Millitzer, Protest staged over transgender student’s right to use girl’s locker room, FOX2Now, 2:03 pm, August 31, 2015


About Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace is a self-fashioned writter, a computer programmer and cybermarketer from Quebec City, Canada who decided to enter the political arena after his disillusionment with the socialist system under which he was living in the French Canadian province of Quebec.

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