Students Protest Against Their Trans Classmate Using the Girls' Bathroom

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Our society is making strides in better understanding the trans community, partly due to the visibility that celebrities like Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner bring to this issue. It's vital that the world learns about the issues plaguing the trans community get brought to light: the recent string of suicides in trans youth proves that something needs to change now. Sadly, that message hasn't yet gotten to many of the students Hillsboro High School, who walked out of school in protest over their trans classmate using the women's locker room.

Senior Lila Perry, who was born male but has identified as a woman since 13, chose to use the woman's facilities at her high school this year (instead of the unisex faculty bathroom) because she is a woman - why should she use any other bathroom? Unfortunately, her classmates didn't see it that way: according to many of Lila's classmates and their relatives, Lila should use the men's restroom or a unisex restroom to make the women at the school "comfortable." The conflict escalated to a ridiculous level when 150 students walked out of the school in order to protest where Lila chose to pee and change. Because that seems like a valuable use of all our tax dollars, right?Lila doesn't see the students as truly uncomfortable with her actions, she sees it as pure bigotry. Personally, I think she's right: someone taught these kids that it was okay to discriminate against someone like Lil - like the many parent protesters who are determined to keep Lila out of the girl's facilities despite never having to use these facilities themselves. Where is the compassion?

Conflicts like this show that we have a long way to go towards acceptance and empathy in our society. I'm glad that Lila isn't backing down - all she wants is to be treated like every other woman at the school by her peers. It's not an unreasonable request.
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