Unlikely as it may seem, this is exactly what happened at Hillsboro High School, in Missouri, when Lila Perry decided to use girls’ bathroom. Such gesture caused around 150 students to leave their classes and protest for over an hour, in front of their high school. Lila Perry, age 17, said that she consider herself to be a female since she was 13 and since February this year, the whole world knows it too. However, since she publicly acknowledged the gender that she identifies with, she encountered mostly rejection. The latest episode which took place at Hillsboro seems to confirm people’s opinion related to transgender persons. “There’s a lot of ignorance, they are claiming that they’re uncomfortable. I don’t believe for a second that they are. I think this is pure and simple bigotry. I think they are using this excuse to target me, a transgender woman”, Lila said.
Everything started when Lila Perry said that she would like to blend in the girls’ groups, since deep in her soul, she knows she is a woman. That’s why she started using girls’ bathroom and the locker, during each gym class, which sparked the students’ revolt, causing her to drop the class. Not only that, but many parents also took part of the protest, the majority of them stating that Lila should be kept outside girls’ private facilities. “I find it offensive because Lila has not went through any procedure to become a female. Putting on a dress and putting on a wig it’s not transgender to me” one student said.
Legally speaking, the matter it’s still being disputed, but measures started to be adopted. The school’s administration treated the problem as delicately as possible. Lila has been given full access to girls’ bathrooms and she said she really felt protected and welcomed from this perspective. Kelli Hopkins from the Missouri School Board Association declared that this is something every district should do: “The Office of Civil Rights has issued an opinion that says, if you do this, you have engaged in gender discrimination. At the same time, there is no case law or statute in Missouri that says this is against the law.”
However, Lila doesn’t need to go through all this war by herself, as she receives a lot of support from both the LGBT community and a lot of her colleagues and friends. “She is such a good person. They are just judging her on the outside”, said Skyla, one of her best friends, while Gianna Warfel, another close friend, added: “She is choosing her life to better herself, to better accept herself. I don’t know what there is to discriminate about that. I really support the bravery she has.” In addition, two Facebook communities share their support for Lila and there are already hundreds of people following the case and submitting their supportive ideas. “You don’t decide what makes me a girl” one of the Facebook memes says.
These initiatives, along with more impactful ones, such as installing Neutral Gender Restrooms in some of the high schools, predict that a change is about to happen. Future will decide what this change is going to be.