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.