Students Walk Out Of Missouri High School In Protest Against Transgender Classmate (VIDEO)

The standard thinking, which is supported by poll numbers, is that the younger you are, the more likely you are to support LGBT rights. But that is not always the case, as 17-year-old Missouri high school student Lila Perry has discovered.

Perry is transgender. She told St. Louis TV station KTVI that she has known that she was a female since she was 13, but only came out last February. On September 1, over 100 students at Hillsboro High School, where Perry is a senior, walked out of class to protest her use of the girls’ bathroom and locker room.

There were no issues last year, because Perry was not taking a physical education class, and she was allowed to use the faculty restroom, which is gender-neutral. But problems erupted when school began this year because Perry is taking gym. She said that she wanted to fit in better with the other girls, so she started using the girls’ facilities.

The student walkout lasted for about two hours. During that time, Perry sat in the principal’s office. “I was concerned about my own safety,” she said.

During a school board meeting last Thursday, one parent, Derrick Good, proposed a new school policy that would require everyone to either use restroom and changing facilities that correspond to their birth gender, or use gender-neutral facilities. The New York Times says that Good had been working with the “Alliance Defending Freedom,” which the paper identifies as a “Christian advocacy group,” to come up with the proposal. Good says that allowing Perry to use the girls’ changing room is a violation of his daughters’ right to privacy.

One of the biggest myths surrounding transgender males is that men might claim to be transgender in order to get inside women’s bathrooms. As Texas LGBT activist Noel Freeman pointed out recently, there has not been a single case of that ever happening, anywhere. Perry addressed that issue.

“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,” she said.

Perry says that the school district has been helpful and accommodating to her. And she does have her supporters among Hillsboro students. “She is such a good person. They are just judging her on the outside,” said Skyla Thompson, who told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that she was Perry’s best friend.

The school district could be in a bind if they give in to parents’ and students’ demands that Perry be prohibited from using girls’ facilities. Kelli Hopkins, of the Missouri School Boards Association, said that by not allowing Perry to use the same facilities used by other females, the district could have issues with the federal education department.

“The Office of Civil Rights has issued an opinion that says, if you do this, you have engaged in gender discrimination,” Hopkins said.

For now, at least, Perry’s detractors have secured a partial victory. Perry has dropped out of the gym class she had been enrolled in. She says that she rarely uses the bathroom at school now and she is afraid of being bullied if she starts using the boys’ bathroom. She says that she has already been attacked on social media.

Britney Heimos, who graduated from Hillsboro in 2008, said, “There is nothing wrong with being different. But when you are different, there are sacrifices.” And so it goes. Once upon a time in America, black citizens were different, so they had to make “sacrifices.” Then it was (and still is) immigrants. Now it’s LGBT citizens. When is it the majority’s turn to make sacrifices?

Here’s a report from KMOV:

Featured image via YouTube screenshot