Colorado transgender first-grader Coy Mathis wins civil rights case, group says

DENVER - The Colorado Civil Rights Division has ruled in favor of Coy Mathis, a transgender 6-year-old who was barred from using the girls' bathroom at her school in Fountain.

The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund plans to hold a news conference on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol at noon Monday to talk about the decision.

Coy was labeled male at birth, but has always known that she is a girl, which she has expressed since she was 18 months old. Since kindergarten, Coy had worn girls’ clothing to school. Her classmates and teachers at Eagleside Elementary School used female pronouns to refer to her, and she used the girls’ bathrooms, just like any other girl in her school.  In mid-December 2012, the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 informed Coy’s parents that Coy would be prevented from using the girls’ bathrooms after winter break. The District ordered Coy to use the boys’ bathroom, a staff bathroom, or the nurse’s bathroom.

Coy’s parents removed her from school and filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division on Coy’s behalf in February

"This is the first ruling in the nation holding that transgender students must be allowed to use bathrooms that match who they are, and the most comprehensive ruling ever supporting the rights of transgender people to access bathrooms without harassment or discrimination," the group said in a news release.

"Schools should not discriminate against their students, and we are thrilled that Coy can return to school and put this behind her," Kathryn Mathis, Coy's mother, said in a statement. "All we ever wanted was for Coy's school to treat her the same as other little girls. We are extremely happy that she now will be treated equally.